Growing up, our parents always told us not to flush disposable wipes because they could clog the pipes and cause a major plumbing issue. Then, flushable wipes hit the market. But, how safe are flushable wipes? Can you actually flush them guilt-free without worrying about damaging your plumbing?
The short answer is, no. You should never flush wipes, whether they say they’re disposable on the label or not. They’re not good for your pipes, and if you need a plumber, he could end up spending hours plunging a snake into your lines over and over again to effectively remove the blockage. And when you’re paying by the hour, labor can add up quickly.
If you’ve used flushable wipes in the past, and you’ve noticed your plumbing isn’t quite up to snuff, give Plumbing by Jake a call at (928) 377-5910. Our experienced team has dealt with many a wipe-related call and can certainly help with any problem you may be experiencing.
Toilet Paper vs. Disposable Wipes
When it comes to disposable wipes, the old adage rings true: just because it says you can flush them doesn’t make it a good idea to do so. No wipes, flushable or not, can disintegrate as well as plain old toilet tissue can. So, if you need to use a wipe, throw it out in your bathroom garbage; do NOT flush it down your toilet.
Wipes do eventually break down, yes, but toilet paper breaks down much faster. So even if you don’t cause a clog by flushing disposable wipes, you can suffer a full septic system. A septic system that has reached its limit can cause a variety of issues, many severe, so you should avoid filling your septic system whenever possible.
In fact, companies and consumers all across the country have been filing class-action lawsuits challenging flushability of wipes in response to the millions of dollars they have spent in plumbing bills, trying to fix the problems these supposedly “flushable” wipes have caused. Not only have these wipes been clogging up residential pipes, but they have also become entangled in sewer lines, wreaking major havoc on local plumbing in general.
How Do I Know if My Cesspool is Full?
If you’re concerned that your septic system may be full, it is important to seek out help immediately before all that sludge backs up into your home.
The following signs may signal a septic system issue. If you notice any of these happening to you, you should call a licensed professional immediately:
- Water is pooling on the lawn around where your septic system is located.
- You’ve noticed the trees and grass in your yard are more vibrant and healthy-looking than usual.
- You smell rotten eggs or another foul odor every time you step outside.
- You notice the water in your sinks and tub are slow to drain.
The Problem with Flushable Wipes
Because flushable wipes are so similar in appearance to other kinds of wipes (like baby or makeup wipes), people end up flushing the non-flushable wipes too, by accident. This, as you can imagine, causes major problems with their plumbing.
When wipes accumulate in the plumbing, they create hideous blobs plumbers refer to as “fatbergs.” As an alternative to wipes, you can either install a bidet or invest in toilet paper gel for added cleanliness.
Another problem with flushable wipes is that the testing to determine whether they can be safely flushed is very different from the process they go through during normal use. In other words, flushable wipes only disintegrated when repeatedly put through a vigorous agitation cycle – something that does not occur in a homeowner’s septic system.
So, the bottom line when it comes to flushable wipes is, simply, don’t flush them. Save your money on this “enhanced” product and get yourself some good old-fashioned disposable wipes instead. As a more knowledgeable consumer, you’ll be throwing both straight into the garbage can now anyway.
Having an Issue Caused By a Flushable Wipe? Call Plumbing by Jake!
Here you thought you were just doing it, buying flushable wipes. But, you’ve flushed them, and now you’re having a plumbing issue. What gives?
No worries! Our team here at Plumbing by Jake can help. Give us a call anytime at (928) 377-5910, and we’ll be happy to help. For non-emergencies, you can also send us a message via the contact form on our website. We’ll then give you a call to schedule a service appointment that works best for you and your schedule.
Plumbing by Jake is all over the map in this lovely state of Arizona. So, if you are experiencing a plumbing emergency in the area, don’t feel like you need to wait. Call today, and we’ll be there to help in no time!