When you have young kids at home, or you want to feel extra clean, flushable wipes are a convenient option to use along with toilet paper. Not all wipes should be flushed, so you need to be careful with what you use. While some wipes are marketed as being flushable, they could cause problems when you flush them down your toilet. Here is some information to remember when you purchase or use flushable wipes with your home’s toilets.
Toilet Paper vs. Flushable Wipes
Toilet paper breaks apart easily, which doesn’t cause major problems for your home’s pipes and other plumbing fixtures. When you flush, its natural paper fibers begin to degrade right away. This prevents the paper from creating blockages that clog your toilet and causes it to overflow.
Baby wipes, regular wet wipes or cleaning wipes are made from fibers that do not break down easily. This is because they are not completely made from paper. Some may be made with cotton, silk, polyester or wool weaved into the paper. This makes the wipes thicker and stronger than toilet paper. And it means they should never be flushed down the toilet, either.
Flushable wipes are usually made from paper and other materials that should break down more easily than regular wet wipes. Companies often market these wipes as being completely safe to flush. While they are not as thin as toilet paper, they are supposed to disintegrate when flushed.
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Flushable Wipes and Plumbing Systems
So, what happens when you put flushable wipes in the toilet and flush them? When used as recommended, flushable wipes should break down just how toilet paper does. However, that does not always happen. It is better to avoid flushing any wipes down your toilet even when they claim to be flushable.
Flushing too many wipes at one time, or with too much toilet paper can cause plumbing problems. In some cases, flushable wipes can cause extensive damage by clogging up lines and local sewer systems.
What to Do About Flushable Wipe Plumbing Problems
If your toilet suddenly begins backing up or you find that other fixtures in your home are backing up, you could have a clog from flushable wipes in your home’s main sewer line. A clog in your home’s main line from wipes could cause other backups in your home, including your kitchen or laundry room. On a larger scale, clogs from flushable wipes could create clogs in your community’s local sewer system. Wipes can sometimes combine with fats in sewer pipes and build even more serious blockages.
At the first sign of a clog, attempt to remove it with a plunger. Stop flushing wipes down your toilets immediately. Do not pour chemicals down your toilet to try to break it up. If a plunger does not work, call a professional plumber to remove the clog. A plumber has tools, including a snake that can remove any wipes that could be blocking your pipes.
To prevent toilet clogs or clogs in your home’s sewer lines, it is best to avoid flushing any type of wipe, including flushable ones. If you need help getting your toilet unclogged, please contact Forrest Anderson right away.