Do you remember the first time you used a wet wipe instead of toilet paper? At first, you weren’t sure how to feel about it, but after a few more trips to the bathroom, you were hooked! While they might do a great job with the cleanup, they aren’t exactly the hero we thought they were when we first bought them. The packaging of these wipes do say “flushable,” but are they really safe to flush?
Wet wipes are marketed as “flushable” and “septic-safe,” so there should be no problem with flushing them down the toilet, right? Wrong! The term flushable simply means that the material is suitable for disposal by flushing it down a toilet. However, suitability can be difficult for the average person to determine, so it’s best to compare the differences between how flushable wipes and toilet paper act within a plumbing system to get a clear distinction between products that are designed for convenience and those that are truly flushable.
Toilet paper is designed to lose strength when it comes into contact with water, causing it to break down into small pieces and rapidly disintegrate within minutes. On the other hand, flushable wipes consistently remain in one piece as they pass through the residential plumbing system and out into the municipal wastewater system. This inability to efficiently break down can cause clogs in the home plumbing system and lead to greater issues in the municipal system, where flushable wipes bind with other debris, forming massive clogs, causing overflow, and reducing the flow and filtration capabilities of the wastewater system.
Manufacturers provide test results stating that flushable wipes are deemed safe to flush — however, there is evidence that supports the flushing of these wipes can increase the risk of clogged sewer lines and require pumping of septic tanks more often. Even though wipes might feel like the greatest invention since sliced bread, you should opt out of using them. Toilet paper is meant to be the ONLY thing flushed — other than “the obvious.”
Just because someone says something, doesn’t always make it true. That same principle applies to your beloved “flushable” bathroom wipes and their deceptive packaging. When your home is experiencing frequent clogs (whether you use wet wipes or not), there is an underlying problem that needs to be addressed. Terry’s Plumbing is always ready for your call, whether the clog is big or small! To learn more or to schedule an appointment, contact us today!