DIY Wet Wipes (Why Flushing Regular Wipes Will Clog Your Drains)

Many homeowners knowingly flush disposable wipes, and it’s a common myth that these wipes won’t cause any problems. If you look on the labels of popular wipe products, you’ll find that many of them say that it’s safe to flush the wipes down the toilet.

While it’s possible for the wipes to make it past the toilet, the real problems occur beyond this point. Disposable wipes have been known to clog a home’s main sewer drain, which can result in thousands of dollars of repair work. Wipes can even cause problems for local water treatment facilities.

Glendale, AZ DIY-wet-wipes-1Softballs and Wipes

If you browse popular plumbing forums, it doesn’t take long to find someone who has major plumbing problems caused by flushing wipes. After about a dozen wipes have combined into the shape of a softball, it’s usually too late, and you’ll likely need to pull out your wallet and pay the professionals.

The clogs created by flushing wipes can look very similar to softballs. Most homeowners are surprised to learn that it doesn’t take many wipes to create a significant clog. The damage begins the moment you flush the first wipe down the drain.

Understanding Flushable

A lot of people don’t have a decent understanding concerning what flushable really means. The reality is that many wipes are flushable, which is exactly what it says on the label.

The problem is that you shouldn’t always do something just because you can. Although you have the ability to successfully flush the wipes down the toilet, it doesn’t mean that it’s good for your septic system.

Manufacturers have performed many tests in laboratories, but the effects of disposable wipes in the real world can be significantly different than what is observed inside the laboratory. In many cases, you have to introduce a product to the real world to fully understand the effects that it will have.

Many manufacturers also advise consumers to never flush more than one wipe in a single flush. Unfortunately, some consumers flush several wipes at a time, and your home’s sewer pipes don’t always perform like the pipes in a laboratory test.

What is critical is the amount of time that a wipe needs to break down in water. If the wipe doesn’t disintegrate fast enough, it can get stuck and cause some major plumbing issues. For these situations, we offer toilet repair and drain cleaning.

Many of the top brands of disposable wipes have been tested, and every single brand that was tested failed the test miserably. The issue is that many wipes are flushable, but when tested for how dissolvable they are, they fail miserably. We always recommend throwing wipes in the trash, so you never have to worry about clogging up your home’s sewer system.

Wipes Clogging Sewer Utilities

In many states, sewer utilities have asked homeowners to never flush disposable wipes down the toilet. The use of pre-moistened wipes has skyrocketed, and it’s a trend that is causing major problems for local sewer utilities. Most of the wipes are used by potty-training toddlers.

It doesn’t help that many of these products are advertised as providing better cleaning than toilet paper. The influx of DIY wipes into the sewer system is jamming pumps and clogging pipes.

For many years, utilities have been struggling with a problem called ragging, which occurs when paper towels, dental floss, baby wipes and miscellaneous items are flushed down the toilet.

These are all items that should be thrown in the trash. A number of consumers love the soft, thick wipes because they feel better on sensitive areas. There is nothing with using these products, but you have to make sure you’re throwing them in the trash and not flushing them down the toilet.

Flushing DIY Wipes is a Costly Nightmare

If you’ve been flushing wipes and haven’t had any problems, then it’s only a matter of time before something goes wrong. Flushing inappropriate items has always been a problem, but with the many brands of disposable wipes released into the market, the problem has been getting worse.

As the wipes move through your septic system, they can get stuck in different areas. Over time, one stuck wipe catches another passing wipe, and eventually, your plumbing pipes become completely clogged with a wad of wipes the size of a softball.

Aging plumbing systems only serve to make matters worse. A number of older sewer systems are constructed of iron pipes, Orangeburg, concrete or clay.

Glendale, AZ DIY-wet-wipes-2These materials are known to be vulnerable to tree roots, so it’s not uncommon for roots to penetrate these sewer systems at the joints.

It doesn’t take long for the roots to form a web and spread out across the system, which provides plenty of opportunities for DIY wipes to get stuck and clog the system.

It’s true that some brands of wipes are less stringy and fibrous, so they’re less likely to cause problems for your plumbing system. However, to avoid any potential problems with clogged pipes, you should avoid flushing any wipe down the drain.

What to Do About It

If you’re trying to avoid all problems with wipes, you should never flush them down the toilet. It’s best to throw them in the trash. Maybe you’ve already been flushing wipes down the toilet for an extended period of time.

Depending on how long you’ve been doing this, there is a good chance that you don’t notice any signs of trouble. In many cases, there won’t be any symptoms until it’s too late.

A great way to prevent this problem from occurring is to allow us to perform some drain cleaning on your plumbing system.

We can also handle toilet repair if the need arises. A little bit of preventive maintenance can work wonders for your home’s plumbing system.

For memorable services in your Glendale, AZ home, call Christian Brothers Plumbing, Air Conditioning, and Electrical at (623) 499-9794.