Why Flushable Wipes Will Clog Your Drains
Many manufacturers of wet wipes claim that their products can be flushed down the toilet, but the experience of many homeowners shows that plumbing problems result when these wipes are routinely flushed. This article seeks to answer the question “Are flushable wipes safe to flush?”
How Does Flushing Wet Wipes Compare to Flushing Toilet Paper?
Tureks Plumbing Services reveals that in different tests conducted, toilet paper was found to disintegrate within 8 seconds after being flushed down the toilet. However, wet wipes hardly disintegrated more than a minute after being flushed.
This inability to breakdown quickly makes wet wipes a risky product to flush down your toilet because the wipes eventually accumulate and cause a clog in the system.
Why Would Manufacturers Claim That Wet Wipes Are Flushable?
Two possible reasons could explain why some manufacturers claim that the wet wipes they make are flushable. The first reason is that due to competition, some manufacturers may choose to be “economical with the truth” (mislead buyers) by asserting that you can flush their products down the toilet. Saying otherwise would mean that the product wouldn’t be popular among buyers since no one wants to do extra work to dispose of the wet wipes in the garbage when flushing them is an easier option.
Secondly, the protocol that some manufacturers use to test whether a wet wipe is flushable or not isn’t as rigorous as what plumbers would want. For example, the manufacturer may design a computer simulation model to generate data on how quickly the wipe will breakdown. At the same time, the manufacturer may just test whether the wet wipe will go down the drain. So if it does, then it has passed the test of being flushable. Consequently, many wipes pass the “flushability test” without being flushable in the true sense of the word.
How do Wet Wipes Cause Clogs?
As already mentioned, wet wipes don’t break down as quickly as toilet paper does. Consequently, these solid materials will flow down the drains and slow down as they move further in the system. Fox Valley plumbers say that problems arise as these wet wipes approach the entrance to the septic tank. This is because the entry points are small. So, the wipes stand a high chance of building up there and causing a blockage.
Matters are worsen based on the condition of your pipes. For example, some metallic pipes are so degraded that the wipes can snag on their interior surfaces. This triggers a domino effect of other materials piling up behind the wet wipe until a clog forms. The big ball of solids will be costly to trace and remove.
Experienced plumbers at Tureks Plumbing Services explain that the condition of the pipes may be the reason why one home will develop a major clog months later while another home will take longer to suffer the consequences of flushing wet wipes down the toilet.
Why Professional Drain Cleaning Is Important
You can never be sure that wet wipes or other unsuitable materials (feminine hygiene products, for example) have never been flushed down the toilet. The effects of such actions don’t usually show immediately. So, Tureks Plumbing Services advises homeowners to be proactive and have the drains cleaned professionally at least once every three years.
This professional drain cleaning does a more thorough job than the chemical cleaners that some people pour down drains. For example, the chemical cleaners can damage some plumbing pipe materials. Plumbers select the most appropriate technique, such as water-jetting, to clean out the plumbing drains so that they are clear.
Now you have a comprehensive response to the question “Are flushable wipes safe to flush?” In case you still have other concerns, just reach out to Tureks Plumbing Services or any Fox Valley plumber. You will get the help you need to make the right choices regarding what to flush or not flush.