Flushable Wipes and Their Effects on Plumbing

Look, we know that sometimes you may have that “not so fresh feeling” after using the bathroom. And sometimes things don’t go quite as one would hope in that area, especially with kids. Many have opted to use flushable wipes to combat their problems “down there.” What may seem like an answer to your bathroom and freshness problems are instead causes of a lot of problems elsewhere.  We have all seen and may even have used flushable wipes. (Potty training parents know all about these.) These wet wipes are touted as safe to flush and some claim to be septic safe. You probably have used them thinking you are getting things extra clean “down there” and then can flush it all away safely- no harm, no foul. Those flushable wipes you thought were safe are causing sewage problems. These wipes tend to take a lot longer to breakdown in the sewage system than toilet paper. While they are hanging out in your sewer line waiting to breakdown, they can get caught up on other things people deem ok to be flushed.  (You wouldn’t believe what people put down there.) These wipes are costing homeowners and municipal sewer and water agencies a lot of money. According to research, when these flushable wipes are being tested, they aren’t tested under the same conditions they are used. ( I don’t know about you, but I can’t imagine they are testing these wipes using 30-year-old pipes and the contents that have been flushed down those pipes, but that’s just me.) Yes, maybe one wipe can get flushed, but the problem is the build-up of other debris in your system.  This term is called “ragging.” Ragging is basically all that stuff you are flushing down the toilet, which is not breaking down and shouldn’t be there in the first place, building up on top of each other causing plumbing problems. So even if you haven’t had any problems flushing those wipes down, know they will probably cause plumbing problems. Let’s go with the age-old saying, “When in doubt, throw it out!” Keep your pipes flowing and don’t flush those wipes after going. If you should have a plumbing need, call Godby Heating Plumbing Electrical today and we can be there right away!

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