Are Flushable Wipes Really Safe to Flush?
They may seem like a convenient solution to a whole range of messes, but flushable wipes aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. Wastewater experts and any professional plumber will tell you that just because a brand says their product can be flushed on the packaging doesn’t mean it should be.
Flushable wipes might be able to clear your toilet, but the journey doesn’t end there. As these wipes travel into your plumbing system, they often get stuck and stopped up, causing major clogged drain issues that are labor intensive to fix.
Are you searching for a “plumber near me”? Dial One Johnson Plumbing, Cooling and Heating serves Red Oak, TX and surrounding areas with professional plumbing and HVAC services. If you’re dealing with a drain clog that can’t wait, our team offers 24/7 emergency plumbing support. Give us a call at (469) 240-5618 or visit us online today to book a visit.
Can I Flush Wet Wipes Down the Toilet?
Many wipe manufacturers claim their products are not only “flushable,” but also “sewer and septic safe”. Unfortunately, those who deal with sewer and septic systems for a living will tell you otherwise. Any professional plumber has no doubt spent hours pulling wet clumps from plumbing lines to clear a clog caused by wipes—and the problems don’t end there.
Officials in the wastewater treatment industry have begged homeowners not to flush wipes, even if manufacturers claim they are “flushable.” That’s because wet wipes can damage wastewater equipment by grabbing or catching the impellers inside of a wastewater pump, eventually causing the pump to burn out. The debate between wastewater treatment leaders and wipe manufacturers—who claim their products are not the problem—has even escalated to litigation.
One of the biggest sticking points in the argument between wipe manufacturers and both plumbers and wastewater treatment officials is that it’s impossible to say which wipes pulled out of clogged sewer systems were labelled as “flushable” when they went down the toilet. People often flush non-flushable items, like baby wipes, facial wipes, pre-moistened towelettes and sanitary wipes that were never meant to end up in plumbing or drain pipes.
For homeowners, flushing wet wipes commonly ends in severely clogged drains, water back-ups, a blocked sewer line and/or a septic tank that needs to be pumped. While a “flushable” wipe may indeed flush down the toilet, they often catch and collect the moment they hit a pipe angle, attracting other forms of debris without breaking down. Even biodegradable wipes cause issues, as they either take too long to break down or never completely disintegrate the way toilet paper does.
Are Baby Wipes Safe to Flush Down the Toilet?
Flushing a soiled item may seem like an easy way to deal with a messy problem, but it often results in much bigger—and more expensive—issues down the line. When in doubt, the best rule of thumb is to only flush organic human waste and toilet paper down the drain. Avoid flushing the following items:
- Baby wipes
- Paper towels
- Dental Floss
- Cotton Swabs
- Sanitary Pads
This is by no means an exhaustive list, but these items are often the culprits behind major plumbing problems and should never be flushed down the toilet. Remember, organic human waste and toilet paper ONLY. Everything else belongs in the trash.
How to Unclog a Toilet
Sometimes, even toilet paper can build up in your plumbing system and lead to a pesky clog. Luckily, these clogs are easier to fix than those caused by wet wipes. Homeowners can try to clear minor toilet clogs themselves with a plunger or a drain snake before searching for a “plumber near me.”
To plunge a toilet, opt for a plunger with a flange at the end of it. This helps ensure a tight seal. If the toilet bowl is full of water, remove some into a bucket. Next, place the plunger over the toilet drain hole and secure it with a tight seal. Pump up and down vigorously for about 30 seconds and check to see if the clog has been cleared, repeating the process if necessary.
If plunging doesn’t work, you can move on to a drain snake, also called an auger. Drain snakes come coiled with a hook or protrusion at the end to help catch, break up and dislodge clogs. You’ll want to feed the drain snake into the drain until you hit a barrier—this is likely your clog. At this point, you’ll want to retract the drain snake and see if any debris comes out. Remove debris into a bucket or into the trash and repeat the process until the clog is removed. If you do not hit resistance at any point, the clog may be too far down the drain line for consumer products to reach, requiring commercial equipment instead.
A professional plumber can remove your toilet for better access to the drain and use commercial grade equipment to inspect and clear your sewage system. If the problem lies elsewhere, your local Dallas plumber can inspect and diagnose the issue for you. Severe drain clogs can lead to big headaches like burst pipes or damaged septic tanks if neglected. Don’t delay in taking care of a clogged pipe—call a professional right away.
Clogged Drain? Call the Best Plumber in Red Oak, TX!
The team here at Dial One Johnson Plumbing, Cooling and Heating is fully trained, licensed and insured to assist in all your plumbing needs. We specialize in residential and commercial plumbing with services in drain, sewer and plumbing installations, repairs and replacements.
Need a plumber in the middle of the night? Give us a call! We offer 24/7 emergency plumbing services along with financing options to help you cover any unexpected costs. Our customers receive a 100% satisfaction guarantee on our workmanship, but don’t just take our word for it—see what others have to say. Give us a call at (469) 518-2809 or visit us online to schedule an appointment today.