Although many household wet wipes are advertised as being flushable, the truth of the matter is that these wipes are a huge contributor to toilet and sewer system clogs. Some product packaging will recommend only one pre-moistened wipe be flushed at a time, while others don’t specify, so it’s assumed they’re okay to flush. And there’s more than one type of wet wipe on the market.
To start, there are disinfectant wipes made to clean areas of your home, like the kitchen and bathroom. After use, it’s recommended to throw these away in the trashcan. Wet hand wipes are typically portable for easy hand washing when on the go, and baby wipes are used to keep babies happy and their bottoms clean. Both of these wipes, after being used, are best disposed of by being thrown in the garbage. Then there are the ever-popular pre-moistened personal wipes for targeting body hot spots. Unfortunately, whether the packaging says “flushable” or “do not flush,” most people do flush all types of wet wipes down the toilet.
Here are some top reasons why flushing any kinds of wet wipes will clog plumbing in Toronto:
- Slow to break up: Toilet paper is designed to disintegrate after being flushed, as to keep drains clear of debris, but pre-moistened personal wipes are extremely slow to break up. They can take weeks or even months to completely disintegrate. As such, flushed wipes accumulate in the pipes and form clogs.
- Causes septic issues: While wet wipes are a problem for drains on a city sewer system, they are an even bigger issue for those with septic systems. It takes even longer for wipes to disintegrate, which can lead to septic tank backups inside the home. Bad clogs will end up costing you big for professional septic pumping and tank cleaning.
- Gets caught in roots: Over time, some plumbing systems, and particularly those in older homes, get invaded by tree roots. Roots end up in pipe walls, entangling wet wipes and other debris, which increases the chance of a clog.
- Clogs more than just your toilet: Clogs can form in your toilet drain or somewhere else in the plumbing system, but many wipes make their way to the main shared sewer or sewage treatment plant. Here, there’s much more room for enormous clogs to form.
In short, just because the word “flushable: is on your wet wipes package doesn’t mean it’s okay to flush them. The worst-case scenario for your home or building is that you end up with a serious clog in your piping, or you may be contributing to a whopper of a garbage clog in the main city sewer line. Consider not using any wet wipes at all—regardless of whether they claim to be flushable or biodegradable.
Depending on the size of the clog and where it is located in your pipes and drains, you may be able to remove it yourself. However, large, relentless clogs may require toilet repair or thorough drain cleaning. Luckily, Rooter Group Inc. has many years of experience diagnosing and fixing problems with residential and commercial plumbing in Toronto. Let us help you!