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Aug 14 2023

Can Flushable Wipes Cause a Clog?

Flushable wipes are disposable cleaning wipes that are marketed as being safe to flush down the toilet after use, but are these convenient products safe for your plumbing system? In this brief article brought to you by Rooter Hero Plumbing & Air, we explore this alternative to traditional toilet paper and tell you why plumbers do NOT recommend them. If you are dealing with a clogged toilet, then call Rooter Hero for quick and affordable clogged toilet repair. Our uniformed plumbers are on standby to deliver reliable plumbing service as soon as possible.

Decoding the Wordplay

The term "flushable" carries a certain allure, implying that the product is designed to be easily discarded through the toilet, whisking away our concerns with a mere flush. However, the reality of flushable wipes is not as straightforward as the label might suggest.

Unlike traditional toilet paper, which is intentionally engineered to disintegrate swiftly upon contact with water, flushable wipes are often composed of materials that are less likely to break down. This characteristic becomes the crux of the issue because wipes that linger in the drain line and sewer system can contribute to blockages that may cascade into significant problems.

On Blockages…

As flushable wipes travel from toilet to treatment facility, their purported "flushability" is put to the ultimate test. Plumbing systems, which rely on quick disintegration to ensure uninterrupted flow, may fall victim to the resilience of these wipes.

When flushed down the toilet and into the drain line and sewer line, flushable wipes can accumulate, congeal, and trigger blockages, resulting in a litany of undesirable consequences. Inefficiencies in wastewater treatment processes, increased maintenance costs, and potential environmental hazards can all be traced back to these seemingly innocuous cleaning wipes.

Test the "Flushability" For Yourself

To test how "flushable" these wipes really are, readers can undertake a simple yet revealing experiment. Fill a bowl with water and put a flushable wipe into the bowl. Watch how the wipe reacts over time: does it dissolve into a fine pulp akin to toilet paper, or does it linger, relatively unchanged?

This test serves as a representation of what happens within the plumbing and sewage systems. The disintegration rate—or lack thereof—of flushable wipes under simulated conditions can offer valuable insight into their behavior when introduced into our complex network of pipes and treatment infrastructure.

Signs of a Blocked Drain Line or Sewer Line

This information may have come as an undesirable surprise to some of you. You might now be wondering if all of those flushable wipes you’ve used are causing a blockage. Here are some tell-tale signs of a clogged drain:

  • Slow drainage, often accompanied by gurgling sounds.
  • Foul odors rising from the drains.
  • Wastewater backups.

If you experience these symptoms in a single sink, drain, or toilet, then the blockage is likely in the drain line. If these signs are apparent in MULTIPLE sinks, drains, and toilets, then the clog is probably in the sewer line.

Whatever the case, make sure to hire a skilled plumber and unclog the line as soon as possible. Blocked drains and sewer lines can put undue pressure on the piping and lead to a host of other issues, such as leaks and even burst pipes.

Call Rooter Hero for Emergency Plumbing Service

The plumbing system is an integral component of any home or business, and plumbing issues should not be ignored. If you are experiencing signs of a blockage, then call Rooter Hero at any time of the day to request a uniformed plumber’s assistance. Our live representatives are on standby for your call.

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