Can Flushable Wipes Damage My Plumbing?

Everyone seems to love flushable wipes. After all, they do provide a more refreshing, cleaner sensation than you can get with just toilet paper. Medicated wipes can even help alleviate painful medical conditions. But are flushable wipes really flushable? Could flushed wipes cause septic or sewer pipe damage?

Mr. Rooter® Plumbing has the lowdown on everything you need to know about flushable wipes, including the answer to the burning question: Do flushable wipes cause plumbing problems?

Are Flushable Wipes Really Flushable?

Are flushable wipes safe for plumbing? You’re not the only homeowner who’s asked this question. The answer is a definite no. They’ve been around for years, but most people don’t realize that they’re not made for plumbing because they don’t break down quickly. Wipes are made of a type of paper pulp that’s held together with non-degradable materials like polyester and polymers. Unlike toilet paper that begins to break down almost immediately in water, wipes stay intact, and when they hit your sewer pipes or septic tank, they get stuck. Those unbroken-down wipes can lead to clogs, backups, blockages, and flooding.

Related Topic: Toilet Paper Alternatives

Do Flushable Wipes Clog Pipes?

Flushable wipes clog pipes, there’s no doubt about it. The wipes manufacturers will tell you a different story to keep selling you their products, but the experts at Mr. Rooter Plumbing have the experience to know that’s not the case. If you’ve been using flushable wipes until now, not realizing the damage they can do to your waste pipes, you might experience a clogged toilet as a result.

Here’s a quick guide about how to unclog a toilet clogged with flushable wipes.

  • Start with a plunger. You can try to loosen the clog and force the wipes down through the sewer pipe using the plunger.

  • Try a toilet snake. Toilet snakes are available at most hardware stores, and you can use one to grab the wipes blocking the pipe and pull them back out through your toilet plumbing. Be ready to fish out the wipes and dispose of them in the trash can.

  • Call a professional. Sometimes, the only way to unclog a clog, especially deep-down clogs caused by flushed wipes, is to call a licensed plumber.

Related Content: How to Dissolve Baby Wipes in the Toilet

Are Flushable Wipes Septic Safe?

If you have a septic system instead of a connection to a city sewer system, you might be wondering how flushable wipes affect your septic tank. Just like with a sewer system, flushable wipes are not good for your septic system either. In addition to potentially clogging your pipes, non-dissolvable wipes will build up in the part of the septic tank where solids collect, leading to the need for more frequent septic pumping. This increases your plumbing costs and creates a possible clogging hazard for your septic system.

What if Flushable Wipes Have Clogged My Toilet?

Flushable wipes seem like a great idea in theory. However, when it comes to your plumbing system, flushable wipes can do more harm than good. Most homeowners just don’t realize how bad flushable wipes are for their plumbing, or know they don’t break down like toilet paper. If you and your family have been using flushable wipes and have experienced clogged pipes, drains, and toilets, don’t panic. Your local Mr. Rooter team can help. Contact us to make an appointment, or visit us online to schedule service.