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Why Flushing Regular Wipes Will Clog Your Drains

Flushing Disposable Wipes? Think Again: Follow These Three Tips to Avoid Toilet Repair

Are you a fan of using disposable wipes? Do you regularly flush them down your toilet? If you're engaging in this combo behavior -- then read on to learn why you need to stop one or the other. With the recent invention of disposable wipes on the cleaning scene in the United States, there has been a flurry of excitement around easy cleaning options.

Seattle, WA diy-wet-wipes-1You can still engage in easy cleaning options, but you're going to have to be very careful in how you dispose the wipes. That's because U.S. sewer systems were never designed to dispose of them -- and currently they are wreaking havoc on wastewater management facilities and public works departments across the United States.

As experienced plumbers with years in the business, we're not telling you to give up your love of using disposable wipes. But read on to learn three quick tips that will help save your sewer system in the long run and will help you avoid pricey plumbing bills.

What you don't want to have happen in your home is to wake up or come home to a house backfilling with sewage -- and that easily can happen if disposable wipes get caught in your drain.

Avoid toilet repair and costly drain cleaning by learning the ABC's of disposable wipes and making a plan for properly disposing them in your house.

That means only waste and toilet paper go down your drain! It will take some time getting used to, but with a little practice, you'll be on your way to maintaining the health of your sewage system.

Tip #1: Why Can't I Flush a Regular Disposable Wipe Down My Drain?

That's a great question that many consumers often don't know the answer to. Not all disposable wipes are alike, and that's why knowing what you can and cannot flush down the toilet is really important. Most disposable wipes are made from a sturdy, fibrous materials designed for wiping and scrubbing hard surfaces or cleaning skin.

They are found in various levels of grit for cleaning. But what you'll notice about all disposable wipes -- even those that are marked as "flushable" -- is that they do not tear apart or decompose easily. Think about how easy it is to tear a piece of paper toilet paper or a biodegradable paper towel.

If you were to try the same thing with a disposable wipe, you'd get a great picture of the kind of trouble it can cause in your pipe system because it won't break down.

Tip #2: But What About "Flushable" Wipes?

Also a great question. Some big toilet paper companies -- including the likes of Charmin -- have started creating their own disposable wipes that they label as "flushable." Their engineers say they have tested these wipes and designed them so that they can make be thrown into the toilet and flushed.

However, on the other side of that argument is public works facilities across the United States who say their sewer systems simply can't handle any kind of disposable wipe. Disposable wipes have clogged main city sewer lines and caused public works departments to pay additional costs to have trucks take away huge amounts of wipes that are clogged in city pipes.

The point is, some flushable wipes may make it through your home's sewage pipes. But down the line, they likely will cause some problems for your city's pipes -- and that's bad news for everyone in your community. Really, the bottom line is that if a disposable wipe doesn't clog your home pipes at some point, then it's likely to clog the city pipes and that means sewage potentially flowing in your house or on to your streets.

Either scenario is a nightmare, and is dangerous to the health of you, your family and your community. It's better to throw all disposable wipes into the trash can instead of flushing them down your toilets.

Tip #3: Can't City Sewers Keep Up with Modern Times?

Seattle, WA diy-wet-wipes-2The reality is, no they can't. Many city sewer systems were built many years ago to handle simple materials running through their pipes -- water, waste and biodegradable toilet aper that tears apart and decomposes quickly. With the advent of a disposable wipe culture, expensive systems that were built to last for decades can't simply be dug up and modernized for the next commercial product. Those durable wipes get clogged in city pipes.

They also can get stuck in your home's pump system -- causing the pump to burn out. If you're home's system gets clogged with disposable wipes, you're probably looking at at least a $300 plumbing bill to unclog the pipes and if you burn out your pump because of a clog, you're looking at several more hundred dollars. This will continue to happen time and time again if you continue to throw disposable wipes down your toilet.

It's also good to think about what you are doing to your community when you flush a disposable wipe. Whereas you may not feel the immediate impact, your city's infrastructure probably will. Instead of flushing wipes, remember to dispose of them in the trash can. Educate your family on the process for disposing of wipes, and create a culture that goes the extra mile.

As a plumbing company committed to keeping your drains free of harmful debris and to cut your costs in the long run, we want to see your home be healthy and happy. Sewage systems aren't perfect and they can be temperamental -- but you can do your part to keep them running effectively by avoiding flushing any disposable wipes down your toilet.

If you do find you have a clog, we are happy to help, however. When you need toilet repair, we'll always be there -- and we're ready for wipe emergencies!

For quality drain cleaning services in your Seattle, WA home, call Gene Johnson Plumbing & Heating at 206.792.7495.

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