With the arrival of coronavirus, a certain amount of panic has come out. This has led to some shortages of things, the main one being toilet paper. All across the nation, stores have seen a run on everything toilet paper. Small packs, large packs, and even singles have been flying off the shelves. You may find that you go to the store to purchase, only to find that there are no packs available. Or you may have a few rolls stocked up, but you want to stretch those out. You may consider purchasing flushable wipes. Typically, these are easy to find, and people like them because they offer a cleaner experience. Flushable wipes are similar to conventional disposable wipes, except that they claim to be “septic safe” or “septic friendly” and are safe to flush. However, these wipes can be a disaster for your septic tank system.
Are flushable wipes really flushable? Are flushable wipes safe for your septic system? No, they are not. While these wipes are perfectly safe to use, they are not safe to flush down your toilet. When you flush toilet paper, the paper breaks down quickly allowing for your septic tank to not become too full too quickly. Wipes do not break down as quickly. While they will break down over time, they can still fill your septic tank up If you use more than a few of these, you could quickly see a septic tank back up into your home and yard resulting in frequent pumping of septic tanks. So STOP flushing wipes down to your drain.
Another issue when you use flushable wipes is that these wipes can get caught on other things that have been flushed. For example, if you use thick toilet paper, the wipes can cling to this creating a clog. If someone has accidentally flushed paper towels or sanitary napkins, flushable wipes can also cling to these, which may create a large clog in your sewer line. When this happens, it is known as ragging. If you see any signs of a clogged pipe, you will need to call us as soon as possible.
Are Flushable Wipes Bad for Plumbing? Yes! You Should Do This Instead
You will see several manufacturers that say that flushable wipes are indeed safe to flush. However, as professional plumbers, we can tell you that this is not the case. There are many instances of where flushable wipes have caused detrimental septic tank backups. They can even burn up your sewage pump. It is simply not worth the risk. You do not want to deal with septic tank issues on top of having to worry about the coronavirus. If you are using these wet wipes, put them in the trash can and instruct your family to do the same. Never flush anything besides toilet paper and solid waste from your body down your toilet.
This article on Michigan State University shared some disastrous consequences of flushing wipes down the toilet on several counties and how the govt bodies had to spend resources to fix the sewage problem. Just because its written the item is flushable, you don’t flush it down the toilet.
Signs of a Clogged Drain
If you have been using these flushable wipes, and you are now concerned that you may have an issue with your pipes, you should look for signs that may indicate a clog somewhere in your septic line.
- Slow draining. If your toilet and other drain lines are slow to flush or toilet is not flushing, chances are that you have a clog somewhere in your line.
- Gurgling. If you hear any type of gurgling, this is an indication of a septic issue.
- Smell. In many cases, you will smell a sewage smell if you have a blockage. If you start to smell sewage, contact us as soon as possible so that we can come out to address the situation before it backs up into your home.
- Standing water. If you have standing water in your backyard where your septic tank is, you will want to get that addressed as soon as possible. This is a sign that your septic system has failed.
You should never wait when you experience issues with your septic drain lines. If you do delay calling us, you run the risk of having raw sewage backup into your home as well as your yard. Not only is this a mess to clean up, but it also is a health risk. The costs of clean up plus repair will be higher if you wait to call.
Doing all that you can to avoid septic tank clogs is important. While you must use something to wipe when going to the bathroom, if you do use wet wipes or cleaning wipes, just throw them in the trash can to avoid costly repairs to your septic tank system. Flushable wipes are a blight on sewage and septic systems. If you do flush them and experience an issue with a clog, please do not hesitate to call us today. We are ready to help you have a good working septic system. We are open during this time and will do all the recommended precautions according to coronavirus guidelines when providing plumbing or septic tank services.