Flushable wipes have become a bathroom staple for many modern families. They’re comfortable and sturdy, built to withstand more wear and tear than traditional toilet paper. These damp wipes are also often infused with soothing ingredients like aloe that make the skin feel nourished.
Flushable wipes are known for their limitless comfort benefits, but many people aren’t yet aware of their potential dangers. Frequently using flushable wipes could cause thousands of dollars worth of damage to your home’s plumbing. It’s not too late to find safer ways to dispose of your wipes. Here’s why you should avoid putting flushable wipes in your toilet.
Break Down Slowly
Flushable wipes are marketed as “septic-safe” because they will likely eventually break down. However, several factors can affect how slowly they fall apart and the damage they cause as they accumulate. Both toilet paper and flushable wipes are often made from wood pulp, which disintegrates quickly when left in water. However, flushable wipes are strengthened with synthetic polymers to give them additional strength and sturdiness.
While toilet paper will begin breaking down in a matter of hours, flushable wipes can take days, if not longer. This increases your chances of dealing with clogs and other septic issues that only get worse. Most residential toilets are only designed to handle toilet paper and human waste.
Cause Major Clogs
Flushing a few wipes every now and then likely won’t cause huge problems to your plumbing. However, the more wipes you use, the more problems you’ll face. Flushable wipes accumulate over time, making it harder for toilet paper, water, and waste to move through the pipes. The use of flushable wipes has actually increased how often homes and businesses deal with fatbergs.
Fatbergs are solid masses of waste created from grease, oil, and wet wipes. These masses develop in your pipes and grow in weight and size over time. Removing fatbergs from your pipes can cost a lot and may impact all of the plumbing in your home. Minimize your risk of fatbergs by always being aware of what you’re flushing down your sinks and toilets.
Damage Septic System
Your septic system handles all of the wastewater from your home. Septic tanks are airtight and keep the waste and scum from your home from leaking into the environment. If you’ve ever had septic problems before, you know how unpleasant it can be to deal with backed-up wastewater. In many cases, contaminated water can make its way back into your home and into your sinks and tubs. More extensive damage can lead to wastewater leaking into your yard and crossing over into others’ properties.
Flushable wipes do massive damage to septic systems. They accumulate in your septic lines and stop waste from exiting the home. They can also cause issues further down the line, backing up neighboring houses or even your local sewage treatment plant. A damaged septic system can put your family’s health and comfort at risk. You’ll likely also lose a lot of belongings when your wastewater overflows.
Hazardous to Older Homes
Older homes are at the highest risk of serious damage due to flushable wipes. The plumbing in these homes is often fragile, outdated, and severely compromised. It’s more prone to cracks, clogs, and other expensive damages. Flushable wipes will easily catch on to other debris stuck in the plumbing, leading to burst pipes or fatbergs. An older home’s plumbing can be so brittle that any issue can lead to system-wide damage.
You have to be extra careful if you live in an older home that’s been divided into separate units. All of the plumbing likely leads to one main exit line, which can become compromised if anyone in the building is flushing wipes. Do your part for your neighbors and your property by never disposing of flushable wipes in your toilet.
Flushable wipes are treated with polymers that slowly leak out into your environment. As these wipes interact with water, they’re more likely to let out microplastics that affect local plants and animals. Your flushable wipes may be negatively interacting with life forms in the sewers and lakes around your home. Keeping these wipes out of your plumbing will significantly lower your impact on the environment around you.
Flushable wipes are a homeowner’s worst nightmare. You’re already responsible for covering the cost of regular plumbing maintenance and repairs over the years. Flushable wipes can skyrocket your bills by hundreds if not thousands of dollars. Common clogs are one of the cheapest issues but still require plumbers to repeatedly snake your plumbing lines to remove every wipe stuck inside.
If you’ve been using flushable wipes for years, your issues are likely more invasive and costly. Septic repairs and replacements can cost thousands. Fatbergs can also be very time-consuming and expensive to remove. Practicing responsible plumbing habits will limit your maintenance and repair needs in the future.
Everyone deserves to have a comfortable bathroom experience. Flushable wipes are popular because they make you feel cleaner and more refreshed. There are plenty of ways to safely dispose of your favorite flushable wipes without impacting your plumbing. Instead of flushing them, throw them away in a sealed trash can. Bathroom cans are often foot-operated, letting you drop your used wipes in without having to worry about the sight or smell. You can also find compostable wipe options that are safer for the environment.
If you want to stop using wipes altogether, consider installing a bidet. These systems can be easily added to any toilet in your home. They connect right to your water line and don’t require any power source. Bidets only require water to keep you clean, meaning they have no negative impact on your pipes or plumbing.
Protect your home from future plumbing emergencies by finding safe ways to dispose of your flushable wipes.
Expert and Reliable Plumbing Services
TR Miller Heating, Cooling & Plumbing is your best choice for indoor comfort services in Plainfield, IL and the surrounding areas. We’re a family-owned company with more than three decades of experience helping people just like you. Our licensed and experienced staff uses the best tools and materials to ensure every job is done right the first time. We’re also straightforward about our prices and don’t hide any surprise fees or costs. Our professional team guarantees seamless service that addresses all of your concerns and restores your home’s comfort.
Rely on our technicians to maintain, repair, and install your heating or cooling systems. We also carry a variety of indoor air quality solutions. Our plumbers are ready to clean your drains, repair your clogged toilets and check your sewer lines. We can even take care of bigger projects like installing a new water heater, repairing your water main line, and maintaining your gas piping. We know how important your plumbing is to your daily comfort. That’s why we offer 24/7 emergency service when you need it most. Call TL Miller Heating, Cooling & Plumbing today to schedule your first appointment with one of our exceptional staff members.