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Save Money on Drain Cleaning, Don't Flush Your Wet Wipes!

Wet wipes

Why Flushing Regular Wipes Will Clog Your Drains

If you want to avoid one toilet repair after another as well as a never-ending job of drain cleaning, then don't flush wet wipes down your toilet on a regular basis. A popular item for consumers, wet wipes are used for everything from regular household cleaning to personal hygiene and virtually everything in between.

However, even though their packaging states they are indeed flushable down any toilet, today's plumbers recognize this is not the case. Unfortunately, most consumers don't find this out until they are experiencing the problems that go along with a clogged toilet or septic system.

To make sure you're not one of the unlucky ones, here are some of the main reasons why flushing these regular wipes down the toilet will lead to clogged drains.

They Never go Away

If you've been a regular flusher of wet wipes and now find yourself doing one toilet repair after another with few if any positive results, chances are you've got a big clog of wet wipes in your pipes. When this is the case, you'll need to contact a plumber who is skilled in drain cleaning in order to rectify the situation.

Unlike toilet paper that generally disintegrates in a pipe within 24 hours, wet wipes can take much, much longer. In fact, it's not at all uncommon for wet wipes to set in a pipe for several weeks or perhaps even months before they finally disintegrate.

When this is the case, a person who keeps flushing the wipes down their toilet time after time has no idea they are simply creating a bigger clog with each flush. In some instances, plumbers have found themselves removing clogs of wet wipes the size of softballs, which has led many plumbers to coin the term "softball clog" when referring to these situations. According to plumbers who deal with these problems on a regular basis, it's best to throw wet wipes away in a trash can.

A Maze in a Pipe

While many homes have modern plumbing systems in place, many are still full of pipes and drains that have not been touched for decades.

In these homes, many times nearby trees have roots that start to invade the underground pipes due to corrosion. By finding their way through the tiny holes in the pipes, the roots can begin to grow within the pipe and create a maze that makes it almost impossible for anything to get through.

Therefore, when people continue to flush wet wipes down their toilets day after day, they are creating a bigger and potentially more expensive problem to repair. Once the problem is discovered, a plumber may be able to remove the clog and the roots from the pipe. However, usually, the plumber will recommend an entirely new plumbing system be put in place, replacing the older pipes that have started to corrode. While this repair can be very costly at the time, it's often the best option to help avoid future problems.

A Clogged Septic Tank

For those who are not on a city's water and sewer system, having a septic tank is the only option. However, while these systems often work fine for years, they do require regular maintenance to keep them in good working order. However, if wet wipes are being flushed into the septic tank each day, chances are it will eventually become clogged and start to backup into the home, resulting in a mess that will be difficult and costly to clean up.

For best results, nothing that cannot disintegrate quickly should ever be flushed into a septic system. Otherwise, the repair bill to have the tank pumped and the house cleaned will be well over $1,000 and possibly more. If the septic system is older and appears to be extremely clogged, it may be recommended for replacement. If that happens, expect to be paying at least $10,000 for a new septic system. Because of this, plumbers agree it's far cheaper to simply throw away the wipes in a trash can.

Are they really flushable?

Wet wipes2While their packages state they are indeed flushable, plumbers caution consumers against believing what they see on the outside of the box. Even though the wipes were tested by companies in labs, they usually were done so under conditions that did not take into account how life is in the real world.

Thus, most companies never flushed more than one or two wipes at a time, making sure they went down the drain with no problem. However, since most people flush multiple wipes at once, the chances of a clog forming are much greater. In addition, manufacturers failed to take into consideration how long it takes the wipes to fall apart in the pipes, which resulted in consumers being mislead at times.

So while the wipes are technically able to be flushed down the toilet, consumers who do so are simply creating a problem where none existed before the first flush.

Solving the Problem

Even though they are popular items in today's homes, wet wipes should never be flushed down a toilet for any reason. In fact, the problem has gotten so bad in some cities that laws have been passed trying to punish those who simply won't stop flushing their wipes. Because many of the wipes do manage to make their way through residential pipes and find their way into sewage treatment facilities, the wipes can form clogs of unprecedented proportions.

In fact, one facility reported having a clog composed primarily of wet wipes that was as big as an automobile and weighed several tons. Due to the time and money involved in removing these clogs, some cities have even tried to make residents financially accountable for the repairs, but to little or no avail.

If you find yourself having similar issues with wet wipes clogs, call a plumber at once.

For great service in your Fort Lauderdale, FL home, please contact C&D Plumbing Inc. at (954) 758-8169.