Are Flushable Wipes Clogging Your Toilet?

flushable wipes clogging toilet

How convenient.  We get to clean up baby’s little bum and don’t have to put up with the nasty odors emanating from the wastebasket or make a trip outside to the garbage can to insure a “non-polluted” environment in our homes.

Unfortunately, this is one of those things that fits into the “sounds too good to be true” category.  After having rodded thousands of sewers we can safely tell you that the absolute worst nightmares a plumber near you can find is a sewer that is plugged with wipes.   

Worst part is, it usually takes a looooooooooong time for the problem to show up.  The first wipe catches on a crack or dip or fitting lip or tiny root infiltration in the sewer pipe.  No big deal.  Water still goes around it.  Problem is, these things are like baby wipe magnets.  The next baby wipe catches on the first and so on. Meanwhile everything else goes around them so the unsuspecting user has no idea. So they just keep piling up until one day you get the unpleasant surprise of a backed up sewer.  We’ve seen sewers in our service area with literally hundreds of these things packed in for feet.

You’d think they would dissolve like toilet paper, right?  After all, the instructions say “Flushable”.  

Think again. These things are so tough that a power rod just won’t cut them.  They are just the right consistency that, instead of being shredded or pushed out of the way by the power rod, they tend to wrap around it, creating a huge ball of cloth like wet “rags” that, if your plumber is not careful, (and lucky), can become so large that he can’t even pull his power rod out of the sewer.

Of course if your sewer is perfect and has no bends, dips, lips, cracks, hard turns or separations, and is perfectly smooth and properly pitched all the way to the city sewer or septic tank, then you shouldn’t have a problem. Oh, and congratulations on having one of the 3 perfect sewers in the country.

Otherwise, do the smart thing and throw those wipes anywhere but in the toilet.  And if you do happen to trip up before you read this article, remember that Yes! Plumbing is the plumber near you and we answer the phones live 24/7, 365 days a year.