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Stop flushing wipes down your toilet! Here’s why

Don't flush wipes

You’re a fan of flushable wipes. They’re suitable for those challenging situations, and the container says they’re safe to flush. But what does your plumber say? At Michael’s Plumbing of Central Florida, we think flushable wipes may be a bit overrated, especially regarding the “flushable” descriptor. Here’s what we know about flushable wipes and why you may be better off limiting what’s flushed down the toilet.

Do flushable wipes live up to the moniker?

Strictly speaking, yes, you can flush those flushable wipes. But that doesn’t mean you should. Wipes are different from your standard toilet paper, designed to fall apart quickly when it encounters water. Flushable wipes, however, stay intact as they make their way through your toilet and into the public sewer system. They can get caught in pipes and create messy blockages that nobody wants to think about.

But it went right down the toilet when I flushed it!

If the wipe makes it through the toilet, it must be OK, right? Out of sight, out of mind, right? Not necessarily. First, the wipes must get through that curved part of your toilet, which can be tricky unless you have enough water to move things along. Then they must exit the drainpipe. If they get stuck, they might begin creating a blockage you might not notice immediately, especially if there’s still enough room for water and other material to facilitate their exit. But when they cause a jam, you’ll see trouble flushing and a messy, smelly backup in your system.

Enter the sewer system

Suppose they do manage to make it through your toilet. You’re home free. Eh, let’s hold off on a celebration. The last thing you want is a sewer system blockage, which can be a plumbing emergency. These wipes can also wreak havoc on the municipal sewer system. Studies have even demonstrated the failure of flushable wipes to safely disintegrate and pass through without causing problems.

What about other types of wipes?

Disposing of your makeup wipe or baby wipe in the nearby toilet may be tempting. These types of wipes were never designed to be flushed. They’re not even trying to make the argument that they’re safe for the sewer system. Throw them away – along with the so-called flushable wipes. You’ll thank us when you’re not paying a hefty repair bill for an emergency plumbing call.

What can be flushed?

Let’s stick to the basics. Toilet paper and human waste are the only things you should be flushing down the toilet. No paper towels. No feminine products. No wipes, even the flushable kind. Take care of your plumbing system; it will be there for you when you need it. That seems like a fair tradeoff.

Plumbing and Drain Cleaning Service in Orlando

Michael’s Plumbing of Central Florida hopes you won’t ever encounter a plumbing emergency. If you do, call us at (407) 219-9772 or reach out online. Are you noticing warning signs of a potential blockage, like a slow-draining toilet? Call us now so we can inspect your system and diagnose and unclog your drain. We’ll do the job right – the first time!

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