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Ask a Plumber: Are Flushable Wipes Really Safe to Flush?
A good plumber has the answers to all your questions, such as:
Are flushable wipes really safe to flush?
Flushable wipes have become popular because they do a better job cleaning up than toilet paper. The fact that they are marketed as flushable also makes people more comfortable about using them because it is more sanitary and convenient to flush them than to toss them in the trash can after use.
The question on many people’s minds, however, is this: Are the claims that they are flushable real or just a marketing ploy to sell them?
Since plumbers have more knowledge on the subject, we decided to ask one a few burning questions about flushable wipes.
Are the claims accurate?
Since you can flush them after use, the answer to the question is yes. However, the claims are misleading because even though they eventually break down, it takes longer to do so than toilet paper, which means they can clog your pipes if you flush them regularly, causing more expensive plumbing problems for you to deal with.
The plumber also believes that, since flushable wipes are flushed down the toilet with other items like paper towels, toilet paper, sanitary pads, cotton swabs and other types of cleaning pads, it can lead to a term called “ragging,” which is what happens when flushable wipes and other pads create a sewer blockage, which will be expensive to fix.
So, should you flush them?
Even though they eventually break down, our plumber recommends that you avoid flushing them because of the damage they can cause to your plumbing, which will be very expensive to fix. Due to the problem many people have had with their plumbing because of flushable wipes, some manufacturers have been sued by customers who had to pay hefty plumbing fees to fix the damage caused by flushable wipes.
Some lawmakers also called manufacturers out for claiming that they could be flushed, while other lawmakers are considering passing laws that would make the sale of the products illegal in their districts.
Bill de Blasio, the mayor of New York City, is reportedly working on a bill that will require manufacturers to remove their misleading statement that flushable wipes are safe to be flushed, after costing the city over $18 million in damages.
Despite the problems that people have had with flushable wipes, they are still popular because they do their job effectively. The fact that many people are still not aware of the damage they can cause to their plumbing has also helped with the sale of these products.
What are the available options?
Since you now know that flushable wipes can clog up your plumbing and cause serious damage, it does not make sense to continue using them. Toilet paper is guaranteed to break down, making it the perfect wiping tool. Since there are plenty of toilet paper options to choose from, you should be able to find one that does the job almost as well as flushable wipes.
Flushable wipes do a great job helping you clean up after using the bathroom, but they tend to clog your sewer and cause bigger problems. If you have been using flushable wipes for a while, listen to a professional plumber and switch back to toilet paper if you do not want to spend money fixing a problem that could have been avoided.
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