When you are in the bathroom, you might be tempted to use your toilet as an easy way to dispose of tissues and other bits of trash. For instance, many people will flush paper towels and disinfecting wipes once they’ve finished cleaning their counters and plumbing fixtures. Although these items may make it down the initial flush, they can have serious consequences down the line. To avoid clogs and other plumbing issues, it’s critical that you only flush toilet paper along with what nature provides.
1. Toilet Paper Is Designed for Flushing
Although toilet paper might seem similar to paper towels, personal wipes, and facial tissues, toilet paper has a very different consistency than these other materials. Toilet paper is specially designed to break down when wet so that it won’t cause clogs. The other paper items mentioned above are designed to absorb water and keep their shape even when soaked. This makes items like wipes and paper towels more likely to get wadded up and trapped in your home’s plumbing.
2. Toilet Paper “Substitutes” Can Clog Your Plumbing
The first clogging hazard is right at the toilet. If a wad of wipes lodges itself in the toilet’s u-bend, you can have immediate backup issues. If the backup issue is severe enough, your toilet will overflow, and you will have a nasty mess to clean.
Beyond your toilet, trash can get stuck in the drain-waste-vent section of your home’s plumbing system. This series of pipes takes water out of your home and into a septic tank or the municipal sewer system. When you have a clog in your household pipes, the first sign is often slow drains. If there is a full blockage, water will back up into the drains of your plumbing fixtures. Trust us, you do not want sewage filling up your sinks, showers, and bathtubs.
When you experience slow drains or sewage backup, don’t wait to contact a plumber. This situation will not get better on its own. A professional plumber has the tools, training, and experience to handle all of your drain and sewer line issues.
3. Toilet Paper “Substitutes” Can Clog City Sewers
From your household pipes, wastewater travels into the municipal sewer. Ideally, it continues to break down as it flows to the wastewater treatment plant. Unfortunately, many households send substances that do not break down into the sewer system. A mixture of absorbent paper materials, congealed cooking fat, and other non-water soluble materials can gather in a sewer and form what some specialists call a fatberg.
These blockages can grow to be thousands of pounds in size and are difficult and costly to remove. If you think a backup in your sink is bad news, imagine that backup happening in the drains on your street. Large blockages can cause burst pipes and backflows with raw sewage. Backups in the city create a health hazard. Backups that flow into the water table cause an environmental hazard.
Keep Trash in the Trash
A single “flushable” wipe or facial tissue may not seem like much when you send it down the toilet. However, these paper products can cause unhygienic and costly problems for your home and your community. In short, keep a wastebasket near your bathroom sink. This will give your family members and guests a place to dispose of trash properly.
If you ever do have problems with your home’s plumbing in the Nashville area, our expert plumbers at Michael's Plumbing Service are ready to help. We have the tools and experience to handle your drain, septic, and sewer line concerns.Contact us today to set up an appointment!