4 Reasons Why Wet Wipes are Disastrous for Your Plumbing!
What’s your wet wipe story? They’re so versatile. You can use them for just about anything! From keeping your baby clean to wipe down your furniture. Wet wipes are so popular they’re even on monthly grocery lists of people who don’t have babies.
Why Wet Wipes are Disastrous for Your Plumbing?
The biggest problem with wet wipes is how they’re disposed of. While you might think they’re safe to flush, the reality is, they aren’t! Any blocked drain plumber Melbourne residents use will easily tell you wet wipes are possibly the biggest cause of blocked drains!
Stop Flushing Wet Wipes – Here’s Why!
The most common way most wet wipes are currently being disposed of is by flushing. Many people seem to be unaware of the damage wet wipes are doing to sewer systems.
While the wet wipes easily flush down the toilet, users give little thought to what happens after the wipe disappears from their toilet bowls. Why exactly shouldn’t you flush wipes? Why are plumbers across Australia cringing every time they’re called to unblock drains?
Wipes Don’t Disintegrate
While most wipes flush through your toilet bowl simply fine, the problem comes in further down your sewer line. Since wet wipes are made from polyester and polypropylene, they actually don’t disintegrate like toilet paper.
Many plumbers will tell you that wet wipes are taken out of blocked drains and pipes fully intact, months after being flushed. Since they don’t break apart, they form an enormous build-up that causes sewer lines to get clogged up.
Another reason to stop flushing wet wipes is because of the fatbergs they create. A fatberg forms when the wet wipes lie in the sewer or drain line and combine with fat, grease, or oil that’s rinsed down sinks.
This wipe and fat mixture might move down the line for a short distance, but at some point, it’ll stop and start clogging up the pipe. As the fat dries and settles, it prevents anything from moving past or through. Fatbergs can easily weigh in excess of 100 pounds and reach lengths of 10 feet long.
Older homes equal old plumbing systems. This means a once strong and robust plumbing system has become fragile over years of use. Pipes may already be brittle and subject to surrounding tree and shrub roots that cause damage.
If a network of roots has made its way in or around your plumbing, wet wipes could snag on the roots as they flow past. Eventually, one snagged wipe becomes two and three until the mass of wipes form a wall.
This wall of wipes can cause major blockages. It could result in a large section of your plumbing having to be dug up to find the actual blockage. Needless to say, this can result in repair costs of thousands of dollars!
Damage to Community Sewer Line
Once the wipes have moved through the plumbing on your property, you’re still not out of the woods. Blockages can occur further down the sewer line and cause blocked drains or pipes elsewhere in the city.
Blocked drains or pipes often result in sewerage and drain gunk spilling over into streets, parks, or other public areas. This type of spill is hazardous to everyone in the community. Ultimately lines, pipes, and drains need emptying out, repairing, or replacing.
A New Bad Habit Making an Appearance
The onset of a global pandemic has seen a massive fluctuation in two factors. The use of wet wipes and blocked drains. March 2020 showed a 22% rise in blocked drains in Sydney. It’s also a sizable chunk of the drain cleaning Melbourne plumbers have been busy within recent months.
Plumbers have reported the main reason for these blockages has been a result of wet wipes being used as a toilet paper alternative. Since separate phases of the pandemic have caused panic buying, many stores have run out of stock of toilet paper. As a result, many Australians have resorted to using wet wipes to perform toilet paper functions.
What Do Doctors Say about this Habit?
Should you use wet wipes instead of toilet paper? There are many articles and recommendations for both sides of the argument. The reality is, some people could develop severe rashes, irritation, and even skin breakdown if wipes are used continuously.
This is large because of the ingredients in some wet wipes. Many users prefer scented wet wipes which are often the culprit behind skin irritations.
If you’re opting for this solution, it’s a clever idea to consider eco-friendly moist tissues rather than harsh wet wipes. Research your wet wipes products and their effects on your skin and plumbing system before giving up toilet paper.
If you want to prevent the blocked drains Melbourne is currently being plagued with, it’s important to be diligent about what you flush. Wet wipes shouldn’t be used as a toilet paper alternative. And should also not be flushed.
Manufacturers might reassure you that wipes are flushable, but the truth is, they don’t disintegrate. Avoid the creating of fatbergs and blockages by disposing of wipes correctly!
Thank you for reading!