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Risks of “Flushable” Wipes in the Toilet

Due to recent societal events, themes like sanitation and cleanliness are atop the minds of many, including within plumbing and other home areas. In particular, as some have experienced toilet paper shortages, an area that’s received significant public attention is whether “flushable” sanitary wipes can be used as a replacement.

The plumbers with At Your Service Plumbing, experts in drain cleaning and several related areas (among many others), are here to set the record straight for you: “Flushable” wipes often aren’t what they claim to be, and can create significant clogging and blockage risks in your various plumbing drains. Here’s a primer on why this is the case and the care you should take when using these items for any reason.

risks flushable wipes toilet

Breakdown Period

Technically speaking, the manufacturers of many of these “flushable” wipe products are not lying when they say these materials are meant to break down within your drain after being flushed. They’re leaving important information out, however: The time it will take for this to happen.

When normal toilet paper is flushed down a toilet drain, for instance, it breaks down very quickly. This means it doesn’t present any kind of clogging risk, rather simply flowing down the drain with the rest of the water and waste. These wipes, however, don’t break down nearly as fast – they will often still be in full form several minutes after being flushed, if not longer. As you may have guessed, this significantly increases clog risks.

Ragging

And because these wipes are still solid well after being flushed, the chances for what’s known as “ragging” go way up. Ragging involves these and other items caught in the sewer line creating a blockage, one that will often grow to the point where it backs up the entire sewer line and many drains within the home – not even just your toilet drains in some cases.

So while the makers of these wipes technically have not lied to you, they have led you wrong. Even if you use their products as-directed, your risk of drain and sewer clogs is far higher.

How to Proceed

Simply put, the recommendation of our plumbers and many others is to never use these “flushable” wipes in your toilet drain for any reason. If they must be used for some sanitary purpose in or around the bathroom, instead find a different way of disposing of them in a normal trash bin. When it comes to the toilet itself, only flush approved toilet paper or human waste – all other items, from these wipes to paper towels, feminine hygiene items and numerous others, should be disposed of in other ways. For more on avoiding flushable wipes, or to learn about any of our plumbing or HVAC services, speak to the staff without At Your Service Plumbing today.

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Salt Lake City, UT Heating, Air Conditioning and Plumbing Services

At Your Service Plumbing, Heating & Air provides excellent heating, air conditioning, plumbing, indoor air quality, water treatment and water heater services throughout the greater Salt Lake City, UT area, including the installation of new systems and components, and the replacement of the old, as well as ongoing repair and maintenance. Established in 1980, we have served the home comfort needs of our local community for over 30 years. Whether you need your stop and waste valve replaced or a new "green," energy–efficient HVAC system installed, we can make sure that the job is completed properly. Our HVAC contractors are NATE–certified and we employ Master and Journeyman plumbers. We are confident in our ability to satisfy any issue that may arise in your home, 24 hours a day. Give one of our friendly staff members a call today to learn more about what we can do for your home.

At Your Service Plumbing, Heating & Air offers quality heating, air conditioning and plumbing services throughout the Salt Lake City, UT area, including repair, installation and maintenance.

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- Warren Gilmour

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When it comes to ensuring that you are comfortable during the winter months in Salt Lake City, you need to make certain that you have an excellent heating system. We offer comprehensive heating services in Salt Lake City, including installation, replacement, repair and maintenance services for a wide variety of equipment, including boilers, furnaces, and radiant heat systems. Whether you’d like to save more on your energy bills from month to month with an energy efficient heater or you want to retrofit a zone control system into your existing furnace setup, we provide heating solutions.

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For truly year–round comfort, your home needs an excellent air conditioner. At Your Service Plumbing, Heating & Air offers excellent air conditioning services throughout the Salt Lake City, UT area, from AC repair to maintenance, installation to replacement. We can make sure that your entire home is cooled to your satisfaction, no matter how hot and unpleasant it gets outside. We want you to feel comfortable in your home, and we have the experience and expertise to make sure that this is the case.

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Our services go well beyond HVAC, however. In addition to providing heating and cooling solutions, we provide a wide range of plumbing services throughout the Salt Lake City, UT area. From whole–house repiping to drain cleaning, water line installation to leak detection, sprinkler system timer repair to kitchen plumbing, we have got you covered. We can make sure that you are able to use water safely, effectively, and efficiently in your home.

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During this very unusual time, we have put a plan in place to do our part to help keep our community safe. First and foremost, we are going to stay CALM, PATIENT, KIND, and POSITIVE!

There is much to consider regarding the COVID-19 virus (Coronavirus) and its possible transmission in your home. While there are various and effective indoor air quality measures available to help protect your safety, including duct sanitization, ultraviolet (UV) germicidal light treatment, and HEPA air filters, they alone cannot protect from all forms of COVID-19 transmission. It is important to follow all official guidelines for preventing the spread of this virus.

Because we have a direct impact on the indoor environment, here are practical steps we are going to take to keep people safe:

  • Wash our hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and water
  • Cover our nose and mouth when sneezing or coughing
  • Wash our uniforms every day including cleaning our belts
  • Stay home if we are feeling sick
  • Offer a warm smile and friendly greeting instead of a handshake
  • Wear shoe covers and latex gloves in homes and businesses
  • Wipe down surfaces and equipment touched in a client’s home with disinfectant wipes
  • Wipe down door handles, steering wheels, gear shift lever every day
  • Wipe down pens, clipboards, tablets, cell phones, and anything else passes between techs and clients.
  • We have masks on each truck and will wear them at client’s discretion (Currently the CDC does not recommend that people wear masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19)
  • We are complying with all recommendations and guidelines from state agencies and will be proactive in our efforts to see that our team members and clients are protected.

As the situation unfolds, we will take each day one at a time and ensure we are being smart, supportive, and helping all those we can in our community.

Thank you for your continued support!