Upon searching online as to whether or not wet wipes can be flushed away, you’ll come across arguments both for and against. At Drains Clean we’re here to provide a definite answer alongside the reasoning as to why you should NOT flush wet wipes.
You may have noticed that some manufacturers claim their wet wipes are ‘fit for flushing’. We still advise against this and below you will find the reasons as to why.
Number 1: Wet Wipes Do Not Disintegrate
The general consensus seems to be that wipes break apart quickly and effectively. Unfortunately, this is not the case. If it were, there would be no issues. In comparison to toilet paper which fully disintegrates in roughly 24 hours, wipes are almost imperishable; not good as you can imagine.
As drainage experts, we can tell you that many blockages are in fact attributed to build ups directly caused from wipes and they are ALWAYS fully intact. Because they don’t disintegrate, problems include blockages not just in the immediate drainage system but as far back as actual plumbing systems. This not only takes longer to correct, it is a far costlier process.
Number 2: The Fatberg Effect
If you’re not familiar with this, the fatberg effect involves a combination of wet wipes, fat, grease and the additional dirt discarded down drains. The aforementioned substances stick to the wipes before creating an iceberg type formation. Unfortunately, it doesn’t end there. Such formations can go on to create huge clogs with some as long as 10 feet, weighing over 100lbs.
Large fatberg clogs are extremely costly to unblock and usually account for additional plumbing repairs. There are smaller types of fatbergs known as softball clogs. These are equally as destructive.
Number 3: Wet Wipe Walls
No, this isn’t a fancy name like ‘fatbergs’ that means something else. A ‘wet wipe wall’ is simply that. Upon flushing, wipes become clogged and tangled with everything else that enters your drains. The tangling and fatberg effect are both responsible for substances no longer able to move. In turn, this becomes a ‘wall of wet wipes’ making it almost impossible to penetrate. It’s at this time you will notice the toilet bowl filling up when flushing.
As you would expect, wet wipe walls prevent anything else from successfully reaching sewers. The only place substances and liquids can move is back over. Not pleasant.
The above three reasons should be more than enough in discouraging you from flushing wet wipes. Should you have not adhered to this advice to date however and are noticing problems, we can come across and unblock drains before the problem becomes worse.