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Are “Flush-able” Wipes Safe to Flush”

Companies market flush-able wipes to the United States as a ” sewer and septic-safe” alternative to toilet paper, paper towels, and other cleaning supplies. In the media and in court rooms around the US, there has been a fight between sewer companies, cities, and the businesses selling these products about the validity of those claims.

The cities, sewer companies, and water treatment plants’ arguments are based upon the fact they deal with city/town wide sewer backups constantly. Plumbers and the sewer companies alike snake sewer mains and drains, and remove massive blockages of wipes on a daily basis. Most of the cases show no other reason for the block forming besides the wipes. Ryerson University tested 23 different types of “flush-able” wet wipes, and results showed, “Not one single wipe was able to fall apart or disperse safely through the sewer system test, which can negatively impact household plumbing, municipal sewage infrastructure, and consequently, the environment.”

“Flush-able” wipes are tough to breakdown. You can even test this in your own home. Take a sheet or two of toilet paper, soak it with water, and then rub it between your hands. The paper will begin to break off, separate, and break down. Now try the same thing with wet wipes, they would stay solid and not breakdown for a very long time. The wipes may be safe to flush, but the “safety” stops as soon as they exit your toilet. This Consumer Reports study showed several different brands’ wipes, and the ease they breakdown in water. As stated in the study, “When we put them in a stand mixer filled with water and pushed the slowest speed (more churning than your waste pipe will provide), it took at least 10 minutes to break each into small pieces.”

Johnson & Johnson, Proctor and Gamble, and Kimberly-Clark, maintain that the flush-able wipes are not the problem, but instead are caused by non-flushable wipes such as baby wipes and makeup removal wipes. The Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry, a trade association for the previously listed companies,  released a set of guidelines that wipes need to pass in order to be deemed “flushable”. However, sewer authorities argued the guidelines are skewed to allow the manufacturers’ wipes to pass.

The argument between the two conflicting sides seems to have no end in sight. Charmin settled a class action law suit that accused the company of false advertising wipes as “septic and sewer safe”. However, there have been plenty of other law suits that have failed. Consumers and lawmakers question the legality of making similar claims. There is no governing body to place fair tests on the subject. Which creates the back and forth between the two sides about the legitimacy/fairness of each other’s tests.

In conclusion, Zeek Plumbing agrees with the sewer companies that flushing wipes down your drains is never a good thing. The only things that should be flushed down the toilet are human waste, #1 and #2, and toilet paper. Avoid flushing anything else possible. “Flush-able” wipes cause the majority of backups that Zeek Plumbing comes in contact with. However, customers seem shocked to find out the cause of the backup and state, “I don’t flush wipes down the drain.” If you hire people to clean your home, I would check they do not flush them either. Dispose of every type of wipe in the trash. Is the convenience of flushing wipes more important than preventing a sewer main backup?

If you are experiencing a backup, please call us at 866-635-0200. Zeek Plumbing can dispatch a crew as soon as possible to your home/property. However, if you are experiencing frequent backups, Zeek Plumbing can camera your sewer main. Similar to the snake, we send a camera down your sewer showing any and all causes of the backups.

5-STAR GOOGLE REVIEWS FROM OUR CUSTOMERS

Everyone at Zeek Plumbing was so kind and helpful. My heated driveway had a broken pipe but Steve, Rich, and the whole team went above and beyond to repair this as quickly as possible. I highly recommend their business for any plumbing issues you may have.
Tamara D.
I’m a new homeowner and didn’t know what to expect when I had Zeek over to help me with a problem I had with a new washing machine connection when I moved in. Not only did they help with the connection, they spent time to explain my heating system to me. Now, two months later they have been to my home for two other problems that came about. While I wasn’t excited about having to spend money, they kept my budget in mind and were more than fair. I have nothing to but good things to say about their work, the people in their office and the people that have visited my home. I recommend them highly.
austin S.
Steve and his team are the best of the best. He was so responsive and so caring!!!! Within a very short amount of time he sent us 2 of his team members (Rich and Oliver) who were outstanding. Extremely competent, knowledgeable, smart, fast, polite, and caring. We recently moved into the area and are so blessed to have found them. Highly recommend them!!!
Caroline F.
The gentlemen from Zeek Plumbing were very professional and thorough in trying to determine the source of our problem. They had all the necessary parts with them to fix the problem and left everything very tidy after they finished the repair.
Monica O.
Tim and RJ were responsive polite and clean. Did a great job very quickly keeping my costs to the minimum they could be.
Jen S
We called Zeek Plumbing when our office toliet backed up. They came right out and took care of the problem in a very professional manner. They did have to make a second trip, but did so promptly and got the problem solved. We would definitely recommend Zeek Plumbing.
Tom H.
I had a sewer line leaking in the basement where flooring and part of a wall had to be removed. They also had to remove a toilet and replace that connection to the sewer line. .The pipes were repaired, concrete repaired and toilet reinstalled. This was a big job. They knew exactly what they were doing and the repair is all done. They were easy to schedule with, courteous and professional. Highly recommend!!
viv A.
First time customer of Zeek Plumbing and a very happy one. Great communication from Ryan in the office and Bill resolved my problem with the washing machine shut off valve. Thank you so much!
Laurie E.
The Guys at Zeek plumbing are professional and punctual. EXTREMELY thoughtful to my needs. Don't hesitate to contact them for your plumbing needs.If you go to a different plumber your a FOOL!
Scott M.
Zeek has always come through for us these last few years! Tim and RJ are the best!
Kelly M
A huge thank you to Zeke Plumbing for helping my family, and our old home, on multiple occasions! The response time is consistently fast and the work is done properly. I also very much appreciate the honest proposals as to what is needed and options to get the job done properly, efficiently and cost effective. Thank you!
Lisa G.
We woke up this morning to water pouring out of our toilet, all of over the floor, down the to the basement, we were PANICKED! I called Zeek Plumbing and Steve was able to identify the problem over the phone and dispatch someone to come immediately to help us fix the issue. Within an hour everything was fixed and in working order. We're so grateful for the responsiveness and professionalism of his team.
Brianna H.

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