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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

If ever you are in need of a plumber, look no further than Zeek Plumbing. We had a water leak going from the street to the house hook up. The repair was completed in an efficient and professional manner and the people were a pleasure to work with. I highly recommend and will definitely use them again.
Sharee C.
I noticed a small leak in our kitchen ceiling and knew it was the upstairs toilet which was very old. I called a ton of plumbers and left messages. Zeek was the 1st plumber to call me back early Monday morning and advised me on next steps so we could get the new toilet installed and taken care of. The two reps were knowledgeable, friendly, explained the issue, what they found and what they were doing. They were also super sweet to my toddler. Price for install was on par with what they had quoted. Highly recommend and will use again (hopefully not for a leak).
Aimee D.
Found our water heater was leaking terribly on a Friday. Called 4 plumbers in the area and NOT one called me back even now 2 weeks later. I finally called Zeeks to see if they service my area. First, a person actually answered right away and was willing to help us right away. Customer Service was impeccable and gave pricing and was at my house ready to install a new hot water heater Saturday morning at 8am!! The 2 guys were friendly, knowledgeable, clean and efficient. Zeeks saved alot of stress as we were leaving for vacation on Monday morning!! Will definitely recommend and will call them first in the future!!
Kelly G.
Zeek Plumbing installed new gas line for pool heater. I am very happy with their work and customer service. Would definitely recommend them for plumbing needs.
Chris D.
Zeek plumbing was quick to reply to my phone message, order the necessary part and schedule an appointment. I appreciated the swift action and courteous response.
Doretta H.
On time, clean and very professional. The job turned out to be bigger than expected and they exceeded my expectations! Thank you!
Carole Ann S.
We have a fairly new radiant heat system that was not installed by Zeek. All of a sudden we had no heat on the second floor. Rich and Ryan immediately determined that the pressure tank originally installed was not the correct one, replaced that part and had the system up and running for us. We had another issue a few days later. Rich returned immediately and took care of the problem at no cost to us.We are very happy to have found Zeek (and Rich) and we look forward to working with them in the future!
Joseph H.
Very professional very fast and very friendly. Over all amazing service by Bill. He took the time to do the job right n make sure it was working properly without wasting time. And took the time to explain what was causing the problems. Would recommend to anyone who needs a plumber. Extremely satisfied.Update, 2 days later had issues and called them back, with in 24 hrs they came back to resolve the problem. Sent multiple guys to find where the issue was in the system. Located a bad pipe and replaced it. All is flowing good now thankyou so much for working with us to resolve this issue.
peter H.
We are sooo happy with our experiences with Zeek! We had them out twice - they did a bunch of repairs for us and then when it turned out the problem was deeper than we thought they came back and stuck with it until they figured it out. They were professional, neat, safe and thorough. Huge thanks to Rich for coming out to diagnose the problem and the whole team for hanging in until it was fixed!
Christine E.
Responded quickly, Bill did a great job, no mess. Would definitely recommend...
Vivian D.
We woke up to see a leak coming through our kitchen ceiling, and we feared the worst. Tim and RJ were great. They diagnosed and solved the issue quickly and gave me a very fair price. Very considerate and professional. Highly recommended these guys.
Cristopher N.
Good services, fast response and Steve very helpful.Bill came to my house and fix the boiler.Reasonable price.Will call them again..
Nelson J.

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