I have written about flushing wipes and personal hygiene products down the toilet, even though the container says “FLUSHABLE”.  I have been clearing main lines recently and finding a lot of these jobs were from flushing these products down the toilet.  I recently had a customer show me the package that states it is “Plumber Approved”.  Here is why companies make the claim that these are flushable.  When these wipes and other products are flushed, they go through the smooth wall of the toilet.  They are transported by water force through the toilet flange arm, then into the soil stack, and then into the main line leaving the house and going to the street. It is during this trip, from the toilet flange arm all the way to the city sewer that backups happen. Theses pipe are usually cast iron leading into terra cotta clay tile.  There are small burrs in these pipes that can snag these wipes, causing a buildup and then finally a backup.  This is usually in a 4-6″ pipe.  Once it hits the city sewer, it is now anywhere from an 8″ – 12″ or larger.  As the city sewer hauls this away, it too moves into larger and larger pipes, usually ending at a lift station where it gets jammed in the pumps for the sewage system. This causes city sewer backups into resident’s homes which is a very terrible thing to have happen to you.  The article in this blog is a new one on me, but not surprising.  Full article by Star Tribune.

Steve the Pro