Why is it that some wipes are flushable and some are not? Especially when some that ‘are’ feel so similar to some that ‘aren’t’.


Why is it that some wipes are flushable and some are not? Especially when some that ‘are’ feel so similar to some that ‘aren’t’.

In: Chemistry

I know of zero wipes that are flushable. They’ll all cause clogs and dry caps on sewage systems 🤷‍♂️ it’s marketing garbage.

None of them are flushable. No matter what the packaging says. Ask a plumber how many times they’ve been called out to fix a problem from “flushable” wipes.

NO WIPE IS FLUSHABLE. Seriously, as someone who works in wastewater this is one of the most infuriating parts of my job. Just because it goes down a toilet or drain doesn’t mean it should be there.

DO NOT FLUSH. please. 🙂

Some wipes are “flushable” because you probably have reasonably large (2 or 3 inch) drain lines that go into a public sewer. The wipes will really only get stuck if something else starts to block the pipe and they get caught up. Wipes become “unflushable” when you need to pump sewage uphill for example if you have a bathroom in your basement. In that case you’d have an ejector pump that would pump the sewage up to the drain line. Wipes tend to get caught in the impeller jamming it up and then you have sewage flooding your basement. It has little to do with the actual wipe, it’s more in the plumbing. Hence the mixed messages. For some people flushing wipes will work just fine. For others it’ll be a pricey restoration bill.

Source am plumber(apprentice), cleaned wipes out of a shit pit just last week

I guess a follow up question would be how companies are getting away with marketing them as flushable and not getting sued by municipalities and individuals.

The difference between something being flushable or not is whether it will break down and flow really through the pipes, or stay solid and clog them up.

Toilet paper and human waste for example easily break apart when wet and flushed down a pipe, so if a lever of toilet paper were to get caught, it would just rip and tear apart and get washed away.

A typical wipe on the other hand is made to be a lot tougher so you can use it to wipe down something without it breaking apart in your hand. What this means is that if it were to get caught somewhere in a pipe, rather than breaking apart it will stay whole, which blocks up the pipe and causes more stuff to get caught.

If a wipe is flushable, that means it should break apart and be washed down the pipe, rather than clogging it up. Whether any wipes can actually do this without being too weak to actually use without tearing and falling apart is debatable, and it is best not to flush anything tougher than toilet paper, including wipes claiming to be flushable add they can still cause problems even then.

None are flushable. Our sewage district put out a notice on FB & Instagram in the past couple days about this.


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