Wipe Out | Billy the Sunshine Plumber

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Wipe Out | Billy the Sunshine Plumber

So-called flushable wipes are notorious for clogging public sewer systems. Just think what they can do to your home plumbing.

You’re planning to head down to the St. Pete Pier this weekend to see the Benoist Airboat sculpture that was just installed. Not only is it a way to get out of the house and get some exercise, it’s a good way to forget for awhile that your toilet keeps clogging up. It seems as if you’re having to haul out the toilet plunger several times a week to get it to flush correctly.

Having to frequently use a toilet plunger is a definite indication that you have an issue in your plumbing. The fact that the clog never seems to fully go away could indicate that it’s farther down in your system than the toilet itself.

Toilet clogs are frequent happenings, especially if people aren’t careful about what they flush. A prime problem is “flushable” wipes and other “flushable” items. Homeowners who trust the label use them, flush them and may soon have a problem. If the homeowner doesn’t have a problem, that may be because the wipes have moved down the pipes and into the city or county system where they’re causing a massive problem.

Flushable wipes can wreak havoc in collection systems and wastewater treatment plants across the country because, unlike toilet paper, they don’t degrade in the collection system,” according to officials quoted in a story in the Saginaw and Bay City News. “Instead, these fiber-enforced rags coagulate and combine with fat, oils, and grease in the sewer system, clogging pumps and damaging equipment in the treatment train.”

The problem has gotten worse since the Covid-19 epidemic. In part, that’s because people who could not get toilet paper used the wipes (or Kleenex or other similar items). It’s also partly because people are home longer so they’re not out using toilet paper in work or public toilets. That may not sound so bad, but consider this: A backup of wipes flushed down toilets caused 10,000 gallons of human waste to spill from a manhole, according to the Associated Press and the Traverse City Record-Eagle.

If a clog composed mostly of “flushable” wipes can cause that much trouble in a public system, just imagine what it can do to yours.

So, the moral of the story is to go ahead and use those wipes but toss them, don’t flush them.

Of course, no matter how careful you are, clogs do happen. And if you have a persistent clog or can’t clean your drain yourself, it’s time to call the plumbing specialists at Billy the Sunshine Plumber for help.

Billy the Sunshine Plumber has been the Tampa Bay 24-hour plumber of choice since 1924 when he first opened for business. Billy the Sunshine Plumber is open 24/7/365 in Pinellas, Pasco, Hernando and Citrus counties. Days, nights, weekends, or holidays, Billy the Sunshine Plumber is always here for you, even on Christmas and other holidays. 

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