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Are Wipes Flushable? Fact or Fiction?

Are Wipes Flushable? Fact or Fiction?

Adult wipes have become increasingly common in bathrooms around the world as an alternative to toilet paper. The problem is that people are flushing these wipes, and that’s a very bad habit, both at home and in any other bathroom. Here’s why flushing those wipes can be dangerous for your plumbing system — and may cause a lot of extra expenses too. Clogs Can Get Bad These wipes aren’t designed like toilet paper and cannot easily break apart in water (even some toilet paper struggles with this). They are just too durable, which can cause major problems when they are flushed and don’t disintegrate soon enough. Many of the most famous sewer clogs of recent years have been traced back to wipes that just won’t go away. The same thing can happen in your home on a smaller scale, causing troublesome toilet backups. Sewage and Septic Systems Suffer Those wipes that won’t easily disintegrate eventually enter the sewage system or (depending on your setup) your septic tank. These systems are designed specifically to break down waste over a period of time. Items that won’t decompose fast enough can disrupt this process and eventually cause long-term problems. “Flushable” Wipes Really Aren’t Flushable Some wipes are marketed as flushable, with assurances that they will decompose quickly. The problem is that there aren’t many guarantees that this is true (although some cities are working on regulations to help solve this problem). Many brands are guilty of letting people assume the wipes can be flushed when really they should be thrown away instead. Other brands may claim they are flushable, but the results appear to...
Drain Cleaning Myths

Drain Cleaning Myths

Have a clogged drain? It’s a common issue for all homeowners, but it’s important to not make the assumptions that too many people believe when confronted with a clog. These myths aren’t just untrue, but they can also lead to bad decisions that can make your plumbing problem even worse — and more expensive to repair. So when confronted with a drain problem, don’t fall into these thinking traps! Here’s why they’re wrong. All My Drains Work the Same Your home actually has several different sets of pipes! They are not all connected (although some of them are), and they have different tasks and features. Drain pipes, for example, collect all the water you pour from faucets (typically “gray” water) and safely dispose of it. Waste pipes collect polluted water from toilets and similar sources and route it to septic tanks and sewers. Vent pipes are designed to remove nasty gases created by the other pipes, giving them a way out through a roof vent or similar vent. All this means that a clog may affect some parts of the house, but not all your plumbing, depending on where it originates and what it does. Sometimes clog effects can be very difficult to predict if you don’t know how your plumbing works. Drain Cleaners Can Fix the Problem Liquid drain cleaners are usually designed to “burn” through a clog and restore proper water flow. This can work on very mild clogs, such as a bundle of hair that won’t quite get washed away. However, any substantial clog is unlikely to be affected by drain cleaners, and they can cause...
The Benefits of a Hydro Jetter

The Benefits of a Hydro Jetter

Fall is officially here! Now is the perfect time to check some items off your fall to-do list. Instead of tackling these chores the traditional way, why not use a hydro jetter to make the job easier? Here’s what you need to know. What is a Hydro Jetter? A hydro jetter is similar to a power washer, but packs four times as much power. This power makes it easy to remove clogs from drains as well as debris from your gutters and downspouts. How Does a Hydrojetting Work? Hydrojetting is a fairly simple concept. The hose is placed at the beginning of your drain or gutter system and the pressure is turned on. This pressure will blast any debris out of its way, cleaning the pipe or gutter as it goes. It has enough power to remove the buildup, but not enough to cause any damage. For long lasting results, hydrojetting is the way to go. When to Use a Hydro Jetter Are you experiencing clogs in your gutters or downspouts? Before using a hydro jetter, there are some things you can try first. Depending on the last time you cleaned out your gutters, the pressure of a garden hose may be able to do the trick. If this option doesn’t work, the next step is to try a drain snake. Still not working? It’s time to bring in a hydro jetter. Because this option has 4 times as much pressure as your typical pressure washer, it can easily remove gunk from your downspouts. Gutters and downspouts lead water away from your home. If clogged gutters are ignored, this...
What Might Be Causing Your Yard Leaks?

What Might Be Causing Your Yard Leaks?

If your yard suddenly becomes waterlogged or soggy with no logical reason, it is likely that your plumbing has sprung a leak. Leaks that occur in the summer may cause standing water, sunken areas or even a patch of lush green grass that seems to grow faster than the surrounding lawn. Occasionally, you may even notice a jet or spray of water springing from the ground. Uncovering the source of your yard leak may be easier than you think. Signs of Yard Leaks Standing water and soggy soil are obvious signs of yard leaks, but there are more subtle signs to look for too. High water bill. This may be one of the first signs you notice as it may take a while for the soil to become saturated enough to show signs of waterlogging or soggy soil. Decrease in water pressure. You may notice the water pressure in your home isn’t as strong as it used to be as water constantly seeps out into your yard. Sounds of running water. If you have a leak in the yard, you may hear running water in your pipes inside your home as they work to supply water to the outside source. What Causes Yard Leaks? Yard leaks occur when the plumbing to outside sources breaks or springs a leak. The three most common sources are: Main Water Line Break Sewer Line Break Irrigation System Break How Do You Find the Source? To determine the source of your yard leak, you will need to do a little detective work. The first step is to determine the exact location. If water is visibly...
Removing Toys From Toilets

Removing Toys From Toilets

Many children are fascinated by toilets that magically whisk away anything in the bowl. Which often leads to decisions to give rubber ducky a ride or to send that pet dinosaur to Neverland. When this happens, you may face a clogged or overflowing toilet that grinds your life to a halt. Before you call in a plumber, there are some things you can do to attempt to get the toy out of the drain yourself. Remove the water from the toilet bowl. You can scoop the water out with a disposable cup or container. Coffee cans, milk cartons and empty cans work well too. Leave enough water in the bowl to cover the plunger. Grab the end of the toy, if you can see it in the drain, and pull it out. If you are lucky, you may be able to remove Dino by the tail or grasp part of the object and pull it free of the toilet. Fish the toy out of the drain. If you can see the toy, but can’t get a grip with your hands, try hooking it with a bent coat hanger or other hooked objects. Pull with a slow, even motion to retrieve the toy. It may take several attempts. Likewise, you may be able to remove the toy by making a slip knot in a string and looping it around a leg or other extension on the toy. Plunge the toilet. If you cannot see the toy, or cannot remove it physically, it is time to grab the plunger. Several thrusts of the plunger may dislodge the clog and send it down...
Overusing Liquid Plumbers Can Mess Up Your Drains

Overusing Liquid Plumbers Can Mess Up Your Drains

If you are a homeowner, you already know how frustrating clogged or slow-moving drains can be. It’s natural to reach for a timely solution, like liquid plumbers, to whisk away the clogs and return your life to normal. The problem is: while liquid plumbers can provide a quick solution to your woes, they can also cause damage to your plumbing if they are not used with caution. Consider the effects of liquid plumbers on your pipes before you rely on them to solve your plumbing problems. How Do Liquid Plumbers Work? Liquid plumbers come in several formulas designed to attack specific types of clogs. Nearly all of them contain lye (sodium hydroxide) and bleach (sodium chloride). The two chemicals work together to create a chemical reaction that releases heat. The heat dissolves grease and organic matter, while the bleach eats through soap scum and hair.  Some formulas also contain peroxide to create a foaming action that coats the pipes and removes residues. Are Liquid Plumbers Safe? Liquid plumbers are safe for occasional use to get your drains flowing freely again. They are easy to use and restore your drains to normal function within 15 minutes if the source of the clog is a simple buildup of soap scum and residue in the drain. They may work on tougher clogs by eating away the residue around an object and allowing the water to flow around the clog, giving you the impression that your problems have been solved. If there is an object in the drain, though, the problem will likely return as gunk from waste water building up around it. If this is...