So as most of you may know by now, my family and I have recently moved to Reno, NV where we’re in the planning stages of renovating a 1950s ranch for our new family home. Coming into this experience, we were so proud of how many of our old belongings we were able to purge so that we could start fresh in this new home! However, we weren’t greeted with the freshest experience…
After moving in, it became clear something was seriously wrong with our plumbing system. The pictures above are the evidence of the disgusting sewer backups we were experiencing. Excuse me while I go throw up…
Our realtor had gotten us a home warranty on the house (which had really come in handy for our NON-working AC Unit), so we thought, “Great! We’re totally covered!” … NOT. Unfortunately for us, sewer issues aren’t covered by the home warranty at all.
We had never experienced any plumbing problems like this in our old home, but now I’m realizing that may be because we had a bidet system on our toilets.
Let me tell you, bidets are the most incredible investment ever. Seriously, once you go bidet, you NEVER go back to the old way! It’s like a shower for your butt without having to take the time to actually get in the shower (is that too much info?). Either way, we’re anxiously awaiting to have them installed on the toilets once the reno is complete.
We called in a plumber to come fix the issue and after troubleshooting a couple different causes, he found the culprit — Flushable wipes. Yup! Something that’s advertised (in the name no less) actually isn’t supposed to be used for its intended purpose — what the heck?!
Naturally, this both confused and upset me, so I gave the flushable wipe company’s customer service a call. To my surprise, the customer service rep was actually so gracious in this situation as they not only refunded me for the wipes that I purchased on Amazon, but they are sending me a prepaid Visa card with the amount we paid to the plumber as reimbursement for the clogged pipes! WOW!
I love great customer service and I was pleased to get that reaction from the company. That’s $320 I don’t need to stress about losing. Luckily, this not so pleasant situation had a happy ending for my family, but that’s not always the case. In fact, this problem is becoming all too common.
One of my team members, Amber, is married to a Public Works Sewer foreman, so he gave us the lowdown on why flushable wipes are so bad for sewer pipes.
Flushable wipes are bad because they don’t break down as fast as toilet paper when they are flushed, meaning they back up your sewer.
Even if they flush, they cause issues in your actual piping.
It’s even worse if they make it through your private sewer lines. This ends up causing problems in the public sewer lines, meaning it causes plumbing issues for you and your neighbors.
This is actually becoming a well-known issue among consumers and there are groups dedicated to raising more awareness, like nomorewipes.com.
Wipes actually cause 90% of sewer related issues.
Um, YIKES! Who knew these seemingly safe wipes could cause so much damage. You can bet that my family and I are going to be way more conscious about what we try flushing. Below are the dos and don’ts that our plumbing expert shared with us:
Do flush things that are safe:
- Toilet paper labeled as septic safe
Yeah, that’s it. A good rule of thumb — if it’s not toilet paper or human waste, DON’T flush it! Instead, toss it in a garbage can nearby to dispose of it. If you have a poor plumbing or a septic system, you’ll want to be extra careful with the type of toilet paper you flush. Recommended brands include:
- Scott Rapid Dissolve
- Natural Value 100% Recycled Bathroom Tissue
- Nimbus Eco Extra Soft 100% Bamboo Toilet Paper
Don’t flush things that are not safe:
- Flushable wipes (or any other wipes for that matter)
- Tampons and sanitary napkins
- Paper towels
- Anything that’s NOT toilet paper
Anyway, I’m glad that nightmare is over and it’s certainly a lesson learned. Now we can get back to the renovation so I can start sharing my money-saving home improvement tips!