What You Can and Cannot Flush

Friday, 20 March 2020 11:44
What You Can and Cannot Flush

A lot has changed for Iredell County residents in the last two weeks. Our heartfelt sympathies go out to anyone who has been affected by the coronavirus and COVID-19, as well as those who are experiencing work interruptions. One thing we did not expect is the prolonged shortage of basic necessities and cleaning products such as toilet paper. Nevertheless, Statesville area paper product shelves are bare and have been so for several weeks as shoppers attempt to restock.

Unfortunately, with a toilet paper shortage, you may be considering alternatives that either will not flush or cause major issues when you send them down your plumbing system. At Action Plumbing, we want to spare you from flushing your hard-earned money down the toilet, so in this article, we are discussing what can and cannot be flushed, and what to do if you see the wrong things spiraling down. 


What You Can Flush

You can flush toilet paper. That is it. There is nothing else you can flush down the toilet other than toilet paper. We cannot stress this enough. That may not be very encouraging to those that are down to their last roll; however, flushing alternatives down the toilet will clog your plumbing and could cause problems in sewage lines throughout the area.  

What You Can't Flush

This is probably pretty clear at this point, but you should not flush anything but toilet paper. The trouble is, there are numerous products that claim to be flushable. “Flushable” hygiene products are one of the primary offenders of clogged plumbing pipes. A BuzzFeed News article quotes the Twitter account of one public works department, saying:

"We understand due to high demand toilet paper might not be available," the Needham Department of Public Works posted on its Twitter account. "Please do not flush wipes, even if they say they are flushable, they are not." 

To reiterate, here are some toilet paper alternatives that cannot be flushed down the toilet:

  • Napkins
  • Paper Towels
  • Baby Wipes and Wet Wipes
  • Cloth Diapers (and disposable diapers for that matter)
  • Clorox Wipes
  • Flushable Wipes of any kind
  • Cupcake Wrappers 
  • Magazine Pages
  • You get the idea - Anything that is not toilet paper

Make sure you avoid flushing the un-flushable; otherwise, you may find yourself with bigger issues than a lack of toilet paper.

What to Do When You Run Out of Toilet Paper

One solution to a lack of toilet paper is to invest in a bidet; however, those cleaning devices may be difficult to find as well. Your best bet is to utilize a toilet paper alternative and dispose of it in a trashcan with a closeable lid beside the toilet. In this case, you can use paper products that should not be flushed and toss them out with your refuse. You might also check with neighbors and family members to “borrow” extra rolls. We’re all in this together. 

What to Do If You Have Flushed Improperly

If you or a member of your household have flushed a non-flushable product down the toilet, even if it was an accident, and you have any signs of clogged pipes, contact us. Do not expect the problem to go away with time. If there is something that has not made it through the pipes, it can become something of a catch-all for other materials as well. 

We know your plumbing systems are vital, especially during this time of social distancing. We are spending a lot of time at home and putting pressure on our plumbing to keep up with our new reality. At Action Services, we are taking steps to ensure we can continue to serve Statesville and Iredell residents safely. Do not let minor plumbing problems become major issues. Contact Action Services today