Flushable Wipes, Are They Really Flushable? | R. A. Styron Plumbing | VA Beach, VA

Homeowners are using wipes more and more often but are they damaging your drainage system? So many people flush those “flushable” wipes down without even thinking twice about it. I mean, they say on the front of the packaging that they’re flushable so it MUST be true, right? Unfortunately, the consensus among the plumbing experts is just the opposite!


These moist toilettes, liken to baby wipes, have been the subject of debate about whether they are harming sewer systems or not. The manufacturers of these wipes claim that they are flushable and while they do break down in the sewer system they typically take much longer than regular toilet paper. While these wipes sit in the sewer system waiting to breakdown they can cause “ragging” leading to major backups. Ragging is a term used by plumbers when the wipes get caught up with other things like sanitary products that contribute to sewer blockages.

The fight over companies legally labeling these wipes have even made it all the way to the Supreme Court. Currently, there’s an open class action lawsuit that offers consumers up to a $30.00 refund. While this may not seem like much it is a big win in terms of consumer knowledge and package labeling. The courts decision will force companies to label these wipe more appropriately. These businesses have further agreed to additional testing on the time it take for these wipes to breakdown in the sewage system.



Often times our plumbing technicians find these wipes as the culprit of backups but they are not working alone to cause the clog. We always recommend having a trashcan close by your commode to make it easy to toss wipes and other items into instead of flushing them. Some of the major clog offenders are:

  • Sanitary pads & tampons
  • Facial wipes
  • Paper towels
  • Cotton balls & swabs
  • Condoms
  • Hair
  • Band-Aids

What Should You Do If You Have A Back Up?


A commode making gurgling sounds, water forming around the base, or not flushing water/waste down, are all signs of a backed up toilet. If you are experiencing these symptoms with one drain only, you probably only have that one drain stopped up. Toilet stoppages can sometimes be cleared easily without calling in the professionals while other times they require a skilled hand. If you attempt to remedy the clog yourself be sure you have the correct tools on hand or you could find yourself with a bigger problem.

Seeing water in your tub after flushing your toilet or multiple drains backing up at the same time is a sign of your main drain line backing up. This could be due to a large blockage in your main drainage system or even a sewer line break. Frequent or repeated backups are also a sign that you have a problem with your main drainage system. Main drain lines that have breaks or tree roots in-bedded in the line will gradually worsen over time. Repairs of this nature will have to be assessed and repaired by a professional company.

R. A. Styron of Chesapeake, VA has the knowledge and resources available to provide any Hampton Roads resident with an efficient assessment and repair. If you think you have a bigger issue on hand scheduling your service call is easy over the phone at 757-420-5488 or through our website.

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