Are Baby Wipes Causing Clogs In Your Sewer Line?

Problems with your home's plumbing systems are never pleasant to deal with, but a clogged up sewer line can be particularly nasty. A blocked sewer line can cause untreated sewage to back up into your home or spring leaks that contaminate the soil and groundwater in and around your property. Needless to say, any blockages in your sewer line should be professionally removed as quickly as possible.

Sewer lines can become blocked for various reasons. Tree roots growing into the pipe are a common cause of blockages, and flushing cooking oils and fats down your drains can rapidly clog any sewer line. However, the humble baby wipe is becoming an increasingly common cause of sewer line blockages, and a baby wipe blockage can cause catastrophic damage.

How Do Baby Wipes Cause Sewer Line Clogs?

Baby wipes may look and feel like the flushable moist wipes used in many households, but they should never be flushed down your toilet. Unlike toilet paper and flushable toilet wipes, baby wipes are made from synthetic woven fabrics rather than paper or paper derivatives. As a result, they do not come apart when flushed down the toilet, and will not biodegrade even after long periods of time.

Once you flush a baby wipe down your toilet, it can become snagged in your home's main sewer line, catching other baby wipes and solid debris that pass through the line. This can cause a blockage to form inside the sewer line alarmingly quickly. Once a mass of baby wipes becomes impacted inside a sewer line, it will prevent any liquid waste from passing through the line.

What Should You Do If Your Sewer Line Is Clogged With Baby Wipes?

If baby wipes have recently been flushed down your home's toilet, and you notice that your toilet, sinks, and bathtubs are not draining as quickly as they should, this may be a sign that baby wipes have gotten caught inside the line. Flush your toilet several times before using it again, and make sure that everyone in your home knows that flushing baby wipes is a no-no.

If your home's sewer line is seriously blocked, and you suspect baby wipes are the cause of the blockage, don't bother using drain unblocking chemicals. These substances can only dissolve organic matter, and will not affect the synthetic fibers used to create baby wipes. 

Instead, you should call in a professional plumbing service that specializes in unblocking clogged sewer lines. These services use commercial-grade equipment that can reach blockages located far down your home's sewer line, and will be able to remove the impacted baby wipes quickly and thoroughly. They can also use remote drain cameras to check for leaks and damage that may have been caused by the clog.

For more information on what can cause a clogged sewer line, contact a professional near you.

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A Job for the Ages: Plumbers

Plumbers have been around for as long as homes have had running water. And do you know what? They'll be around for many, many more years to come. Plumbing is not a job that can easily be outsourced or done remotely. Your plumber can't exactly install your shower or fix your toilet unless they are in your actual home. Keep this in mind if you are ever looking for a job that can be done in-person. We'll share some more about plumbers on this blog, and we encourage you to read what we have to say, even if you just have a tiny interest in this field.