Way back at the beginning of the current pandemic, you may remember people panic buying toilet roll. The news was full of grim pictures of empty shelves and uncertainty over supply, prompting a mad scramble to stock up! What does this have to do with blocked drains, you might ask.
Unfortunately, whilst some households were happily working their way through their hoarded rolls, others were forced to make substitutions. It’s these substitutions that have paved the way for a nation plagued by blocked drains!
Toilet paper substitutes increase the risk of drain blockages
Toilet paper is purpose-made for the job it does. Lightweight and disintegrating easily when wet, it’s designed to break into smaller pieces and take up minimal space when flushed down the toilet. Its use helps to keep drains clear. The same can’t be said of substitutes: materials such as kitchen roll, absorbent wipes, medicated toilet tissue, baby wipes, cosmetic wipes, wet wipes or newspaper (yes, some people were that desperate) created larger loads than the average domestic drain pipe was designed to hold. The inevitable result was that drain blockages became far more common, as the sewage system simply couldn’t cope with the volume of toilet roll alternatives.
Increased cleaning caused further issues
Particularly in the early stages of the pandemic, extra hygiene measures were widely publicised as helpful in preventing the spread of the virus. For many people, this meant purchasing anti-bacterial cleaning wipes. These handy wipes claim to kill 99.9% of germs – always an appealing choice for Covid-conscious homeowners. After using a wipe to clean the toilet, a large number of individuals did the obvious thing and flushed them down the loo! Just like toilet roll substitutes, cleaning wipes are highly likely to cause blockages, due to their relatively large volume, density and durable nature.
Stick to the “Three Ps” to keep your toilet draining freely
The three things that have a place in your toilet are: toilet paper; poo; and pee. Flushing anything else down the toilet increases the risk of a blockage. Dispose of wipes (of ALL types – there’s no such thing as a wipe that can be safely flushed down the toilet), sanitary towels, tissues, used cotton wool, cotton buds and similar debris in a bin or other receptacle.
Call Pinnacle Plumbing for further advice on preventing drain blockages, or to book one of our drain unblocking experts if it’s too late for preventative advice!