For women’s eyes only
Ladies, ladies, ladies. I know this is a sensitive subject but woman to woman, just because it says it’s flushable doesn’t always mean it is. This is a weird subject for me to talk about and write about, but most ladies don’t know that they shouldn’t flush their feminine products down the line, and as a woman myself that owns a plumbing company, I’m going to get uncomfortable for a minute and hope that it helps you. Yes, the feminine item, like a tampon can get through your toilet, but it is what happens after the toilet that you need to be aware of. I can tell you from professional experience; plumbers don’t think a second thought about what they pull back when they are clearing a drain, but one of the most common things I hear from my female clients after we pull back feminine products from their main line is how embarrassed they are. I want to save you from dying of embarrassment. We pull back feminine products daily that create stoppages in main lines. Baby wipes, makeup wipes, and paper towels are also big culprits. Most of us don’t think a second thought about something we flush, it goes down, doesn’t seem to come back up, so we’re free to go on about our business. Our time of the month is inconvenient, messy and we hate it, so the last thing we want to be concerned with is the flushing of our feminine products.
Why shouldn’t we flush feminine products even though manufacturers say we can? Well, the simple answer is, the manufacturer is right, it is flushable and will go through the toilet, what the manufacturer doesn’t know is the condition of your drain and sewer lines. A new sewer line has a perfect grade with a smooth pipe that is mathematically lined to flow perfectly, not too fast and not to slow to take solids and fluids out to the city sewer system or your septic system. Sewer lines, unlike wine and us, do not get better with age. Sewer lines over time decay, settle, crack and can become textured. Those reasons are why it isn’t a good idea to flush feminine products of any kind.
Feminine products, by design, are absorbent and do not dissolve, with a sewer line that has settled, has bellies, roots or has texture from either grease build up or age, the feminine product will eventually become an issue. The feminine products, along with other things down the line will settle into the bellies and collect over time and can stick the sides of your sewer line like Velcro. A cast iron line and cement pipes end up having an interior texture like heavy grit sandpaper; they are Velcro to items like wipes and paper towels. Sewer lines made from Orangeburg often lose shape over time and rather than being round, become an oval-like shape that doesn’t easily allow the large mass to come through. Clay sewer lines don’t have glued fittings; these lines are often compromised by tree roots that make a net rather than a clear passageway that catches everything, including feminine products like tampons and other materials that don’t instantly dissolve in water.
Your sewer line is typically 3-4” in diameter so when you consider build-up of grease, sludge, and other unmentionables your sewer line can quickly diminish to 2” or less in some areas making it hard for bulk like feminine products and makeup wipes to make it through. Rather than passing through the line they slowly build up a damn inside your plumbing system which is always a recipe for a stoppage. This stoppage almost always results in us ladies wanting to die of embarrassment, this is especially true of a household full of teenage girls. We have a client who recently had the entire house flooded due to a stoppage from feminine products from their teenage girls, and the toilet was running, the result was a massive flood from upstairs to downstairs.
Our professional recommendation, don’t flush baby wipes and makeup wipes or feminine products, dispose of these items and similar items in the trash and avoid a potential stoppage.