Dealing With A Toilet Paper Shortage? 3 Ways Toilet Paper Alternatives Affect Your Plumbing

26 March 2020
 Categories: , Blog


If you're like many, current shortages have left you without toilet paper. As a result, you may have started using paper towels or sanitary wipes. If you have, don't flush them down the toilet, especially if you have a septic system. Those products may be soft and may even say that they're flushable. That doesn't mean they're safe for your plumbing or your septic system. The sad fact is that products like paper towels, sanitary wipes, and facial tissue, cause considerable damage to your septic system. Here are places you may see plumbing problems when you flush paper towels, sanitary wipes or facial tissue.

Your Toilets

If you've been using alternatives in place of toilet paper, you may start to see problems with your toilets. Those materials may flush down the toilet, but that doesn't mean they're going down the drain. Paper towels, facial tissue, and sanitary wipes often get stuck right at the base of the toilet bowl. You can't see them, but they're there. As they build up, they create a barrier that prevents waste from getting through to the septic system. Over time, you'll start to see fecal matter backing up into your toilets.

Your Drains

If you haven't seen fecal matter backing up into your toilets, you may think that your plumbing is safe. That's not necessarily the case. That may mean that they've moved further down into the drains. But that doesn't mean you're in the clear. If that's the case, you'll start seeing problems throughout your home. Some of the trouble spots may be your kitchen or laundry room. Paper towels, facial tissue, and sanitary wipes clog the drain. That includes the mainline through your home. As a result, you may start to experience kitchen drain clogs, or washing machine backups. You may also see fecal matter backing up through your exterior clean-out drains.

Your Septic System

If you're still flushing toilet paper alternatives, you'll start seeing problems with your septic system. These problems happen in a couple of ways. First, the toilet paper alternatives get stuck in the septic drain. This causes a backup that sends raw sewage back into your home. Second, the toilet paper alternatives block the septic filter. The filter prevents solid waste from flowing through to the liquid holding tank. Paper towels and other similar products get caught on the filter, which causes a backup. If your septic system backs up, you get raw sewage in your bathtubs.

Don't put your plumbing at risk. If you have to resort to using toilet paper alternatives during this crisis, don't flush them. Instead, toss them into a separate waste can and dispose of them with your household trash. 

To learn more information, reach out to a septic tank service near you.