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How to Avoid Emergency Plumbing Calls: Toilet Paper Troubles [Updated for 2020]

Mar 24, 2014

The 3 ways toilet paper can clog your pipes…

While companies like Charmin and Cottonelle are known for promising the softest, plushest toilette paper available, they are also a growing cause for emergency plumbing services in San Diego. Sure, that quilted feeling is great on your bum, but it isn’t so great for your plumbing.

Luxurious toilet paper products can clog pipes; and the thicker the paper, the more likely it is to send you searching for a plumber. Any home – but especially older homes – are susceptible to a variety of plumbing issues, but when it comes to problems caused by toilet paper, there are three main culprits: flushable wipes, low-flow toilets, and cast-iron pipes.

If you want to find the best toilet paper for your plumbing, remember this: eco-friendly and less expensive options are typically easier on your home’s pipes. In other words, you can save money and your plumbing system by going green!

1. Flushable Wipes: The New Culprit

The term “flushable wipe” can be misleading, as these products may not be flushable at all. Companies continue to develop new products to try and attract a variety of customers. They promote better hygiene and improved comfort; however, this comfort comes with a price. Your sewer system is built for human waste, and even though these wipes claim to be flushable, the truth is that they do not dissolve or move as fluidly as needed.

2. Low-Flow Toilets

While low-flow toilets are better for the environment because they use significantly less water, using the wrong toilet paper with them can clog your pipes. Using less water to flush causes a reduction in the water pressure that pushes waste down the pipes and this causes buildup over time. The good news is you can avoid this problem by going green and swapping out expensive, luxurious paper products for more eco-friendly and economical options.

3. Cast-Iron Pipes

While cast-iron pipes are known for their durability, they also come with some drawbacks. For starters, cast iron pipes can rust. Additionally, the inside of cast-iron piping can develop jagged edges and spurs. Those inconsistencies are known to catch non-dissolving materials like the remnants of those fancy toilet papers. The result? Frequent and annoying backups.

Test your toilet paper and find the best option that won’t clog your pipes

If you still aren’t sure which toilet paper is best for your plumbing, conduct a simple test. Take a square or two of your current toilet paper and drop it into the toilet. If a few minutes have passed and it still looks similar or nearly identical then it may be too thick, putting your plumbing at risk.

Instead of using the thick toilet paper products available today opt for a thinner, lighter option. Usually, the more cost-effective toilet paper products are best for your plumbing.

If you find yourself with a nasty clog regardless of your precautionary efforts, contact us. Our team of plumbing experts has the experience and equipment you need to resolve even the most stubborn of plumbing issues. Were available at standard rates from 7 am to 7 pm, 7 days a week! 24-hour emergency service is also available, and we serve customers throughout the greater San Diego region – from El Cajon to Rancho Bernardo, San Marcos, Vista, Escondido and beyond!

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