Toilet paper probably isn’t on your list of interesting topics to discuss. In fact, it’s one of those things that most people would rather not talk about. After all, your bathroom habits and the products that you use are personal and you like to keep that kind of information to yourself. But, did you know that some kinds of toilet paper can actually cause your sewer system to back up? That’s right, if you’re not using a truly sewer system safe type of paper, it can cause you major headaches and a big plumbing bill.
Isn’t All Toilet Paper the Same?
Actually, no it isn’t. Some toilet papers, especially the ones that are ultra fluffy and thick feel quite nice when you use them. Don’t be fooled by the advertisements that try to convince you that they’re the best. Not only are these products high priced, they’re also tough on your sewer system, even if they say they’re septic safe.
Why Are Fluffy Toilet Papers So Bad?
That thick, soft comfort you get from a fluffy toilet paper means it’s not going to break down very quickly once it reaches the sewer system. Remember that every time you flush, the paper travels along with the water and waste and sits until it dissolves enough to move on through the pipes and sewer system.
What Happens to Undissolved Toilet Paper?
As unpleasant as this sounds, when used toilet paper doesn’t dissolve properly it gets stuck in the pipes and sewer system. If enough of it builds up in an area it won’t allow anything to pass through and waste can back up into your home. In most cases, you’ll have to call in a plumber to have the clog removed.
What Kind of Toilet Paper Should I Use?
Single-ply toilet paper is, by far, the best option for your sewer system. The problem is that it’s thin and often rough instead of soft and thick. If you’re not willing to go that route, here are some other suggestions that you might find a bit more reasonable.
Biodegradable Toilet Paper
Any toilet paper will break down eventually if there’s enough water. But, biodegradable toilet paper requires minimal water to break down and dissolves faster. As with single-ply paper, it’s not soft and thick and it’s also a more expensive alternative. Even so, it’s better for your sewer system.
Recycled Toilet Paper
Whenever possible choose toilet paper that’s made from recycled materials. It contains fewer chemicals, like bleach, that throw off the natural balance of bacteria in your septic tank. Plus, the fibers in recycled toilet paper are shorter, break apart easier, and dissolve faster than paper made from new wood fibers.
Septic-Safe Toilet Paper
Pay close attention to the packaging on your toilet paper. You’ll notice that many brands claim to be “septic-safe.” This is supposed to mean that they dissolve quickly and won’t damage your system. Not sure if it’s truly safe? Look for toilet papers that are certified by the National Sanitation Foundation as septic safe.
How to Test Your Toilet Paper
If you’re still not sure if the toilet paper you’re using is safe for your sewer system, you can test it yourself. All you need is a jar with a lid, some water, and a few squares of toilet paper.
- Tear off 4 or 5 squares of toilet paper and put them inside the jar.
- Fill the jar three-quarters of the way full with water.
- Put the lid on the jar and shake it hard for about 10 seconds.
- Take a look at the paper and water mixture.
If your toilet paper is broken up into tiny pieces, it’s a good choice for your sewer system. If it’s still in large chunks, you might want to consider switching to one of the sewer safe options mentioned earlier.
Sewer System Problems?
If you’re having trouble with your sewer system in your Mound, Minnesota home or commercial building, don’t let the problem get any worse. Contact us at SOS Drain and Sewer Cleaning right away and we’ll send out one of our experienced, professional technicians to evaluate and take care of the problem.