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Can toilet paper cause a blocked drain?

| Gerry Rowe

If only paper, pee or poo can go down your loo – does it matter what kind of paper you use?

A photo of toilet roll tubes which must not go down your toilet.
A photo of toilet roll tubes which must not go down your toilet.

Yes, it does. Luxury modern toilet paper – smooth, soft, comfortable to use – disintegrates when mixed with the water in the toilet bowl. It breaks down very quickly and flushes away. It, just as importantly, is unlikely to cause a blockage.

As an alternative

I heard it said you could use paper towels, napkins or paper bags from the grocery store in ‘desperation’ or an ‘emergency’. It has been done; quite a few people said you have to damp it down or wet it down to make it comfortable and soft enough to be used.

The consequences for using thick drawing paper, or cutting up a glossy magazine into squares, will be a partially (if not completely) blocked drain. The next person to use the toilet will have an awful time. It can be easy to get defensive and to pass the blame or reject responsibility! However, someone eventually calls in the handyman with his strong plunger forcing the unsuitable paper towels or glossy paper round the bend only to block the lateral drain outside. 

As we've experienced in the past, this goes on for days, sometimes for weeks. The blockage remains until it becomes dire: A health hazard. Now the problem is much larger and we struggle to get the right help to clear the problem. When the blockage is finally cleared it is washed down the drain into the sewer where we assume it will be ‘dealt with’ at the public treatment plant.

Blocked drain prevention - beats the cure.

A photo of a toilet - blocked drains are caused by using the wrong kind of paper!
A photo of a toilet - blocked drains are caused by using the wrong kind of paper!

My recommendation is as a group of people or as an individual, it is prudent to be "proactive" (especially for someone else) in selecting the paper before using the toilet. Times are tough and needs must: however we don’t want to be causing a much larger problem for ourselves by putting the wrong kind of paper down our toilets. 

The thrifty among us work out how we can perhaps cut someone's lawn, run some errands or remove some rubbish in return for some cash to buy a modern jumbo pack of toilet paper maybe.

I know this is possible because when I was 11-year-old my father sent me out to do precisely that, I knocked on the door of the enormous house down our road. I said, "can I please cut your small front lawn in return for toilet paper?” The reward was excellent. The people not only gave me toilet paper (I believe they sent someone out to get it while I was cutting the lawn).

They seem to get great joy; out of giving me quite a few groceries. Although it wasn't always this way, it was like having an early Christmas.

Some years later, my father started up a garden service which included cutting people's lawns.  

Many years later I was keeping my father’s company going; the lawns and gardens at this mansion were enormous to me. My father said, as he put the kettle on to make us both a cup of tea, one day (in his shed on loan from the owners), "Do you know, Son, the people who own this great big house spend so much time at work, leaving so early in the morning when it’s still dark and getting home at 7 p.m., I feel as though I get more joy out of this garden than the owners do", he was so proud.

 

Call ASL Limited to clear your blocked drain today.
Call ASL Limited to clear your blocked drain today.

If you have a blocked drain and need assistance to unblock it call us now on 0800 181 684.

Don’t delay we can help you today!

Call 0800 181 684 for all your drainage needs.

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