The real damage yet to come with toilet paper panic buying


Bottom of a blocked toilet we cleared. Blocked with non-dissolvable objects (flushable wipes)

You reach for toilet paper and notice you have none left.


Call out for a pack of tissues, maybe a baby wipe.


Better yet, you have some flushable wipes somewhere - great!


A range of things might go through your head.


How far away is the paper towel?


With toilet paper exiting the shelves faster than half price Cadbury chocolate, it can be a task in itself to get your hands on some.


As toilet paper supplies decrease, our plumbing systems will take the hardest of the brunt.


Toilet paper was creatively engineered to compliment plumbing systems, so they flow smoothly.


As soon as we add foreign objects to drains this is where we can have issues.





What might happen if anything other than toilet paper is flushed?


Manufacturers make toilet paper so it is easily dissolvable in water and breaks down properly, sending it on it’s way.


Toilet paper generally leaves with not much trouble.


Unless it’s used in excess (which can cause a gummy blockage in the toilet itself).


It might be tempting to use tissues, flushable wipes or paper towel when toilet paper is scarce. But these can cause some major dramas.


Although similar in terms of their use, tissues, wipes and towel don’t break down properly when they meet water.


Flushable wipes for example, don’t break down at all. See our image above, taken after we had to remove a toilet suite to relieve a blockage caused by these wipes.


If your drains aren’t maintained regularly you increase the likelihood of these objects getting caught in your plumbing system.


If items get caught, other issues in your drains can really brew over time.





What is regular drain maintenance and how will it help?


You pour the left over grease in the pan down your drain, take the strainer out of the bottom of your sink and sneakily push some rice down.


You add chemicals like ‘draino’ from time to time because you think it’ll do your drains good.

We’ve all done it – putting foreign objects and chemicals into our drains.


Just like the exterior of your house, the internal and underground plumbing systems also weather with age.


Regular drain maintenance is much like using a gurney to keep your concrete paths in good order and free of build up.


Your drains need the same attention to.


Cleaning your drains once a year and inspecting with CCTV ensures you adequately clear any objects that may cause build up over time and it also keeps them in good condition.


It’s easy for things like grease, fats, wipes and other things to get caught in drain bends or in any breaks or nicks in your plumbing system.


It can also be easy for drains to break if there is a shift in the earth.


Pairing regular drain cleans with CCTV camera inspections gives you visibility of what’s happening in your underground plumbing.


If your drains are broken, it can be easy for objects to become lodged or trapped.


Not to mention, an invitation for thirsty plant roots to enter your drain system.

Causing a whole world of issues in themselves.


By cleaning and inspecting your drains regularly you can spot major issues early and get them repaired before any major damage happens.


It’ll also ensure your drains take plumbing waste away smoothly all year round.



Tree roots can also trap non-dissolvable items in drains


How to tell if you’re having drain issues


There’s some good news, having drain issues can be easy to spot.


Here are the top things you can look out for:


· Gurgling noises in your plumbing

· Slow to no drainage

· Odours coming from your drains

· Your toilet water level sits too high or too low



If your toilet level is high, this can be a sign of a blockage

So, what’s acceptable to put down toilets?


Toilet paper and generally, toilet paper only.


We strongly recommend giving everything else a miss, especially if you haven’t maintained your drains in the last 12 months.



Interested in learning more about regular drain maintenance?


Our plumbers in Darwin and Adelaide regularly maintain drains for a whole range of clients. From Body Corporates, Strata Managers, commercial clients and home owners directly.


We help plumbing systems and drains work smoothly all year round.


Born in Darwin, we have recently launched our second team in Adelaide, still servicing both regions with the friendly service locals have grown to love.


Interested in learning more about regular drain maintenance or having issues with your drains due to non-dissolvable products being flushed?


Contact our friendly plumbing team today or send us a message directly from our website.



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We are a small Australian based plumbing business operating in the NT and SA. We are made up of two local plumbing teams, Pett Plumbing and Gas Darwin and Pett Plumbing and Gas Adelaide. Experience our unique service today.

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