Most people are mindful of not flushing paper products down the drain, but there is one paper product that tends to get flushed nevertheless: paper towels. Paper towels often get grabbed when the toilet paper is gone or get flushed after drying your hands, but these paper products need to stay out of the septic tank and septic system just the same. Here is a look at a few good reasons why you should never flush paper towels down the toilet.
Paper towels are denser and harder to push down the drain.
Take a look at the average paper towel. Not only is the towel at least two-ply, but it is also designed to absorb and hold water. When you place a paper towel in the toilet, it will absorb a lot of water, expand and get heavy, and become really hard for the toilet to flush with just gravity alone. Even if the towel does make it out of the toilet, there may not be enough force there to properly pull it into the main septic drainage line to completely eliminate it.
Paper towels can get caught up in the septic pump.
Most septic systems have to have a pump that acts as a go-between for the flushed debris and the septic tank. If you have one of these pumps and you flush paper towels frequently, the towels can get caught up on the pump impellers and cause problems rather quickly. If you prefer the stronger, thicker paper towel brands, the problem can happen even quicker and cause even more damage than usual.
Paper towels do not deteriorate as toilet paper does.
If you leave a piece of toilet paper in water long enough, you will notice that the fibers start to break apart and deteriorate. This is because this is exactly how toilet paper is supposed to react in water. It can only hold up long enough for you to use it for your personal needs but when tossed in the toilet, it is meant to break down into smaller particles. If paper towels were designed the same way, they would fall apart when using them to clean up spills or dry your hands. Since paper towels do not break down in the water, they can quickly clog your septic tank and take up valuable space. Therefore, you may find yourself needing septic pumping much sooner than usual.