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Plumbers warn stock-piling and overusing toilet paper could be costly for your pipes

Posted at 6:34 PM, Mar 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-16 18:34:17-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — As people respond to the COVID-19 crisis with various levels of preparation, one thing we've seen is toilet paper disappearing from shelves in local grocery stores.

With so much tissue on hand, some might be inclined to use more than normal, but plumbing experts in the Capitol City say moderation is key.

And, while you don't want to flush too much of it at one time, they also warn against using alternatives that could lead to the need for costly repairs.

"If they run out of tissue and they start using paper towels, the paper towel doesn't break down like the toilet tissue does," says Jay Wolfe, the general manager at Capitol Plumbing. "And in older homes, you've got old cast iron pipe that it can get caught on and cause back up within the system."

Wolfe also advises against using flushable wipes. While they may flush through the system, they're not biodegradable and are therefore more likely to cause sewage problems.

He says repairs for clogged pipes can start at $150 in minor cases.