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Toilet Paper 101: Advice from Your Emergency Plumber

Certified Plumbing of Brevard - February 11, 2022 - 0 comments

If you are like most people, when your toilet’s flush mechanism fails to work correctly, or the water takes forever to drain in the shower, you immediately try to fix it yourself. While most serious plumbing issues require an emergency plumber, some can be handled with a bit of patience and persistence, starting with choosing the correct type of toilet paper for your system. Here’s what your emergency plumber wants you to know.

Types of Toilet Paper You Should Use

Toilet paper may not appear to require much thought, but improper toilet paper can harm your septic and sewage systems. Softer toilet paper takes longer to degrade, which can cause jams or backups in septic tanks and older systems. Here are some things to think about while selecting the best toilet paper for your home.

1-Ply Toilet Paper

Although 1-ply toilet paper isn’t as soft as thicker paper, it is frequently less expensive per sheet, and recent manufacturing innovations have improved the softness and absorbency of 1-ply. Because it dissolves quickly, single-ply toilet paper is healthy for your plumbing system. 1-ply toilet paper may be a better option if your system is prone to clogs or plumbing concerns. It degrades more quickly and can help prevent obstructions. A roll of 1-ply paper uses fewer resources because there is less paper per sheet.

2-Ply Toilet Paper

In general, 2-ply toilet paper is acceptable for your system and should be more comfortable than 1-ply while still being relatively economical.

Because the squares on 2- or 3-ply paper are thicker, you can use less of it. It’s also softer and more absorbent, but some systems may struggle to handle it. Certain brands have been focusing on developing faster-breaking 2- or 3-ply paper. For toilet paper that breaks down quickly, look for “septic safe” labels. Some businesses provide toilet paper made entirely of recycled fibers, but these recycled papers may be less soft than others.

Don’t Use Too Much Toilet Paper.

A lot of people use too much paper. Every time you flush the toilet, the waste has to go somewhere. If you’re using a lot of toilet paper, it can back up and leak out into your flooring. Toilet paper is designed to dissolve very quickly after flushing. However, too much of it can overwhelm your plumbing system and garner you a visit from your emergency plumber.

What to Consider When Choosing Toilet Paper

Although ultra-plush toilet paper feels luxurious and smooth, it isn’t always the ideal choice for septic tanks because it takes longer to degrade. Easy dissolvability is one of the most crucial things to look for, as this will prevent the toilet paper from gathering and clogging the system. The features to look for in a septic-safe toilet paper are listed below.

  • Strong
  • Quick-dissolving
  • Chlorine-free
  • Absorbent
  • Soft
  • Properly sized


It’s inconvenient and uncomfortable to use toilet paper that punctures and tears. Consider the toilet paper’s wet strength, which refers to how well the material can withstand tearing while wet. The best toilet paper for septic tanks has a high enough wet strength to accomplish the job without tearing while still being able to flush rapidly.

The most frequent choices for septic system use are one-ply and two-ply toilet paper, both of which are acceptable. One-ply is less durable, but it is safer for septic tanks because it is thinner and degrades more quickly. Two-ply papers are typically more robust, more comfortable to use, and septic-safe. Two-ply toilet paper is the perfect compromise between comfort and dissolvability for many people.


One of the most important characteristics to look for in a septic-safe toilet paper is its capacity to dissolve. Because it degrades quickly enough for most septic systems, septic-safe toilet paper is frequently branded as such. To be sure, mix a few sheets of toilet paper into a large cup of water and see how quickly it dissolves.

Because of their manufacturing process, recycled and biodegradable toilet papers tend to be septic safe even if they are not labeled as such. Because it is usually constructed of shorter, recycled fibers that break up more readily than the long, strong fibers used in new toilet paper, recycled toilet paper has a better chance of totally dissolving.

While all pure toilet paper is biodegradable, those labeled as such degrade more quickly than regular rolls. This type of toilet paper also requires less water to dissolve and occupies less space in a septic tank once dissolved.


Anaerobic microorganisms in septic tanks help to break down waste. Many common chemicals, such as bleach, solvents, and cleaning products, can upset the septic tank’s delicate balance and disrupt waste breakdown.

As a result, it’s recommended to stay away from toilet paper that has been heavily chemically treated. Chlorine-free toilet paper is a better choice because too much bleach might impair the breakdown process, and toilet paper is regularly bleached to get its white hue.

Consider using biodegradable or recyclable toilet paper once more. Another advantage of biodegradable and recycled toilet paper is that it uses fewer chemicals in the manufacturing process, making it less likely to leak chemicals into your system.


Although thicker toilet paper is more absorbent, it might harm a septic system that’s already overworked. You should avoid ultra-plush toilet paper that looks more like a paper towel than a toilet paper because these toilet paper kinds can be difficult to dissolve.

Although ultra-thick toilet paper is frequently more porous and comfortable to use, it might clump up rather than dissolve down once flushed. When toilet paper begins to accumulate and clump, difficulties arise, leading to excessive buildup or drainage blockage. Instead, use a septic-safe toilet paper that is thick enough to absorb but dissolves quickly after flushing.


No one wants to use rough or abrasive toilet paper regularly. Choose a septic-safe toilet paper that is soft and enjoyable to use for your convenience.

Remember that specific ultra-soft toilet papers are incompatible with septic systems. While they have a plush feel, their surface is usually constructed of thick and lengthy fibers that break down more slowly than other forms of toilet paper. Instead, look for septic-safe toilet paper that is soft enough to use daily but not so soft that it won’t break down. Two-ply toilet paper may be more comfortable for everyday use than one-ply toilet paper.

Correct Roll Size

Toilet paper is available in different roll sizes and labels, ranging from ordinary to giant rolls. However, because there is no standard sizing for toilet paper, you must consider alternative methods of calculating cost-effectiveness and determining the appropriate size for you.

When determining whether a brand of toilet paper is worth the money, look at the number of sheets per roll. However, consider the toilet paper’s quality; sheet size and thickness will influence how many sheets are required for each wipe.

What You Should Never Use

The only type of toilet paper you should never use for the sake of your plumbing system is so-called “flushable wipes,” as a general rule. While these are sometimes acceptable in moderation, using solely this product is incredibly harmful to your plumbing since, despite what the label claims, these wipes are not dissolvable, which means they aren’t flushable. Prepare to have a clog on your hands if you use flushable wet wipes all the time.

Once again, the ideal toilet paper for you may be determined by the age of your system, the number of people living in your home, and your personal comfort preferences. Talk to your family about what works best for everyone, and then compare the results of this informal poll to how often you have to deal with a clogged toilet. There’s a good chance you’ll be able to find a happy middle!

Need an Emergency Plumber?

Certified Plumbing of Brevard is here to help. We are a full-service, family-owned, and family-operated company providing the highest quality service in Brevard County for over 30 years. Our team of highly trained professionals will be able to solve any problem you may have with your home or business plumbing system. We offer 24/7 emergency services and free estimates on all new installations and repairs.

If you’re looking for fast, reliable service from a trusted plumber, reach out to us. Contact Certified Plumbing now by calling (321) 676-0812 or clicking here. We’re excited to hear from you and happy to assist you with your needs today!

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