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To think you should not put baby wipes down someone else's toilet?

(153 Posts)
LiegeAndLief Fri 20-Sep-13 14:11:28

This going to be massively identifiable if the culprit is an MNer, but anyway...

We have a downstairs toilet with a macerator on it. I had a friend round with a potty training toddler who had an accident, so she went to the downstairs toilet to clean her up. Later that evening, I discovered that the toilet was backed up and the macerator wasn't working. There was a suspicious looking wipe floating in the toilet.

Dh and I tried to unblock it but had to call in a plumber, who has just left (with a large chunk of cash). There was what looked like half a packet of baby wipes in there. Not even flushable wipes, proper tough Johnson's type baby wipes. Some of them have been pulled through into the motor and it's fucked. Going to have to get a completely new macerator at exorbitant cost.

I'm really cross with myself for not mentioning that you can't put anything but toilet paper into a macerator, but really, would you put a whole load of actual baby wipes down someone else's toilet? Or even your own?! My friend is lovely and has done lots for us and I can't bring myself to mention this to her but I am just so frustrated.

IShallCallYouSquishy Fri 20-Sep-13 14:14:15

YANBU! I wouldn't even put a baby wipe down my own loo. They even say on the packet not too.

Can you tactfully ask your friend if she put baby wipes down there? It might open up the conversation to the fact you now have to fork out for a new macerater.

expatinscotland Fri 20-Sep-13 14:18:06

What is a macerator.

ViviDeBeauvoir Fri 20-Sep-13 14:19:40

What's a macerator?!

LiegeAndLief Fri 20-Sep-13 14:20:24

It's something you can put on a toilet which essentially chops up all the shit and toilet paper so that you can pump it out through a smaller pipe than a standard waste pipe. So you can put bathrooms in places where you can't easily get at the waste pipe. Our waste has to go up a bit too, so there is a pump which pumps the waste up.

Sirzy Fri 20-Sep-13 14:24:18

You shouldn't put babywipes down any toilet.

Locketjuice Fri 20-Sep-13 14:25:02

My parents live on a boat and have the same toilet system and when I lived with them my friend put a tampon down the loo... My poor dad is all I can say!

Even the water turned red confusedblush

lucidlady Fri 20-Sep-13 14:25:10

I'd mention it. She may genuinely not realise and be doing this at home too. My neighbour flushed baby wipes down the toilet for months, thinking it was ok. It was only when a huge blockage caused the sewer pipe to back up through a manhole into my cellar that she realised it was not ok!!! Thames water had to dig up half our street to fix it so yes, tell her!!

PoppyWearer Fri 20-Sep-13 14:25:55

YANBU but will probably have to just let it go. Not worth losing a friend over.

We have a macerator toilet and on the odd occasion someone else uses it I do warn them. But I would probably assume they wouldn't be flushing baby wipes down it!

Mind you, there was a holiday homes thread recently where a toilet had been blocked by guests flushing disposable nappies down the toilet shock so yes, people really are that stupid!

Sparklingbrook Fri 20-Sep-13 14:27:26

No you wouldn't flush wipes anywhere. confused There was a thread a while ago asking for us to think up a little poem for the toilet wall because of just this scenario. sad

seaweedhead Fri 20-Sep-13 14:27:30

yanbu- surely its common sense that you shouldn't put babywipes down the toilet- any toilet. They don't disintegrate like paper.

LiegeAndLief Fri 20-Sep-13 14:31:09

That's exactly it Poppy, I even asked if she needed wipes and she said no, she had some, but it never occurred to me she was going to flush them down the toilet!

At least it wasn't a tampon I guess... Come to think of it I've never told any guests they can't put tampons down there, which is a more reasonable thing to flush. Maybe I need a sign.

But now when she comes over again and uses that toilet I'm going to have to say don't put wipes down, and then she'll realise that she put half a ton of wipes down last time, and then I'll have to either lie or tell her we had to get a new macerator, and then she'll feel awful... Oh god I don't know what to do.

LiegeAndLief Fri 20-Sep-13 14:31:35

Ah, a poem! Scrap the sign idea!

MrsApplepants Fri 20-Sep-13 14:31:55

We have a septic tank. I won't go into detail about what happens when stuff other than toilet paper is put down the loo. I tell everyone who visits not to flush wipes etc and leave little nappy bags out for them to use and bin.

You must say something so it doesn't happen again.

Gruntfuttock Fri 20-Sep-13 14:32:28

You should definitely tell her. She could be not only buggering up her friends' and family's loos but her own too. Baby wipes are not flushable and she needs to know that.

LiegeAndLief Fri 20-Sep-13 14:34:13

But if I tell her I will have to tell her that she's effectively cost us £600. And then she'll feel awful and I'll feel awful for making her feel awful and guilty for not mentioning it in the first place and it will be awkward and horrible.

avolt Fri 20-Sep-13 14:36:22

We had to get rid of downstairs macerating type toilet for exactly the same reason. It was going to cost £800 to repair and we couldn't afford it. The motor was completely ruined. I don't think it's obvious to some people. Perhaps when it's repaired either don't let guests use it - a big "out of order" sign, or put a big sign up saying nothing but toilet paper here please, with a bin to use instead. I don't know what else you can do really.

Gruntfuttock Fri 20-Sep-13 14:38:23

The fact that she's cost you £600 and may well have blocked other people's loos too, necessitating a plumber, is all the more reason to tell her! Think of it as doing a favour to her and her other potential 'victims' by preventing future problems. You know it makes sense. smile

LiegeAndLief Fri 20-Sep-13 14:39:14

Avolt, I would be really tempted to just give up on the downstairs toilet, but the washing machine goes through there too and there's nowhere else to put it. I really need the washing machine!

LazyMonkeyButler Fri 20-Sep-13 14:42:20

Is this the same as a Saniflo? I've never had one myself, but have a couple of good friends who do. I know because they have each told me of similar problems in their homes!

I think if it was me, I'd have to have a sign. I would also be so paranoid about anyone using the loo! £600 is a lot of money!

LiegeAndLief Fri 20-Sep-13 14:48:11

Yes, like a Saniflo. It's making me feel a bit better to hear we're not the only ones!

BrokenSunglasses Fri 20-Sep-13 14:49:22

It is obvious when you have a macerator? I don't know if I'd be aware not to put baby wipes down. I'd never put down more than one or two, but if I only needed a couple to get rid of a bit of unexpected mess, I'd flush them.

Was it a poo in pants particularly messy accident?

I think if you knew she was going to be doing a big clean up. It would have been worth checking that she had nappy sacks with her or if she needed a bag.

Some of the responsibility is yours here, I don't think you can say that she cost you all that money.

Sparklingbrook Fri 20-Sep-13 14:50:12

Wipes should not be flushed. Full stop.

LiegeAndLief Fri 20-Sep-13 14:50:54

I agree with you broken, I'm really cross with myself for not mentioning it. If I felt blameless I'd probably be a bit more willing to mention it to her!

LiegeAndLief Fri 20-Sep-13 14:51:22

This was a LOT more than one or two though.

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