Local plumbers stay busy dealing with toilet paper substitutes blocking pipes

Published: Apr. 1, 2020 at 6:28 PM CDT
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Toilet paper shortages in Texoma are not only causing headaches for consumers, but for local plumbers as well.

Bare shelves in the toilet paper aisles due to panic buying during the COVID-19 pandemic have led people to use alternative methods.

However, plumbing professionals, like Jack Jones, said those alternatives can lead to clogged pipes, big messes and costly repairs.

"Just a lot of paper towels, napkins, way too much toilet paper, and hygiene products that don't need to be flushed," Jones said.

Jones is the owner of

in Ardmore and has been a plumber all his life.

He said he recently got 20 calls in one day about stopped up sewers.

"We generally don't get that many calls for sewer stoppages and we couldn't make it to everybody," Jones said.

Since then, he said his business has seen between three and five sewer stoppages a day.

"And what's bad is whenever it's stopped up, a lot of customers are continuing to use their facilities whenever they're backed up," Jones said.

Jones said his employees are already stretched thin and are only taking emergency calls to stay out of people's homes as much as possible.

If a toilet is stopped up, Jones recommends trying to clean the area and clear it out before calling a plumber.

"We're out there trying to make sure that you can wash your hands and try to stay clean and keep this virus away," Jones said.

Jones said if you do not have actual toilet paper and have to use something else, don't flush it.

Put paper waste in a trash can with a lid or put it in a plastic sack and throw it away.

"I know it's nasty and I know it's something we're not used to doing but you need to do that," Jones said.