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Garbage Disposal Do’s and Don’ts

under sink

Feehan Plumbing & Heating's Garbage Disposal Troubleshooting Tips

Your kitchen is one of the busiest rooms in your home, especially during the holiday season. If you use a garbage disposal, it is important that it does its job without clogging and not working. Always make sure that the disposal is properly maintained and clean. Pouring in a small amount of dish soap or dropping in small pieces of lemon or orange peels can break down grease and eliminate unpleasant odors. Also, remember to run cold water through the garbage disposal because it will help any food and substances in the disposal to harden and be broken up by the blades.

For preventive maintenance, try running a few ice cubes through your garbage disposal because it sharpens the blades and cleans up any grease buildup you might have. Below are some of the top Dos and Don’ts when using your garbage disposal.

Garbage Disposal Do’s:

  • DO run cold water down the drain for about 15 seconds before and after using the garbage disposer to flush waste down the main line.
  • DO turn on the disposer before adding food debris.
  • DO Wipe congealed (semisolid) grease from pots.
  • DO power down your garbage disposal when you need to repair or clean it.
  • DO try untangling any fibers wrapped around your garbage disposal’s blade using the wrench that came with your unit.
  • DO ward off odors with warm water and lemons.
  • DO run the garbage disposal every few days.
  • DO clean your garbage disposal every two weeks.

Garbage Disposal Don’ts:

  • DON’T put hard-to-grind, stringy, fibrous waste into the garbage disposer (poultry skins, carrots, celery, pumpkin pulp or banana peels) because the disposer can’t sufficiently grind these items and they will clog your sink drain.
  • DON’T pour fats or cooking oils down the drain because liquid fats solidify in the pipes and create clogs.
  • DON’T put coffee grounds or starchy food into the unit because it can clog the pipes
  • DON’T use your fingers to pull out any clogs.
  • DON’T use bleach or commercial drain cleaner to unclog because the caustic chemicals might fly up and out.
  • DON’T pour hot water into a clogged unit because it makes unclogging the garbage disposal even more difficult.
  • DON’T put potato peels in your garbage disposal because it can cling to the sides of the disposal.
  • DON’T put glass, plastic, metal, or paper in your garbage disposal because they can jam or dull the blades.
  • DON’T put egg shells in your garbage disposal because they can stick to the pipes and possibly clog.
  • DON’T put expandable foods like pasta and rice in your garbage disposal because they can cling to the disposal.

Try this to Keep Your Garbage Disposal Running Problem-Free

Ice is an extremely effective and inexpensive method for cleaning your garbage disposal, sharpening the blades, and breaking up any grease build-up that has accumulated. Just toss a few ice cubes into the garbage disposal and run it. As the garbage disposal chops into the ice cubes, the ice chips will effectively scour all the hard-to-reach areas of the unit, and melt down the drain. Try this once or twice a month to keep your garbage disposal in fine working order.

Plumbing problems can happen to anyone, anytime. If your home in the Delaware Valley needs plumbing or heating repairs, think Feehan first. We are always available for professional garbage disposal repair and replacement services.

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