Most households today have a garbage disposal, so often it gets taken for granted. But when the garbage disposal stops working, any of a few problems could result. You could have smelly back-up in your sink. The pipes underneath your sink could break. The appliance could become clogged. These are just a few of the scenarios that can occur.
Usually problems with garbage disposals occur when you throw almost everything down it. You can prevent many of the common garbage disposal problems by being careful about what you throw down it. Here are eight tips every homeowner should know about operating a garbage disposal:
- 1. Never put your hand down into the disposal system. You should always use a pair of tongs so that your hand is not serious injured.
- 2. Always run the cold water when you put things down the garbage disposal. This will help protect the blades, prolong their life, and make everything you send down the appliance go down more smoothly.
- 3. Avoid running hot water down your garbage disposal because this can cause grease to build up inside the unit and create clogs.
- 4. Don’t put too much down your disposal at one time. If you have large pieces of food to put down, cut them into smaller chunks and put them down the disposal one chunk at a time.
- 5. To clean your garbage disposal, just pour some dish soap down it and turn it on, allowing it to run for about a minute.
- 6. Use your garbage disposal on a regular basis to prevent corrosion or rust.
- 7. If your garbage disposal begins to smell bad, put lemon peels down it to freshen it up. To clean the walls of the disposal, try throwing down chunks of ice or the small pits of some fruits or egg shells.
- 8. You should never put these items into the garbage disposal:
- • Bones
- • Paper, metal, plastic, or glass items
- • Anything that could catch fire
- • Cooking oil, grease, or animal fat (these items could cause clogs)
- • The husks of corn, celery, or other fibrous food items that have the potential to become tangled and jam the disposal’s motor
- • Starchy food items like potato peels, which can cause the blades to stick
- • Rice, pasta, and other foods that expand when you add water to them.
- • Coffee grounds (they tend to build up inside your pipes)
- • Drain cleaners, bleach, or other harsh chemicals
Most consumers who have a garbage disposal can’t imagine what life would be like without it. However, just like with other important appliances in your home, you should treat your disposal with care. By following the above tips, your garbage disposal should enjoy a longer life span.
It is very important that you turn the power to the garbage disposal off if you ever need to service it. Any time your hand is near the blades of the disposal, you run the risk of being seriously injured if the disposal is connected to power. Because garbage disposals are so complex, you should call a plumber for assistance with anything other than a simple clog. They will take all of the guesswork out of fixing this appliance.
Let the experts at Scott English Plumbing help you figure out what’s wrong with your garbage disposal. They offer complete installation and service for all popular brands of garbage disposals, as well as electronic leak detection, hot water heater installation, maintenance, and repair, and water softener and filter installation and service. Call Scott English Plumbing today for help installing or repairing your garbage disposal.