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The Pipeline

By Dan Weltman

Garbage Disposal Basics

Most homes have them, and use them on a daily basis…
…and most people put anything and everything down them, ultimately causing issues that a plumber has to come in to fix.

Yes, we are talking about garbage disposals.

Our plumbers are garbage disposal experts, and they fix hundreds if not thousands of clogged, jammed and broken disposals every year. In an effort to help our customers avoid problems with their garbage disposals we have put together some simple garbage disposal ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts’.

Garbage Disposal Dos:

  • Cold water is a must. Running hot water can cause fats and grease to liquefy, later solidifying and clogging pipes.
  • Keep the water running. Running water will ensure an even flow through the disposal.
  • Don’t stop grinding too early. Run the garbage disposal for at least 15 seconds after the food has gone through to ensure that the disposal has been properly cleared of all debris.
  • Regular running prevents problems. Disposals that aren’t used frequently can rust and the engine can corrode.
  • Smaller pieces = better success. Don’t try to run large items through your disposal. Keep them small and cut them up when needed.

Garbage Disposal Don’ts:

  • Don’t stick any objects – including fingers! – into the disposal to clear a jam.
  • Trash belongs in the garbage, not the disposal. Never put plastic, glass, metals, fabrics, hair, rubber or paper into the disposal.
  • Avoid grinding the following foods: vegetable peels; corn husks & cobs; celery; egg shells; coffee grinds; bones; poultry skin; seeds; and fruit pits.
  • Grease and oil will cause clogs. Although they may go right through your disposal, they will later solidify in your pipes, causing future problems.
  • When in doubt, throw it out! If you aren’t sure if something can go down the garbage disposal just toss it in the trash.

And remember, if you do run into an issue with your garbage disposal call in an expert. Weltman‘s plumbers are on call 24/7 and will be here when you need us most!