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Garbage Disposal Do’s and Don’ts

garbage disposal at your home

Garbage disposals are convenient modern appliances that make your everyday life easier. If you have already had a chance of using a garbage disposal at your home, most likely you have found it very helpful. What a wonderful way to get rid of food leftovers and waste after cooking! Just put all the junk into the garbage disposal opening and forget about it. However, it is not that simple as it seems…

Holidays are in full swing– all that cooking, preparation and extra cleaning is going to put extra strain on your garbage disposal unit. So in order to avoid a lasting plumbing problem, show this faithfully serving appliance an appropriate level of care and respect. Keep it clean and operational and drop only suitable waste into it.

As long as the garbage disposal is maintained clean and used properly, it will definitely ease up the whole process of kitchen cleaning. When the disposal unit is neglected, it can become the nightmare, wishing you never installed it in your kitchen. It might break down easily, blocking and clogging the drains and spreading nasty odors, which will result in a long list of costly plumbing and drain fixes. Some appropriate tips and tricks will help you as a homeowner to keep your garbage disposal in a great working condition. Read on to find out what you should do and not do when it comes to your garbage disposal use.


Professional Installation

First and foremost, have a professional install your garbage disposal unit to avoid any future problems with its functioning. It should be hooked up to the plumbing and dishwasher correctly.

Regular Use

Run cold water down the garbage disposal often, even if you don’t require its service much. This will prevent the unit parts from corroding and keep any items from getting stuck.

Flushing the disposal every time you use it

Run cold water whenever you turn on the garbage disposal unit. Continue to run it for 15-20 seconds; this will help fats congeal so that they could be ground up instead of gluing to lower pipes.

The disposal cleaning

It is necessary to clean your garbage disposal regularly. Not only foul smells will be eliminated from your kitchen, disposal cleaning will ensure sharp cutting blades at all times. Cut up a citrus fruit, such as lemon, and feed this through the unit. The peel should be also included, because it contains the most acid. As a result your garbage disposal will retain its best performance as well as start smelling great.

Disposal Check Up

Before turning the garbage disposal on, check it for fallen items like spoons, bottle caps, jewelry, and other small things. If you have found any, turn off the disposal and use tongs to retrieve the fallen items.



Remember that your garbage disposal is not a trash can

Your garbage disposal is intended to process small table scraps, and not large amounts of food. If too much food is added at once into the disposal opening, it might cause it to clog.

Only certain leftover foods should go into the garbage disposal

Keep excessive amounts of pasta, potato peels, rice and other starchy foods from disposing into the unit. Coffee grounds also shouldn’t go down your sink drain. These items won’t harm the unit itself but they can accumulate in your home’s pipes and cause clogs later. Glass, plastics, metals, inedible items should not go into your garbage disposal unit either.

No grease, oils or fat (GOF)!

These things do not seem that bad at first, but think about that grease that was left from frying your chicken. It easily runs down the drain while hot and you don’t see a problem in that. Next time try to experiment – leave that grease for a couple of hours in your frying pan and then see it congeal and turn into one hard piece. That’s exactly what will happen in your drain if your pour GOF into the disposal unit only that this time a clog will be formed obstructing your sink drainage.    

No hot water for flushing your unit

You should flush your garbage disposal after each use, never ever use hot water for that purpose. Hot water will melt the solidified fat or grease and clog the drain as a result. Instead, allow cold water to run for at least 20 seconds after each garbage disposal use and apply other cleaning techniques to remove that nasty grease build-up.

No hands reaching into the garbage disposal

Don’t put your hand in the garbage disposal to retrieve fallen items. Even if your turned it off at the circuit breaker, wear protective gloves on to protect your hands from the blades or better use tongs to get those things that got stuck inside.   

This guide will walk you through the essential do’s and don’ts that have to do with a conventional American garbage disposal. If you stick to the mentioned points, you won’t be risking clogged pipes, damaged blades, and the need for professional help in making your garbage disposal functioning again.

However, if the problems with stinky drains reoccur, that might indicate more serious plumbing issue. In this case do not hesitate and call a plumber from Downey Plumbing Heating & Air Conditioning and we will come to the rescue ASAP!

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Downey, CA 90241 | (562) 646-1221