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Plumbing & HVAC Articles from Colorado Springs, CO
This Is What Shouldn’t Go in a Garbage Disposal
As of 2020, more than 60% of move-in ready properties are already equipped with a working garbage disposal. For many renters and homeowners, this year marks the first time that they’ve had access to a garbage disposal in their own home.
Garbage disposals are an ultimately positive appliance to have in your home. They create a convenient way to dispose of certain food items while reducing the amount of food waste that ends up in landfills.
The only problem is that garbage disposals are fairly easy to jam up if you don’t know what to avoid using them for!
What shouldn’t go in a garbage disposal? Read on to find out.
The Proper Way to Use a Garbage Disposal
Garbage disposals are appliances that are built right into the kitchen sink. Typically, they have what is sometimes referred to as a grinding chamber. In the grinding chamber, you’ll find the grinding blades that break up food substances and the impeller arm and plate that push the broken down food through the drain.
Garbage disposals are simple contraptions that require a simple procedure to use. However, failing to follow this procedure can cause major problems. What are the steps you should take to use your garbage disposal?
First, turn on a steady stream of cool water. Then, turn the garbage disposal on using the switch located near your sink. Once the water and disposal are running, you can begin to feed small amounts of certain food substances into the disposal.
What Shouldn’t Go in a Garbage Disposal?
By skipping any of these steps or performing them in the wrong order, you can cause your garbage disposal to undergo damage. In some cases, you can perform every step and still encounter problems. This generally occurs when you try to put the wrong thing down the drain!
Let’s take a look at what not to put in the disposal.
Bones, Pits, Nuts, Seeds, and Shells
Bones, pits, nuts, seeds, and shells should never go in your garbage disposal. If you can’t cut it easily with a knife, the blades of your garbage disposal won’t be able to tackle it, either! These kinds of solid food products are more likely to break or dull your garbage disposal blades than to get ground up by them.
Even some of the softer nuts, like peanuts and cashews, should go in the trash rather than the disposal. If the garbage disposal blades do manage to break up these nuts, you’re going to end up with a paste-like substance that can clog up the works.
Stringy or Dense Fruits and Vegetables
You may assume that all fruits and vegetable cuttings and scraps can go down the garbage disposal. However, this is an area where you’ll need to be selective.
Some fruits and vegetables have very stringy fibers that can actually wrap around the blades of your garbage disposal and break them. This includes things like celery, banana peels, and squash.
Other fruits and vegetables may be too dense for your garbage disposal. Believe it or not, potato peels have the capacity to harm your garbage disposal because they’re simply too dense to break up quickly!
What should you do with this kind of food waste? Find out if they’re good for composting and start making your very own fertilized soil!
Oils and Fats
Oils, fats, and cooking grease aren’t necessarily bad for your garbage disposal, but they don’t belong in the drain. These substances are thicker than water and tend to stick to your pipes. If you dump a lot of these liquids and semi-liquids down your drain, you’re going to end up with a serious clog that can back up your entire plumbing system.
If it’s not edible, don’t compost it! That includes obvious materials like sponges, paper towels, and disposable cutlery.
However, there are some things that may seem like they’re in the grey zone: not quite edible, but byproducts of things you can safely consume. Should those things go in the garbage disposal?
Some of the materials that belong in this “grey zone” are used coffee grounds and eggshells. Coffee grounds, like soft nuts, are going to form a paste-like substance when broken up further by your garbage disposal. Eggshells, like dense vegetable peels, seeds, and bones, can damage your blades or clog your drains.
In other words, any “grey zone” materials should stay out of your garbage disposal!
How to Repair a Jammed or Broken Garbage Disposal
Did you learn what shouldn’t go down your garbage disposal the hard way? We’ve all been there! The next question is, what do you do next?
Fixing a broken garbage disposal isn’t quite like unclogging or replacing a pipe. The machinery is more complex and the blades can make things a little bit tricky. If you don’t know what you’re looking at or have the right tools to tackle the job, DIY may not be the way to go.
Instead, look for plumbing repair services near you. Working with a professional guarantees that the job will be taken care of the first time and save you money in the long run!
Plumbing Repair in Colorado Springs
Have you moved into your first home or apartment that is equipped with a garbage disposal? Making sure you know what shouldn’t go in a garbage disposal is one the best things you can do before you start using it.
That being said, things happen and we understand! That’s why we’re licensed, bonded, and insured plumbers that are available for any homeowner, property manager, or tenant in the Colorado Springs area.
To get started, contact us today. Let us know what kinds of help you need around the house and we’ll get back to you with a free quote.
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