How to Properly Use and Maintain Your Garbage Disposal

How to Properly Use and Maintain Your Garbage Disposal

April 12, 2019

Every homeowner should get familiar with the basics of home plumbing in Altoona, PA, but don’t let this scare you. Simply knowing when there’s a problem with something and practicing preventative maintenance is good enough! Take your home’s kitchen garbage disposal, for example—use it right and treat it well to avoid costly repairs or having to replace the entire unit sooner than expected.

Tips to keep your disposal grinding away

Maintaining and using your home’s garbage disposal the right way can prevent drain clogs and blade jams, but do you know what to do and what not to do? Below are a few tips and tricks to extend the life of your garbage disposal:

  • Use cold water: Always use cold water when running your disposal, rather than hot water. Hot water can melt the food in the disposal before the blades get the chance to grind it all up, and allows the waste to adhere to the sides of the garbage disposal and pipes.
  • Run the disposal frequently: You should run your garbage disposal at least every few days, regardless of whether you know there’s food in it that needs grinding up. Running the disposal on a regular basis lets its parts move around, which keeps it from rusting, corroding or freezing up. Additionally, any leftover food bits inside can dry up, start to stink and cause clogs.
  • Leave the disposal running: Let the disposal run a minute or so longer after it has finished grinding up waste. This is the easiest way to be sure all the food refuse has been flushed out of the drain pipe.
  • Grind up small pieces of waste: Never feed large pieces of waste into your garbage disposal. It’s best to throw away bulky plate scraps in the trash can, but if you must put them down the disposal, cut them up into small pieces first. Otherwise, you risk overworking, clogging, jamming or breaking the device.
  • Refresh the disposal with citrus: You should clean your garbage disposal with cold water and soap every so often, but also consider grinding citrus peels when you have them available. Toss slices of lemon, lime or orange peels into the disposal to help clean excess waste in the drain and eliminate unpleasant odors.

Things you should NEVER put down the disposal

Even though this device is called a garbage disposal, in reality, you shouldn’t use it like a trash bin. There are many foods that don’t grind up easily, and that will instead clog the drain or cause the disposal to malfunction or break. Avoid putting certain food items into your garbage disposal. These include hard food bits (egg shells, bones, fruit pits and seeds), grease and oils, potato peels and expandable foods (rice, pasta, other starchy ingredients). Other items to never toss into your disposal are non-food materials, such as metal, plastic, paper and glass. These materials in particular can jam or dull the blades of your garbage disposal.

When there’s an issue with your home’s plumbing in Altoona, PA, look no further than the team at Caporuscio Plumbing & Heating Inc. for help. Our emergency services are available 24/7!

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