Is your garbage disposal giving you problems? Our Westminster plumbers have installed and repaired just about every make and model, many times over, and we'll be your best friends when it comes to fixing or replacing your garbage disposal. When it comes to installing a new model, or installing a garbage disposal for the first time, you need to have everything from your kitchen sink to your home sewer connection evaluated to ensure that your upgrade will fit with your existing plumbing system, municipal laws, and your family's usage habits.
A garbage disposal with too little horsepower may clog easily and not have enough muscle to handle a larger family's food scraps, but a garbage disposal with too much horsepower could create an unnecessary strain on your electric system and, if not matched to your sink, could make your kitchen cleanup unreasonably loud.
Our Westminster plumbing team will be happy to show you the best ways to keep your garbage disposal running perfectly for years to come. In the meantime, we've also put together a few answers from some of the most frequently asked questions about garbage disposal usage.
Keep cold water running during usage and up to a minute after the grinding has stopped. Once your garbage disposal has broken down your scraps, what's left behind will still have some distance to travel before clearing your kitchen pipes. Cold water will also keep the garbage disposal's motor from overheating, preventing otherwise unnecessary maintenance down the road, and it can help dislodge smaller scraps that get stuck inside your disposal unit. Keeping the water cold will also keep smaller fats from melting, since melted fats will only resolidify to fill nooks and crannies in your pipes, causing clogs that can be difficult to access and clear.
Avoid putting harder bones, like steak bones, down your garbage disposal. Depending on the model, it may be okay to put softer bones, like chicken bones, in your disposal unit, and it may even be beneficial to help clear out smaller debris that can get stuck on the grinding blades. Consult your manual or ask your plumber for more information about your disposal model.
The easiest way to keep your disposal smelling fresh is to feed it freshly cut orange peels, or any citrus rind. The citric acid will help break up many of the substances that can cause bad smells while also replacing them with a smell you definitely won't mind. Don't just throw a whole fruit down there, though - the sinewy bits of citrus flesh, or even large pieces of the peel, can create blockages. Besides, there's no reason to waste a whole orange, and you weren't going to eat the peel, anyways.
There are two good reasons not to put egg shells down garbage disposals. First, egg shells are so brittle that the disposal blade can turn them into a fine, sandy power. Mixed with other, softer scraps, you'll be trying to flush a thick paste through your system, after it has already exited the disposal unit. Second, the membrane on the inside of a shell can get tangled up on the disposal blade, leaving it less effective at breaking up your other scraps.
One of the best things to put down your garage disposal is, believe it or not, ice. Besides mechanical malfunctions, nothing slows down a garbage disposal faster than regular blockages and debris. Ice is hard enough to scour the insides of your disposal units, but has no chance of creating a permanent blockage in your pipes. You can also make ice from pure lemon juice to help dissolve away tougher blockages and leave your disposal unit with a fresh scent.
Lots of people put grease and cooking oil down their disposal, but that's an easy way to cause clogs and put a strain on Westminster's water sanitation. The best way to dispose of grease is to collect it in a small container, like a coffee can, and solidify it in the fridge before you throw it in the trash. Most other things you shouldn't put down a garbage disposal are common sense, like glass and metal, but you should also avoid fibrous items like onions, celery,
artichokes, or wash cloths. Starchy items, such as large amounts of potatoes, rice, or pasta, shouldn't go down there either, since they can take on water and swell to fill your pipes. The same goes for coffee grounds.
For more information on how to maximize your garbage disposal's lifespan, contact our Westminster plumbing contractors.