The garbage disposal in your home is a great appliance making household duties less demanding, but just like any other appliance in your home this can also breakdown, block and clog up your drains causing a long list of expensive plumbing drain problems.
Clogged drains are a huge inconvenience and garbage disposal repair can be costly. Fortunately, most garbage disposal troubles are not terrible, and the proper care and maintenance is very easy. Treat your garbage disposal well and it will treat you well in return.Below we'll describe some mistakes you should avoid and the actions you should take in order to keep your garbage disposal working smoothly for many years.
1. Keep anything too hard out of the disposal. Otherwise, the shredder will dull and become less efficient. Small hard objects can also get stuck and jam the rotating parts. Each garbage disposal has its own capacity for hard objects. The more expensive models of the same brand tend to have higher hardness capacities and may be able to handle some of the following:
• Hard shells from shrimp, crabs and other shellfish • Un-popped popcorn kernels • Hard bones
2. Do not put fibrous or starchy items in the disposal. They can cause particularly stubborn drain blockages (fibers get tangled, and starches get thick). The following items shouldn’t be put in the disposal and if you do, please add them in minimal increments, preferably cut into small pieces, or avoid them all:
• Banana Peels, • Celery, • Potato peelings, • Corn husk or corn cobs, • Artichokes, • Coffee grounds (in quantity) or coffee filters, • Fruit pits and hard seeds, like avocados or peaches. • Onion skins (unless you're especially careful to completely remove the thin membranes of each, which can wrap around the shredder ring) • Egg shells should not be put in the disposal they turn into a substance that clogs piping.
3. Avoid putting trash or hard items down the disposal. Common sense will go a long way, but here are some examples of items to avoid:
• Twist ties, pull tabs, rubber bands • Glass, screws, nails, • Utensils • Cigarette butts or bottle caps, paper, plastic, or other trash • Fabric, string, rags, or sponges • Plant or flower clippings • Children's toys • Hair • Grease
4. Run cold water while the disposal is on. Keep disposer and water running for 30 to 60 seconds AFTER the waste matter has cleared your drain. The waste still has a long way to go. Cold water keeps the motor, bearings and shredder assembly from overheating. It also lets the waste go down better because the water is pushing it down. Don't use hot water, because it can melt fat and allow it to become solid as a blockage further down in the drain.
5.Clean it regularly. With the disposal off, clean the inner side of the rubber in the center of the sink leading to the disposal. It gets very dirty, and gives off an odor when not cleaned. Just wipe it with a paper towel.
Throw some ice down once in a while. While ice will not sharpen the shredders (as is commonly believed) it does knock off any debris buildup on the sharp edges that keeps them from grinding food properly. For better results, make special ice cubes from pure lemon juice or vinegar, or alternate with biodegradable cleanser (label them in your freezer!) Cover and seal ice trays used in your freezer for cleanser, and do not reuse trays for food or drink after having been used for cleanser. While using the disposal, be sure to run cold water at the same time.
Dispose orange peels, or any citrus rinds, to freshen the disposal and keep it smelling clean, but cut them into slices first as large pieces of citrus peel, e.g. half a lime, can jam a disposal. You can also use pieces of citrus fruit that may be too old to consume, as long as they're not too spoiled to smell nice. You can freeze these pieces first, if you wish.
If your garbage disposal breaks and you need help from a professional, it may be time to call: Benjamin Franklin the punctual plumber.
Benjamin Franklin - Lic. #CFC1426801 Ins. EOE/DFWP