One of the most common repair calls that plumbing companies receive are for kitchen garbage disposals. These are almost universal devices for modern kitchens, and they help immensely with removing food waste while not creating plumbing clogs for the drainpipes. But many people treat their garbage disposals as if they can handle anything put down them—which they certainly can’t! This leads to a high incidence of breakdowns and repair calls.
It doesn’t have to be this way. Below are a few tips for how you can treat your better disposal so you won’t have to make numerous calls for repairs.
- Don’t use ice cubes as a way to “sharpen the blades”: Here’s a piece of bad advice that wanders the Internet: you can “sharpen the blades” in the disposal by pouring ice cubes into it. The truth is that the disposal doesn’t use blades, it uses blunt impellers to hurl food waste against a grind ring. The hardness of ice cubes can only cause damage.
- Avoid pouring “FOG” down the disposal: What’s “FOG”? It’s an acronym for “fats, oils, and grease.” All three can spell serious trouble for the disposal, but people pour them down the drains anyway because in liquid form they appear harmless. But as the liquids cool down, they become viscous solids that will rapidly cause the mechanical parts of the disposal to jam up.
- Never put actual garbage down the disposal: The name garbage disposal leads to this misunderstanding. Only organic food waste goes into the disposal. Garbage such as paper, cigarette butts, plastic, etc. can harm the disposal.
- If your teeth can’t chew it, the disposal can’t either: This is good rule of thumb to remember when it comes to what food waste should go down kitchen disposal. Keep things like popcorn kernels and animal bones out of the disposal.