Tips to Avoid Garbage Disposal Problems

Keeping your garbage disposal unit in good operating condition can certainly help make your life easier. However, the more you use this time-saver, the more problems you may incur. It’s ideal to know ways that can help you avoid garbage disposal problems.

Garbage Disposal Use and Maintenance:

Garbage disposals should not be the place where you dump grease. This is not the place to dump your excess fat or grease from frying meat.  These items have a tendency to plug up the drain line and are sure to cause problems with the disposal. Simply collect the grease in a bowl or Ziploc baggie and dispose of it elsewhere.

Run plenty of COLD water while you are using the disposal to eliminate food wastes. If you are using it to eliminate 1 pound or more of food waste, you must plug the drain first. Fill the sink with 1/4 of the way full with cold water. Pull the drain plug out and turn the disposal on. This should thoroughly wash the drain line free of any garbage that might cause a problem.

Be sure to avoid using hot water on a regular basis, because this could cause unwanted problems.

A list of Do’s:

  • Do turn on a medium to strong cold water flow before you start using the appliance. Continue running the cold water for 15 seconds after the food grinding stops. This will flush the drain line and the disposal free of food particles.
  • Do occasionally put a small amount of ice into the disposal to help clean the inside of the grinding area. Use caution when doing this! Make sure you have the drain stopper in place to avoid flying particles of ice.
  • Do occasionally use a disposal cleaner or de-greaser to help eliminate any grease that may cause unpleasant odors. Check to make sure that the product is authorized by the disposal manufacturer.
  • Do consider having your kitchen drain line snaked approximately every two years as preventive maintenance. The disposal is only as good as the drain line serving it.
  • Do ask a plumber for professional advice on the best methods to maintain your drains and garbage disposal.
  • Every once in a while grind up peels from citrus fruits like lemons or oranges. This helps keep the grinding area smelling fresh and the natural acidity helps suppress the bacterial growth associated with odors.

A List of DON’Ts:

  • Garbage DisposalDon’t use hot water while grinding food. It’s perfectly acceptable to run hot water down the drain after you’ve used the disposal. However, it is even more important that only cold water be used during the food grinding process.
  • Don’t put grease, fat or items of this type in the disposal. These will cause the drain line to clog. Simply get rid of these items by putting them in the trash.
  • Don’t feed the garbage disposal handfuls of vegetable peels all at once. The garbage disposal has a tough time with vegetable and fruit peels. Keep the cuttings in a separate container and feed them slowly into the grinder while running plenty of cold water.
  • Don’t use cleaning products that are too harsh for your garbage disposal. You can make your own cleaning solution with water and a mild detergent. There are also cleaning products made specifically for garbage disposals, these work well.

The longest you should use your garbage disposal unit is typically seven years. If you have one that’s older than this, it’s an excellent idea to get it replaced. There will be more garbage disposal problems that occur after 5 years of use. Be sure to contact a plumber at David LeRoy Plumbing, Inc. about completing the installation of a brand new garbage disposal if necessary. 717-938-8214 or contact us here.

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