Unclog Garbage Disposal – What NOT to Throw Into One

by admin on April 19, 2012 · 0 comments

Many people love their garbage disposal, because it allows them to get rid of food remnants that would otherwise stink up the kitchen. Garbage disposals can indeed be quite handy, but need to be cared for, just like other parts of a home’s plumbing system. Any plumber will testify to that.

No matter if you are moving into a new home, or are having a new garbage disposal installed, always read the instructions. A lot of valuable information is posted in the manual, including which items you should not throw into your unit. They include:

  1. Inedible items – You are increasing your chances for damaged blades or clogs when you dispose of paper, plastic, glass and metal. These substances should end up in a garbage can and not a garbage disposal, no matter how tiny they are. To secure your unit, add a strainer. It will prevent that anything unusual falls into the disposal.
  2. Fibrous foods - Stringy foods can wrap themselves around the blades and cause strain. That will put a lot of wear and tear on the unit. It can even stop the blades from running, and create nasty clogs. Therefore, avoid celery stalks, onion skins, stringy squash, and corn husks. You can still dispose of them; just cut them into small pieces.
  3. Hot water – The opinions on this issue are divided. One plumber will say that it is OK to pour warm water down the disposal, while another disagrees.  A lot depends on what you dispose.  Grease will liquefy and accumulate around the blades. Pasta, rice and flour expand in hot water. They can cause clogs. Use common sense, as you know what goes down that pipe. Always keep in mind that nasty clogs can lead to expensive plumbing repairs.
  4. Animal bones - Large chicken and pork chop bones shop should end up in your kitchen’s garbage can. You can throw them out, or use them to make a nice soup first. The extensive cooking will soften the bones. Small bones and cartilage can then go into the garbage disposal.
  5. Potato peels – Limit their amount, because the starch creates a paste around the blades. That will keep them from spinning. Ask your plumber during a plumbing maintenance visit to clean sticky blades. It is a job you should not attempt on your own.
  6. Grease – Oils, margarine, and butter harden in the pipes. The clogs are tough to remove.

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