Do you remember the days when we were constantly filling our kitchen trash cans with food waste? And, remember when that waste would rot and stink up the whole kitchen? If it wasn’t for garbage disposals, many of us would still be dealing with this issue. A garbage disposal is a great and effective way to handle common food waste in the kitchen. Disposals shred up waste, like uneaten food, into small pieces, which makes it easy to pass through the drain pipe. They are also beneficial to the environment as they reduce waste. Did you know that about 20 percent of environmental waste consists of food scraps? Unlike the trash, when food waste is disposed of in a garbage disposal unit, it can be turned into renewable energy or used as a fertilizer or compost.

In addition, many plumbers would highly recommend having a garbage disposal unit installed if they do not have one already. Believe it or not, many kitchen plumbing issues can be caused by food scraps, as they can easily clog a sink. The fact of the matter is that having a garbage disposal will significantly reduce the number of clogs you have in your kitchen sink.

Now that we briefly covered a few of the many benefits garbage disposals can bring, let’s cover a few proper methods for garbage disposal care. Whether you already have a garbage disposal or going to purchase one in the future, it’s beneficial to know how to properly care for, and maintain your disposal unit, so that it will have a long lifespan and you can get the most out of your investment.

Safe Unclogging Tips

Although it doesn’t happen often, garbage disposal units can become backed up or clogged. In most cases, you can try to troubleshoot the problem before contacting your local plumber. First things first, whenever you are attempting to remove a clog, you should always make sure that the unit is shut off. Attempting to dislodge food waste, other materials, and gunk while the unit is still functional is only asking for bad news. When the disposal unit is completely turned off, you can try to locate a small hole on the side of the disposal, under the sink. A small, thin tool can be stuck into the whole to try and locate a clog. If there are a feeling of resistance, you’ve most likely located a clog.

If the clog is small and moderate, you may be able to remove the stuck materials from the blade paths, clearing your disposal. However, if the clog is severe and cannot be unclogged through the entry hole and by trying other methods, it may not necessarily be a problem with your disposal unit, but the plumbing system overall. When this happens, contact a professional plumbing service in your area to ensure that the problem is fixed correctly.

What Shouldn’t Be Put Into a Garbage Disposal

Although most garbage disposals are created to handle just about any type of kitchen food waste, there are definitely certain items that can cause clogs and sometimes lead to costly damages within your unit. In most cases, you can prevent damage to your unit by simply monitoring the materials and items you put down your disposal. Check out some common food waste items that you should avoid putting down your disposal unit.

Other Care and Maintenance Tips

By simply following a few basic plumbing tips, you can keep your disposal unit working and operating effectively. Similar to drains, you can perform a self-inspection and clean your disposals yourself. A good rule of thumb is to inspect your disposal unit and the drain pipe it is connected to at least once a month, looking specifically for issues in the unit’s performance. In addition, running cold water when you use the disposal, letting it run until a few seconds after the disposal is turned off to ensure the waste is pushed down the pipe are important steps in maintaining your disposal. Although you can perform monthly inspections, you should always schedule an annual inspection with an expert as they may notice issues that homeowner’s are often overlooking.

Complete Plumbing and Rooting Tips

  • Keep your disposal smelling fresh by putting a citrusy fruits or peels down the unit, which will counter the smell brought by other foods and waste.
  • Keep the blades in your disposal sharp by placing a few ice cubes down the unit.

Whether you are dealing with a clog or just need an annual inspection performed, you can count on Complete Plumbing and Rooter! As one of the top plumbing and rooter companies in Southern California, our professionals can handle any plumbing task and will go above and beyond to ensure that your plumbing is being maintained the proper way. For more information about disposal and drain cleaning, or to receive a free estimate, contact our team today!