How to Extend the Life of Your Garbage Disposal

Extending the life of your Garbage disposal

How to Extend the Life of Your Garbage Disposal

Calhoun Plumbing

January 29, 2020

Garbage disposals are standard in most homes and offer great convenience in cleaning up after cooking or eating … but  … they can also be one of the more temperamental kitchen implements. You have to be extremely careful about how you use them. Garbage disposals are highly prone to seizing up, which in turn, will cause your kitchen sink drain to back up.  The following are some tips on how to extend the life of your garbage disposal.

  1. Use cold water only. Before you turn on the garbage disposal, run some cold water. Never use hot water in the disposal, as it can melt grease and fat, which can coat pipes, causing build-up and clogs. Avoid putting large amounts of food (leftover meatloaf and dinner salad) down the garbage disposal. Put small amounts of food down the sink at a time and let plenty of cold water run through to make sure all remains are rinsed away.
  2. Fats, grease, and oil. To expand on what was mentioned above, fats, oil, and grease should never be poured down the sink or garbage disposal. Once they’ve congealed, fatty liquids will cause clogged drains and backed-up sinks. Always dispose of fats, grease, and oil in a separate container and dispose of them with your regular trash.
  3. Vegetable peels, stringy vegetables, and flowers. This is another no-no. The fibrous nature of produce peels like potatoes, bananas and citrus fruit are difficult for the garbage disposal to grind up and can cause back-ups. Stringy celery is also difficult to break down and can get caught up in the mechanisms of the disposal. Lettuce and garbage disposals don’t mix well either. Stems and stalks of flowers are also impossible to break down and can cause the disposal and sink to back up. Dispose of all of these types of debris either as compost or in the garbage to be taken outside.
  4. Egg shells and coffee grounds. While technically, these items won’t harm garbage disposals, their path of destruction can go beyond the kitchen sink. Eggshells and coffee grounds are sediments, which means that while they can pass through the garbage disposal, they will settle in the trap under the sink and cause slow drains or a backed-up sink. And … coffee grounds do not sharpen garbage disposal blades. The best substance for that is to grind up ice cubes. Alternatively, if you have plants, compost the eggshells and coffee grounds in your planters instead of putting them down your drain.
  5. Rice, pasta and beans. Foods like pastas, rices, and beans can wreak havoc on your drains. The starchy nature of these foods causes them to expand after they become waterlogged, which can form clogs. Dispose of pasta, beans and rice, cooked or uncooked, in the trash.

If you find yourself with a non-working garbage disposal, and the motor reset button does not work, your garbage disposal is probably broken. The licensed plumbers at Calhoun Plumbing can help you with your garbage disposal problems. We have served the Greater Columbus area since 1992, and our professional staff can book an appointment that fits your schedule. We also offer 24/7 emergency service. Call us today.