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5 Things You May Not Know about Your Garbage Disposal

garbage-disposal-kitchen-sinkOne of the best modern plumbing innovations, according to many chefs and homeowners, is the garbage disposal. Without it, we’d spend way more time scraping things into the kitchen trash bag, and more time carrying trash bags outside as well. Thankfully, we can just dump most of our leftovers into the sink—but not all of it.

Lots of people are unaware of what does and does not belong in a garbage disposal, and they may have many misconceptions that mean the garbage disposal may not always be treated properly. We want to help. Here, learn 5 things about your garbage disposal you may not know already, and call our plumbers in Montclair, NJ for more information.

#1: The “Blades” Are Not Sharp

In fact, we wouldn’t call them blades at all. The proper term is “impeller” and they are not sharp. Instead, they move quickly and forcefully to grind food up against a shredder ring so it breaks apart. It’s not like a blender, which is why you shouldn’t put anything into the garbage disposal you couldn’t chew with your own teeth (like meat bones, popcorn kernels, or paper and plastic wrappers).

#2: You Might Be Able to Fix It with One Button

Don’t contact a plumber before you’ve tried this. Some people are unaware that a single button can help to fix the disposal. First, make sure the disposal is turned off. Open up the cupboard and check under your sink for the reset button. If it has popped out, try pushing it back in and see if your broken garbage disposal starts up again. Whatever you do, do not stick your hand down the disposal, for your own safety.

#3: Fibrous Foods Can Cause Damage

There are many foods that look inconspicuous but could damage the pipes or your garbage disposal unit. Many foods are too fibrous, or stringy, which means they may be able to wrap around a disposal’s impellers, jamming up the motor. This includes celery, artichokes, onion skins, and potato peelings.

#4: It’s Not Too Tough to Clean

Chemical drain cleaners should not be used on your garbage disposal (or on the drains. It’s really unsafe!). But there may be an easier way. Try using a small lemon slice if you notice smells coming down the drain. Or, try the old 7th grade science trick! Follow up a few tablespoons of baking soda with a cup of vinegar and clear out with boiling water. This may make your sink drain smell like new.

#5: You Should Use Cold Water When You Run the Disposal

Many people think warm water gets the job done, but it can actually hinder things. There is science behind using cold water, rather than warm water, every time you run your garbage disposal.

Fats, oils, and grease can solidify in the pipes—even if they enter in liquid form—as they cool and coagulate. This is one of the most common reasons of a drain clog. That’s why we encourage people to throw out their foBut if the water is cold as these items enter the garbage disposal from your food, it may help to solidify the grease sooner so that it can break up in the disposal and move down the drains with ease.

MarGo Plumbing Heating Cooling Inc. offers plumbing and garbage disposal services in Montclair, NJ. Call our team today!

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