Friday, July 5, 2013

The Worst Things You Can Put Down Your Garbage Disposal

Garbage disposals are great at eliminating waste and scraps that can cause unpleasant odors, although they are prone to damage if you put the wrong food down your drain. Here are 10 of the most common problematic items that end up in garbage disposals, which often requires a call to an experienced Colton plumber.

1. Stringy vegetables

Stringy vegetables like celery act like potato or apple skin. With a rubbery texture, spinach and celery will end up clogging your kitchen drain.

2. Bones and shellfish shells

Shells and bones will dull and eventually break your garbage disposal's blades. They can also jam your disposal, preventing the blades from working properly. This will eventually burn out your motor.

3. Pasta or rice

Both pasta and rice stick to your pipes and the blades of your garbage disposal, eventually causing a clog. They will also bloat with water in your pipes, causing even worse backups.

4. Vegetable and fruit skins

Peels or skins from fruits ad veggies like apples, onions and potatoes will easily get stuck around the blades of your garbage disposal, preventing it from working. If you feel you need to put these items down the disposal, make sure you do it in small amounts and run cold water while you run the disposal.

5. Seeds and pits

Seeds and pits from fruits will dull the blades of your garbage disposal.

6. Coffee grounds

Never dispose coffee grounds down your garbage disposal because it will clog your pipes.

7. Greasy or fatty food

Foods that are greasy or fatty will leave a film on your garbage disposal blades, which reduces their effectiveness. Over time, this grease will also decompose and cause awful aromas. Never pour grease down a garbage dispoal as it will only harden and clog your pipes.

8. Egg shells

A lot of people think that egg shells sharpen the blades of garbage disposals, but this is simply not true. Egg shells should never be put down a garbage disposal as the stringy membrane on the shells will wrap around the shredder ring, while the ground shells will have a sand-like consistency that clogs pipes.

9. Tea leaves

Tea leaves do the same thing as coffee grounds and pasta, clogging your pipes and sticking to the blades of the disposal.

10. Non-food items

Never put non-food items into a garbage disposal, such as cigarette butts or plant clippings. These items will not be broken down well and they will get stuck in your drain.

Better Ways to Dispose of Food

While garbage disposals are effective and practical, they also introduce more algae-producing elements into treatment plants, which requires more cleaning and energy to treat waste water. The best way to eliminate food and scraps is making a compost heap to turn scraps into a nutrient-rich compost for your garden. It's also a good idea to add a strainer or colander to your sink to keep waste from going down the drain.

If you run into any problems with your garbage disposal, contact the experienced plumbers at Inland Empire Plumbing for assistance.

Image: Sean Benham/Flickr

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