Nowadays garbage disposals are commonplace in all kitchen sinks. While they are an amazing tool, most homeowners are not aware that you still cannot put just anything down them. As useful as they are, garbage disposals are not indestructible! So what should NEVER go down your disposal or kitchen drain?
- PASTA & RICE – Although they seem tine and innocent when they go down your kitchen drain don’t let that fool you. Both pasta and rice will expand many times their original size when they become wet just sitting in your drain. Not only could they fill up the disposal trap causing your sink to back up, they just as easily block the drain line itself leading to even bigger backup issues.
- OIL & GREASE – Garbage disposal or not, these two are BIG no-no’s no matter what. This is a large category that includes things like, cooking grease, oils, and even butter. Often, people think that because they seem like liquids it’s okay to just dump them down the drain. This is a huge misconception! Grease and oil will congeal over time creating a large mess that will most certainly cause lots of drain issues down the road. Not only are these bad news for your drainage system, they are not eco-friendly causing all kinds of damage to the eco-system in your local waterways.
- COFFEE GROUNDS – You read that right, coffee grounds should never go down your drain or disposal. Truthfully speaking (or typing), extremely small amounts of coffee grounds may not cause you any headaches but but very careful. Coffee grounds can and will quickly pile up at the bottom of your drain line causing a thick sticky glob of sediment. Once it starts to build up it will continue to grow and accumulate over time becoming extremely hard to clear out. Any good plumber will tell you, coffee grounds are one the most common causes of back ups and one of the hardest to rid your pipes of.
- POTATOES & THEIR PEELS – Because of the high starch content we recommend throwing these out instead of sending them through your garbage disposal. They can quickly cause damage to your blades causing the them to catch or even become stuck. If they happen to get through the disposal with no issues they could easily result in a back up down the road.
- FRUIT PEELS & RINDS – All peels and rinds should also go into the trash. Banana peels in particular can easily bind to the blades of your disposal causing them to stop spinning. Any kind of fruit rind too hard to cut or slice through also cause damage to your disposal blades. If something is too tough to cut with a knife it should never go through your disposal.
This short list may be the top 5 things we see homeowners abusing their disposal with it doesn’t list everything. We have seen it all when it comes to garbage disposal misconceptions. Just because they are called GARBAGE disposal does not mean that they can handle all things. A good rule of thumb to remember: If you can scrap it off or throw it in the trashcan, that’s where it should be. Garbage disposals are only meant to be the last line of defense for your kitchen sink drain.
Even following these guidelines you can sometimes find yourself with garbage disposal issues. If you are seeing the signs of problems to come R. A. Styron can get you up and running in no time at all. If you are in the Hampton Roads area our well versed plumbing department can repair or replace any type of disposal you have or want. Scheduling with one of our plumbing technicians is fast and painless online or over the phone at 757-420-5488.