Our garbage disposal is our friend and we want to keep it happy and in good working condition. When we stop to consider how convenient it is to have one, and how much more work kitchen clean-up would be without one, we want to make sure that we keep it in good working order and we do not want to hear that angry sound it makes when it has something it’s not supposed to have in there.
Let’s start by sharing a few things that you may or may not know about your garbage disposal. These tips can help you take good care of your kitchen sink disposal and make sure it works for many years to come.
Disposals help with sewer system management
The invention of the garbage disposal was to help stop food clogging the municipal sewer system. That’s right: homeowner convenience wasn’t the original reason for coming up with a food grinder attached to the kitchen sink drainpipe. A disposal changes food waste into smaller particles so it slips down into the sewer system without creating clogs. There were early concerns in some cities that disposals might encourage too much organic waste to enter the sewer system. Today, garbage disposals are recognized as a good way to keep this extra waste out of landfills, instead of sending it into the water waste treatment system.
Disposals don’t have blades in them
This surprises people—but we doubt many of them attempted to find out if there were blades in there by testing with their hands. (A good safety instinct!) Rather than blades, a disposal contains blunt impellers. These impellers spin to throw food waste into a grinding ring around the outer perimeter of the hopper. This grinds the food down so it can go into the drainpipe.
Disposals can’t handle all food waste
This is one of the most vital facts to know about your garbage disposal if you didn’t already know it. A disposal cannot grind organic waste that’s too tough to chew. Do this simple test: if your teeth can’t chew something, your disposal can’t “chew” it either. This means chicken bones, fruit pits, and un-popped popcorn kernels should go down the disposal. Other foods to keep out of the disposal include stringy foods like asparagus, fibrous foods like onion skins, and pasta and rice, which swell up with water to create clogging.
You can deodorize the disposal
If your disposal is smelling a bit rank, you can help by running pieces of lemon or orange rind down it. (Don’t put the actual orange and lemon down the disposal—too stringy.) A cup of baking soda can also do this. If the smells of the disposal are extremely unpleasant, like a sewage odor, please call us at Bredahl Plumbing. You probably have issues in the drainpipe or sewer line, not the disposal.
Give us a call today for more plumbing tips