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How to Take Care of Your Garbage Disposal

The garbage disposal in a home’s kitchen does an enormous amount of work chopping down organic waste to allow it to easily flow into the plumbing that enters the sewage system. But garbage disposals are not invincible; without proper care, your garbage disposal may end up having a short service life and need a replacement earlier than it should.

We have some tips to help make sure that your disposal receives the best care and lasts for many years performing its useful service. Whenever you encounter any troubles with the disposal, call for a professional plumber in Salt Lake City, UT from Rentmeister Total Home Service. We have 24-hour emergency service for your convenience, and we’ve served homeowners with excellent plumbing since 1953.

Tips for Caring for Your Garbage Disposal

  • Don’t pour oil, grease, or fat down it: This is probably the #1 reason for trouble with garbage disposals. Because oil, grease, and fat are liquid when they are hot, people assume they’re harmless for disposals. However, when these liquids cool down, they change into waxy solids that can jam up the moving components of the disposal like the flywheel, leading to mechanical wear and tear and eventually a breakdown. Place these liquids into a separate receptacle and remove them to the actual garbage.
  • Use cold water with the disposal: It seems logical to run hot water down the disposal, since it helps with cutting through grease when washing dishes. But cold water helps keep the motor, bearings, and flywheel assembly from overheating.
  • Do not attempt to overload the disposal: Let food particles go into the disposal opening a bit at a time, and let the system run and completely clear before you add more food. (Also allow the cold water to continue to run for a few moments after the disposal clears, which will give time to flush out the drainpipe.)
  • Do not turn the disposal on without running water: Running water is important for the lubrication of the moving parts and to prevent the engine from overheating.
  • Do not put solids into the disposal: This includes chicken bones, popcorn kernels, banana peels, coffee filters, fruit pits, egg shells, and hard shells from shrimp or crab. Basically, if your teeth can’t chew it, the garbage disposal can’t either.
  • Call for professionals when it needs repairs: Avoid attempting to fix a broken disposal on your own, either by sticking your own hand down into it, or trying to use utensils, tools, or poles to get it unstuck. This can cause damage (to you and the disposal) that will make the situation worse. Rely on plumbers for the work.

A garbage disposal is an essential part of the modern kitchen, and you don’t want to discover how important it is because you suddenly don’t have a working one. Follow the above advice, and turn to Rentmeister Total Home Service and the work of a professional plumber to make sure you receive the longest life possible from your garbage disposal.

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