Your Garbage Disposal Doesn’t Want These Items

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woman and her daughter standing over kitchen sink washing dishesIf you are one of many homeowners who have a garbage disposal in their kitchen sink, then you probably can’t imagine cooking and cleaning up without it. Things like kitchen scraps, unfinished meals, and leftovers that are too far-gone to eat anymore all get scraped into your disposal system where you won’t have to worry about them stinking up your trash can. However, too much of a dependence on this system can get you in trouble. Has your garbage disposal ever gotten jammed? Perhaps you’ve had to call a plumber in Cambridge a few times to pull something out of the mechanism. Or maybe you are reading this post because you don’t know if you’re putting your garbage disposal at risk. Fortunately, we have provided some guidance, below, to help you avoid a garbage disposal catastrophe.

What Doesn’t Your Garbage Disposal Want?

Anything that’s not food, for starters. We realize that a mechanism called a garbage disposal is going to be expected to handle any and all garbage, but that is just not the case, unfortunately. Many homeowners have a misconception about how garbage disposals actually operate. You probably picture yours as something like a blender, with sharp blades rotating around to chop up food before sending it down the drain—but this just isn’t the case. Instead, your garbage disposal uses a motor that powers an impeller, at which the end is “blades,” but they are not very sharp. There is another component called a “grind ring” that works with the impeller to break up food items with centrifugal force. Therefore, things like plastic, paper, and other wrappers and garbage items won’t break up in your garbage disposal. Sure, they may make their way down your drains, but then you are facing the danger of clogged pipes and damaged plumbing.

Other Items Not to Put Down Your Disposal

Hard food items are another thing that should never be put down your disposal. This can include things like meat bones and fruit pits. Essentially, anything that you can’t chew with your teeth doesn’t belong in the garbage disposal. Food texture plays a part, too. For instance, stringy, fibrous foods are a pretty common issue for garbage disposal systems. Consider things like asparagus and celery. These are items that could potentially wrap around the motor, causing it to jam up. Onion skins, corn husks, and anything else with a “paper” like quality should also be avoided. Foods that expand with moisture, like pasta, rice, and coffee grounds, should be put in the trash can rather than relying on your garbage disposal. These are not a threat to the disposal system itself, but they certainly are to your drains. These food items slip right through the garbage disposal, and when they expand can cause a serious clog in your drainpipes. FOG (fats, oil, and grease) is another one of those things that won’t damage your garbage disposal, but rather can harm the pipes in which you’re disposing of it. FOG congeals as it cools, creating a residue that can soon lead to plumbing clogs.

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