With the holiday season in full swing, our cooks and our kitchens are working overtime. Nothing ruins a good holiday gathering faster than a broken garbage disposal and clogged kitchen sink. The best way to ensure you never have a clogged sink is to never put any food down the drain, but most of us love our disposals and use them every day. To help you ensure that the most used fixture in your kitchen continues to perform effortlessly, we’ve compiled a list of do’s and don’ts for your garbage disposal.
- NEVER – EVER put grease or fats down your drain! Although it is tempting to pour off the greasy juices from your holiday ham into the sink, shortly after they leave your kitchen sink, they begin to cool off and solidify to form a sticky lining in your home’s piping. Much like a clogged artery, the buildup will continue to grow and collect other food particles until it forms a solid clog.
- Always use COLD water when putting food through the garbage disposal. Cold water keeps the food particles and any residual grease on them in a solid form that will grind and wash down the drain without collecting in your piping.
- Scrape your plate in the trash. Removing the large food particles means your disposal and drain piping are dealing with smaller particles with less of a chance to clog.
- Start with the water running, then turn on the disposal before you add any food scraps. This gets things flowing and helps them flush through easily.
- Grind in small batches. If you are cooking 10 pounds of potatoes to feed the whole family and feel you must grind up the peels, don’t put them all down the drain at once. You get the picture.
- Let the water run for a few seconds after you’ve finished grinding up your scraps. Just because the food has left your disposal, it is still traveling through your drains and out to the main sewer line give it a chance to completely move through the system before you turn off the water.
- Keep it fresh! Grinding a few SMALL pieces of citrus will help keep your disposal smelling fresh. (Add a small lemon peel for lemon-y freshness!)
These tips should help your disposal and sink line continue to perform their duties well. If your disposal does overload and stops working, use these tips to help get things grinding again.
- Make sure the disposal is turned OFF
- If your disposal just stops, find the red button on the bottom of the disposal and press it to reset. If the button does not stay pushed in, the motor may have overheated. You can wait for a few minutes and try again.
- Remove any scraps from the sink that have not gone into the disposal. Turn on the water & test the disposal.
- If the disposal is humming, but still not grinding, you may need to locate the allen key that came with your disposal. It’s that L shaped metal key likely located in your junk drawer. You’ll find a spot on the bottom of your disposal where it fits. Use the key to gently try to work the blades back and forth until they free. Test with water again.
If your disposal is grinding, but the food scraps are coming up in the other side of your sink, your drain is clogged. Give us a call.
If these fixes don’t work, you may need a new disposal. If you have questions or need our assistance, you can contact us 24/7 at Morganmillerplumbing.com