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Garbage Disposer Dos and Don’ts!

The garbage disposer in your home might be a small part of your home’s plumbing, but boy, is it important! Ever experienced a clogged disposal? Your sink fills up with food and grimy water, and pretty soon, you’ve got a pile of dishes that can’t be washed! Most of us like to keep our sink area clean and sanitary, especially since it’s where the food is often prepared, so it’s a good idea to keep up with maintenance on your garbage disposer. Here are a few dos and don’ts when it comes to your disposer, along with tips for freeing up simple jams.

DO: Grind food waste using a moderate flow of cold water.

DO: Grind hard material such as bones, fruit pits, etc. A scouring action is created by the particles inside the grind chamber, preventing rust from accumulating within the disposal.

DO: Grind peelings from citrus fruits to freshen up drain smells.

DO: Flush disposer cleaner, degreaser, or deodorizer as necessary.

DON’T: Use hot water when grinding food waste. It is okay to drain hot water into the disposer between grinding periods.

DON’T: Turn off the motor or water until grinding is completed.

DON’T: Be alarmed if a brown discoloration appears on the face of the grinding disk. This is normal. It is a surface discoloration only and will not affect the life or performance of the disposer.

DON’T: Grind extremely fibrous or starchy materials, such as corn husks, artichokes, potato skins, etc. This will avoid possible drain blockage.

If you accidentally get foreign material in your disposer, it could cause a serious jam. Fortunately, there are a few steps you can try to free it.

  • Turn off the disposer and water supply
  • Insert one end of your self-service wrench (provided with your disposer) into the center hole at the bottom of the disposer.
  • Work the wrench back and forth until it moves freely for at least one complete revolution. Remove the foreign object with tongs, and remove the wrench before restarting the disposer.
  • Wait 3 to 5 minutes to allow the disposer motor to cool, and then push the red reset button at the bottom of the disposer.

Your self-service wrench will free virtually any jam caused by foreign objects entering the disposer. Most times, a do-it-yourself fix isn’t recommended for plumbing since it can often lead to more damage, but in this case, it’s worth a shot.

As always, F.H. Furr is trained to handle all of your plumbing needs! Don’t let your kitchen fall prey to a stopped-up garbage disposer! Contact us and let us help keep you and your home safe!

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