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Don’t Let the Turkey Jam Your Drain

drain cleaning

Drain Cleaning This Holiday

The dishwasher is often hailed as the best kitchen appliance for reducing workload and making holiday times less demanding; however, there is also overlooked and underappreciated little brother – the garbage disposal. Unfortunately, if not operated or maintained properly, a garbage disposal can easily break down causing blockages and clogging your drains – potentially causing a long, expensive list of plumbing and drain nightmares.

Blocked drains are a major inconvenience on an average day but an absolute disaster during the holiday times. This really is the season of giving thanks and good news though: these costly problems are completely preventable. Here are some of the highlights and pitfalls of garbage disposal and drain cleaning to make sure you have smooth, flowing drain through this festive season.

Keep It Going and Keep It Clean
As paradoxical as this sounds, keeping your garbage disposal and drains clean is essential. This stops them from building up grime and holding onto the things you put through it. Using them often also encourages flow. Cleaning should be done after washing dishes or when you hear warning signs that your drain may be blocked. Warning signs may include gurgling noises, pooling water around drains or a bad odor coming from a drain. Simply pour dish soap or bleach into a garbage disposal and let it run with some cold water.

The Number 1 Rule
The most fundamental rule for the disposal is: easily biodegradable only! Food products are the only things meant to pass through your garbage disposal. Plastic, metal and paper should be avoided as they will damage the grinding mechanisms.

Watch Out for Unwashed Dishes
One surprisingly common pitfall is accidentally having cutlery and utensils fall into the drain and garbage disposal. This has the potential to cause irreparable damage both the utensil and the garbage disposal. If this happens never reach into the drain and garbage disposal with your bare hands. Rather switch off the garbage disposal and call a plumber to access the utensils and assess the damage.

Grind the Right Foods the Right Way
You can use your garbage disposal to grind food waste such as small turkey, chicken and fish bones, egg shells, fruit pits and vegetable waste. These materials actually help to remove any build-up in the blades or walls of the garbage disposal and encourage easy passage through drains. Cut larger pieces and place them into the disposal individually to encourage uninhibited flow.

Avoid fatty and greasy products; these tend to stick to the walls and cause blockages in the drains. If these are unavoidable, grind them with a strong stream of cold water to encourage solidification of the fats which makes them less likely to stick to the drains. Liquid grease will accumulate against the walls leading to impeded the flow and grind ability and, ultimately, blocked drains.

Bulky or fibrous food materials can also cause blockages in the mechanisms and drains. Corn husks, celery stalks, and onion skins can become tangled and create solid blockages in the drains. Starchy or expandable foods, such as rice or pasta, also have the potential to expand and coalesce, clogging your drains in the process.

If you’re struggling with reoccurring drain blockage, you may need to call in professionals like Art Plumbing, Air Conditioning & Electric. Not only will we ensure that your thanksgiving is ‘clogged drain’ free, we’ll restore your drains to original capacity, preventing blockages all year round.