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Garbage Disposal Maintenance Tips From Your Local Plumber

boca raton plumber

Garbage disposals are great appliances that make kitchen cleaning easy and reduce garbage in landfills. Often unappreciated because they are hidden, your garbage disposal probably works harder than any other appliance in the home.

Unfortunately, these necessary appliances are often last in line when homeowners schedule plumbing maintenance. Local plumbers often receive calls from homeowners complaining of a rotten smell in the kitchen, that sometimes permeates the whole home.

As the underlying problem is easy to prevent, plumbers in Boca Raton have compiled a list of Do’s and Don’ts that will keep your garbage disposal running for many years.

How To Care For Your Garbage Disposal

Like any appliance in a home, the garbage disposal can last many years if it’s cleaned and maintained regularly. Unfortunately, garbage disposals leak or clog if not properly maintained. Here are some tips to ensure your garbage disposal not only works effectively but lasts for many years.

7 Things You Must Do To Keep Your Garbage Disposal Healthy

Here are 7 things that, if done regularly, will ensure your garbage disposal unit runs smoothly:

1) Run It Regularly

Running the garbage disposal regularly will ensure that food does not accumulate on the blades. Accumulated food eventually rots, causing a bad smell in your kitchen.​​​​​​

2) Clean It Regularly

Even if you run the unit regularly, food can still accumulate on the blades and rot. You need to have a regular garbage disposal cleaning and maintenance schedule.

3) Maintain Water Flow While In Use

Running water while using the unit helps to move the food particles through the pipes and reduces the risk of drain blockages.

4) Only Use Cold Water

Hot water makes anything fatty or starchy, sticky, and soft. This will not only make grinding more difficult but wil result in the fat solidifying when it cools down, causing blockages further down the sewerage system.

5) Cut Up Large Scraps Before Grinding

Cutting up large scraps reduces the workload on the garbage disposal motor. This is especially important if you have a smaller unit.

6) Grind Ice Cubes

Grinding ice cubes at least once a month. This helps to remove food that is stuck in the upper chamber and to keep the blades sharp. Grinding fresh lemon or peppermint leaves after cleaning will leave the garbage disposal smelling clean and fresh.

7) Schedule Regular Maintenance

Like all appliances, the garbage disposal needs to adhere to a regular maintenance schedule. A professional plumber should inspect and clean the unit at least every two to three years.

5 Things To Avoid When Using A Garbage Disposal

Garbage disposals will last many years if they are used correctly. Some things you should never do while using the unit are:

1) Do Not Grind Non-Food Items

You must never attempt to grind non-food or hard-to-break-down items as these can damage the unit’s blades and motor. These items include, but are not limited to:

  • Plastic scrubbers
  • Paper towels or napkins
  • Glass
  • Fruit pits
  • Nutshells
  • Bones

2) Never Put Fatty Or Greasy Foods Down The Garbage Disposal

Avoid putting greasy sauces, gravy, butter, cheese, or oily foods down the garbage disposal. These items will congeal, damage the unit, and cause blockages further down the sewerage system.

Although coffee grounds and egg shells are known to clean the blades, they should also be avoided as they too clog the sewerage system.

3) Grind Fibrous Food With Caution

The strings of fibrous foods wrap around the blades and could cause the motor to seize. Some foods to avoid grinding/grind with caution include:

  • Celery
  • Corn husks
  • Asparagus
  • Artichokes
  • Banana peels

4) Never Use Drain Openers

Do not use harsh chemicals to clean your garbage disposal. Harsh chemicals can damage the unit and result in serious injury if they splash in your face. Always clean the unit as per the manufacturer’s instructions and call a professional plumber to perform a deep clean when necessary.

5) Never Stick Your Hand In The Garbage Disposal

When cleaning the garbage disposal, ensure you disconnect it from the main power and only use appropriate tools. You should never put your hands into the unit.

Does Your Garbage Disposal Smell Bad? Art Plumbing, Air Conditioning & Electric Are Here For You

Being in the plumbing business since 1983, Art Plumbing, Air Conditioning & Electric has seen and smelt it all. If you live in the Boca Raton area and require garbage disposal maintenance, “Art Can Fix It” Call us at 561-391-1048 Monday to Saturday 8 am to 7 pm.