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Plumbing Myths: Garbage Disposals

Disposal Troubles: Separating Fact From Fiction

Since their introduction, garbage disposals have been an essential part of the modern kitchen. Today, over half of American homes depend on the convenience disposals bring to mealtime preparation and cleanup. Disposals offer a simple way to eliminate food waste and the odors associated with it, but when something goes wrong they can leave you with a smelly, drain-clogging mess.

An obstructed drain, frozen disposal mechanism or foul odor from insufficient food breakdown may result from user error instead of mechanical failure. Rather than attempting a DIY fix, seek professional plumbing help for an Allentown garbage disposal malfunction.

Avoid operator error and subsequent garbage disposal problems by steering clear of these common garbage disposal myths:

Garbage Disposal Myths & the Real Truth

Myth #1: Ice Cubes Will Sharpen Blades

The Truth: Contrary to popular belief, disposals don’t have blades like a blender. Instead, they have blunt impellers that move food into an internal shredder ring. This ring breaks food down into small “grated” pieces that flow smoothly through your plumbing. Putting ice cubes down your disposal will not sharpen blades, nor improve its operation.

Myth #2: Use Hot Water to Dissolve Clogs

The Truth: Hot water helps food-based fats travel farther into a drain, where they cool and cause blockages. Boiling water may also cause the mechanical parts of your disposal to overheat. Garbage disposal manufacturers recommend using cold water and running it steadily before, during and after operation of the disposal.

Myth #3: Disposals Can Handle Any Food Waste

Garbage disposals are useful for many different types of food waste, but there are a few things you should avoid. Do not put the following into your disposal, as it may damage the device or block the drain.

  • Hard waste like large bones, eggshells & corncobs
  • Pasty foods like rice & noodles
  • Fibrous foods like celery & corn husks
  • Dense foods like potato peels & citrus peels

3 Simple Rules to Keep Your Disposal Performing Like a Pro

Follow these common-sense rules to keep Allentown, Bethlehem and Easton garbage disposal problems to a minimum:

  1. Dispose of small quantities; never attempt to dispose of a sink full of waste.
  2. Run cold water before, during and after using the disposal.
  3. Make sure grinding is complete before turning off the appliance.

If you’re plagued by a clogged drain or broken garbage disposal, call the Elek SuperSTARS at 610-432-7001. Celebrating 105 years of award-winning service, we deliver 24/7 emergency plumbing service to our neighbors in the Lehigh Valley. Count on our team for a prompt response, value-driven pricing and a century-old legacy of service that speaks for itself. We’ll have your kitchen up-and-running in no time!

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