Garbage disposals are an immense kitchen convenience that greatly reduce waste, improve household hygiene and even help the environment. Food that goes in the dry garbage ends up in landfills and is a major contributor to the methane that often simply gets vented into the air. Food ground up in a garbage disposal goes to a wastewater treatment plant. Methane gas generated there is more likely to be captured and converted into a renewable energy source. Garbage disposals use about 50 cents of electricity a year and less than 1 percent of your total home water use. Despite the advantages, however, it’s very possible to misuse or over-use a good thing. Here are a few tips on the correct use of garbage disposals to avoid plumbing problems.

  1. Don’t try to jam too much waste into the disposal at once. Keep cold water flowing strongly as you insert garbage to flush it through the system, and run the disposal for 30 seconds after all grinding sound has stopped to make sure all the waste is disposed of.
  2. Use cold water when operating the disposal in order to solidify fat and grease so it can be properly disintegrated by the blades and flushed through the system.
  3. If you utilize the same sink to wash dishes, make sure all silverware and small objects are removed from the sink before draining the water through the disposal.
  4. Consult your owner’s manual to make sure your disposal has the power to adequately grind up big bones or fibrous wasted like pineapple cores or corn husks. Smaller fibrous foods can be disposed in small amounts with adequate water flushing.
  5. Uncooked fat trimmings from meat may pass through the disposal intact and clog the plumbing. Also don’t pour liquid fat through the disposal. The disposal has no effect on the liquid, which may later solidify in plumbing and cause a blockage.

Comfort Systems is your source for all-season plumbing, and heating and cooling sales and service in the Wichita area. Contact us today for more advice on keeping your pipes running free while using garbage disposals efficiently.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Wichita, Kansas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about plumbing problems and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.