Things You Should Not Put in the Garbage Disposal

Garbage disposal is a convenient way to get rid of food scraps, but many people treat it as a catch-all for things that don’t belong. Putting the wrong items down at the disposal can lead to clogs, jams, foul odors, and even expensive repairs. Here’s a guide on what you should never send down the drain.

Fats, Oils and Grease

Pouring fats, oils and grease down the drain is a sure way to clog your pipes. When grease cools and hardens, it sticks to the sides of pipes and prevents water from flowing properly. Over time, the grease continues building up and completely blocks the line so that nothing can pass through. If you need emergency plumbing services to clear a grease clog, 24/7 Emergency Plumber has drain cleaning equipment and expertise to help.

Instead of putting it down the drain, fats, oils, and grease should be collected in a container like a jar or empty can, then disposed of in the regular trash once it has solidified. Wiping excess grease from pans with a paper towel before washing will also prevent it from going down the drain.

Expandable Foods

Starchy foods like rice, pasta and potatoes expand when they get wet and can easily clog your drain. There’s simply no room for them to move through the narrow pipes when they swell up. It’s best not to put these types of foods down at the disposal even when broken into small pieces. They’re better off going to the compost heap or trash can.

If you have a newly clogged drain from starchy foods, call 24/7 Emergency Plumber for immediate service. Their technicians have specialized equipment to route clogs and restart flow through blocked drains.

Stringy Fibers

Fruits and vegetables with stringy fibers like celery, artichokes and corn husks can tangle into knots and severely slow or stop drainage. The tiny disposal blades aren’t sharp enough to chop up these types of dense fibers. Trying to grind them up causes the strings to wind around the internal mechanisms, potentially damaging the motor and its components. Avoid putting any stringy waste down the disposal to prevent jamming it. If you do clog your drain with fibrous material, rely on our emergency plumbing experts at 24/7 Emergency Plumber to resolve it quickly.

Egg Shells

It’s a common misconception that eggshells are OK for garbage disposal. While the grinders will indeed break them into tiny fragments, the pieces re-solidify once inside your pipes. This leads to a gray, cement-like substance coating the insides of the pipes and invites a future clog once more waste attach to it. Over time, the buildup may wholly obstruct water flow. 

Avoid putting any type of hard shells down the drain, including nuts, seafood, and eggs. If you are experiencing reduced drainage, emergency drain cleaning help from 24/7 Emergency Plumber can restore full function.

Coffee Grounds

Used coffee grounds are often dumped down the drain because they’re small particles that seem harmless. However, the texture and shape of grounds allows them to gather and compact tightly together when wet. The compressed mounds fill pipes and severely slow water drainage.

Coffee grounds down the disposal also have an abrasive quality, meaning they can scratch pipes, tubes and seals resulting in leaks. Never put coffee waste down your drains. If you’re already dealing with obstructed pipes from this material, call 24/7 Emergency Plumber right away to schedule clearing services.

Large Food Items

Trying to grind up whole pieces of food is an inefficient use of the disposal. While it may be able to break apart tiny scraps, anything sizable has the potential to jam the inner shredder components. This includes leftovers like chicken bones, corncobs, citrus fruits, potatoes with skin, bread crusts, nuts in the shell, kabocha squash and similar produce discard. 

Not only do large pieces strain the motor, but they can wedge between blades and lodge tightly in place. Avoid these types of bulky discards in your drain at all costs. If you do have a stuck shredder or grinding noises, 24/7 Emergency Plumber can troubleshoot the issue and prevent lasting damage.

Glass, Plastic and Metal

It should go without saying that hazardous items like glass, plastics and metals don’t mix well with garbage disposals! They can shatter or shred into sharp fragments that slide down the drain and puncture pipes. What’s more, hard materials like glass and metal can critically damage and warp the shredder parts upon contact. 

Serious leaks or electrical shorts often result when foreign objects are fed through the disposal. Avoid anything that is not certified food waste! Do not hesitate to call our emergency plumber at the first sign of trouble after something improper has gone down the drain.

Contact an Expert When Your Garbage Disposal is Clogged 

If you experience any drainage issues or disposal problems, never hesitate to reach out to the licensed techs at 24/7 Emergency Plumber. We provide emergency plumbing services 24 hours a day, seven days a week to quickly resolve clogs, overflows, leaks, and any related catastrophe. Trust our expertise anytime your sanitation and home comfort depend on timely service!

 

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