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Plumbers Love To Hate Garbage Disposals

From time to time we’ll do an opinion piece. We feel this is as good a topic as any to give an opinion and back that opinion up with some insight.

Garbage Disposals

Is a Disposal an Appliance We Recommend Installing?

We get this question all the time and it is usually along gender lines. Most women want one in the kitchen, most men don’t care. We will say that the disposal is an appliance we recommend installing with conditions.

What Conditions Could There Be?

We know, a disposal only grinds stuff up, pretty simple right? Not really, most people that have a disposal don’t use it correctly. First of all every time I’m at a friend’s home that has a garbage disposal I notice them putting every table scrap that fits into the into the disposal. It’s as if they think they can cut their garbage output by a metric ton by shoving it down their sink. There are many things that should never be thrown in a garbage disposal i.e. potato peels, coffee grounds, pasta and bones of any kind. If you’ve disposed of any of the following you’re probably asking yourself why not especially if you’ve had no issues. However, potato peels, pasta or anything with a starchy base turns into a thick paste when blended in a disposal. Bones are bad because they are hard and no residential garbage disposal is built to grind up animal bones so by doing so you are severely compromising the lifespan of your disposal.

The single biggest reason why garbage disposals become a nuisance and a source of major clogging is because most people don’t run the unit long enough or use enough water to adequately rinse away all the contents. The result is excess food being left behind in the disposal. We all know what happens to biodegradable material when left to sit in the dark and subject to air and water? The material begins to rot  and the odor becomes unpleasant, it’s that simple. That is probably the biggest complaint consumers have regarding their beloved disposal. A little smell won’t stop you from from installing right?

The Plumbing Professional Has a Problem with Them Too.

The plumbing professional loves to sell product so putting them in as a plus. However, the plumbing professional has also seen the ill effects improper use of disposal can have on the drainage system in a home or commercial building. O.K. so you are a home owner or an employee that has a disposal in your home and you use it constantly.  Lets assume you use it improperly never using enough water to clear the contents or enough water to completely flush the ground up food out of the drainage system. You have two potential problems.

  1. You have a serious odor problem.
  2. There is a very real potential for a kitchen waste back-up.  Any plumbing tech that has rodded a backed up kitchen waste line because of improper use of the disposal can tell you it’s not real fun.

So if you choose to have a disposal installed in your home be sure to operate correctly, some simple steps taken while operating can increase the life of the disposal and greatly decrease the chance of a potential sewer blockage.

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