Your home's garbage disposal affects your home plumbing system as well as the functionality of your kitchen. Neglect your garbage disposal and you will inevitably endure problems with the drain below and possibly other parts of your Boca Raton home's plumbing system. However, the average homeowner is understandably under-informed when it comes to garbage disposal maintenance, cleaning and the other subtleties of this important machine. Our Boca Raton plumbing team is here to help. Below, we identify some key garbage disposal tips that will help this machine operate as designed and also help ensure your home plumbing system remains functional.
1) Water is Your Garbage Disposal's Friend
Use cold water each time you turn on the garbage disposal. Ideally, the cold water will run every single time food is processed within the garbage disposal. Once the garbage disposal's grinding becomes a light “whir”, turn it off. Allow the water to run for at least another 10-20 seconds. Running water moves the leftover particles out of the garbage disposal while simultaneously flushing the pipes below.
It is important to use cold water as opposed to hot water while running the garbage disposal. Though hot water will not damage the garbage disposal's components, cold water is optimal. If you were to run hot water while operating the unit, the heat would liquefy the fats and greases within the disposal. When grease is in liquid form, it sticks to the garbage disposal's blades, causing excessive buildup that will only lead to additional problems that require the assistance of our Boca Raton plumbing team.
2) Be Selective in Terms of Food Placed in the Disposal
Do not put fibrous or hard foods into the garbage disposal. Though garbage disposals are capable of churning through most types of food, those that are particularly hard and/or fibrous such as apple seeds, peach stones, bones, and popcorn kernels will not grind properly. In fact, some such items will not grind at all. Small pieces of food are likely to become wedged below the blades within the unit, leading to jamming. Fibrous food is particularly problematic as the fibers within such foods will likely wrap around the blades to the point that the machine can no longer function. Put all celery stalks, eggshells, corn husks and onion skins in a trash bag designated for food remnants to prevent problems with your garbage disposal.
3) Contact a Boca Raton Plumbing Service to Clean the Interior of the Garbage Disposal
It is only a matter of time until sludge accumulates along with the blades and sides of the appliance. Do not apply harsh chemicals as they will compromise the garbage disposal's internal components. Opt for a combination of baking soda and vinegar. Pour some baking soda into the drain. Follow the baking soda with vinegar. Our Boca Raton plumbing team has also had success with the combination of rock salt and ice cubes. Grind these two together within the garbage disposal to help keep the unit clean.
4) Never put Your Hands Into the Garbage Disposal
When in doubt, rely on our Boca Raton plumbing crew for expert assistance. As is often said, it is better to be safe rather than sorry. If food is wedged within the garbage disposal, the quick release of tension will cause the blades to move. If your hands are within the garbage disposal when the blades are moving, you will endure a nasty cut. It is better to let our Boca Raton plumbing experts handle these tricky situations rather than lose a finger or make the clog even worse with a DIY effort that backfires.
5) Use the Garbage Disposal With Regularity
Most Boca Raton homeowners assume electrical appliances should be used infrequently as overuse has the potential to prevent wear and tear. However, this is not the case with the garbage disposal. If you do not intend to use your garbage disposal for an extended period of time, run it every couple of days so the blades can spin. Run some cold water over the blades as it operates. This preventative action helps stop the unit from seizing up upon subsequent use while simultaneously preventing the blades from rusting and/or corroding. Furthermore, regularly running the garbage disposal helps guarantee leftover food particles are flushed down the drain rather than allowing them to solidify and create a nasty clog.
Erica's Plumbing and Restoration is at Your Service
If you live in the greater Boca Raton area and need assistance with plumbing, give us a call right away. We are here for your plumbing maintenance, repair, and replacement needs. You can reach our Boca Raton plumbing team by dialing (561) 245-7435.