It is your kitchen’s catch-all, the place you toss the leftovers from dinner and food scraps you would rather not throw in the trash. Do not be fooled by your garbage disposal’s menacing roar because believe it or not, that metal trap does have its limits. The rotating blades are sharp but can become dull with repeated used.
Garbage Disposal 101
Certain types of food should never be placed in the disposal, but we all know mistakes happen. Fortunately, most garbage disposal problems are relatively easy fixes so long as the issue is addressed in due time and you stop using the device altogether as soon as it becomes known.
Understandably, the most common complaint our staff at Stahl Plumbing receive from customers regarding their disposals is jamming. Too much food, the wrong kind of substances or a combination of both can quickly turn a working unit into a malfunctioning piece of metal! Hard products like egg shells, glass and bones should be kept out of the trap at all costs as they will inevitably get caught inside the disposal and eventually contribute to a massive clog.
Other foods that pose a threat to the longevity of these machines are water-soluble substances like pasta and rice (which expand when wet) as well as grease, oils and fats. The latter are particularly threatening because while hot water breaks these substances down, the opposite effect occurs when they come into contact with cold temperatures. If you thought a clogged chunk of spaghetti was bad, imagine a pile of grease stuck 10 to 20 feet down the drain. This type of blockage can typically only be cleared with a commercial-grade auger so you’ll need to call your trusted Pittsburgh plumbers.
There are a few tips you can use to keep your garbage disposal running in tip top shape. For starters, always make sure to run the water for at least a minute after the device has stopped running. This will flush any remaining food particles out of the trap and force them down the drain. If a jam does occur, take a broom handle and move the rotating flywheel back and forth until it has been dislodged. Never put your hand in the disposal — it is simply not worth the risk. Leaks and noise problems may be the result of worn gaskets and loose mounting screws. Remember, if you are unable to fix the issue by yourself, do not hesitate to call your plumbers in Pittsburgh!