Sometimes we use things without knowing how they work. Garbage disposals are a prime example. Learning a little about how to properly use and take care of this mechanism in your sink can save you from the headache of clogs and repairs down the line. To do this, it’s especially important to debunk some common garbage disposal myths.
There Are No Blades!
Despite sounding like there are mini-chainsaws cutting up your food scraps when you flip a switch, garbage disposals actually work using a system of flywheels and impellers. This means that there are gears that will spin when activated, grinding whatever is in the hopper of the disposal against a shredder ring until the material is pulverized into small enough pieces. Those pieces are then drained out of the disposal using the water flow from the sink.
Ice Makes No Difference
Now that you know that standard disposals use grinding action instead of cutting action to get the job done, it stands to reason that ice will have little effect, positive or negative, on the machine. There is no way to ‘sharpen’ your disposal by pouring generic material, like eggshells, down the drain. You may even increase the likelihood of clogs.
Hot Water is Not Your Friend
Some people think hot water is a good way to keep the drains clear of fatty substance buildup. Actually, the opposite is true. While fat does tend to soften and melt when heated, the liquid form of fat, despite being flushed down in part, will be more likely to leave residue in the parts of the disposal system that the water will not flow through. This residue can then build up and cause clogs. Cold or room temp water will keep the fat in a more solid form, which is easier for the disposal to grind up into nodules small enough for water flow to flush away.
Do not pour fats down your sink or garbage disposal. Even a little bit of bacon grease or vegetable oil over time will cause a large ‘fatberg’ to form somewhere in the plumbing or sewer line which will lead to a clog. If that happens to you, call our expert Pratt plumbers at 806.425.0626 to help out!
Lemons Are Not Your Secret Weapon
A lemon or lime down the disposal is a time-tested home remedy for a momentary pleasant smell, but this is more of a cover-up than a sustainable solution to any bad smell coming from your sink. Before checking whether you need to disassemble the sink to discover a clog, you can try more chemically reactive solutions. For example, a baking soda and vinegar reaction can be a simple yet effective way to neutralize odors.
Clogs Can Form Even in Clear Drains
Just because there is no backup of water when you’re using the sink doesn’t mean that everything is fine. Clogs can form around the sides of the assembly while still allowing space for some water to flow. Pay attention to any change in sound or smell when using your disposal. You might just catch a clog before it becomes a problem that requires a more drastic solution.
When it comes to providing kitchen and home solutions, look no further than Pratt Plumbing, who have been servicing happy homes and businesses in the Greater Amarillo area for over six decades. Call 806-373-7866 to get in touch today!