A garbage disposal grinds up food and other organic materials that go down the sink and send it to the sewage system. These systems are built to handle just about anything you throw down them. However, there are certain items that you cannot put down a garbage disposal because they can cause damage. Let’s explore what you can and can’t put down a garbage disposal.
What You Can’t Put In a Garbage Disposal
Anything that is non-biodegradable such as plastics, glass, metal, or paper products should never go down a garbage disposal. But did you know the following food items cannot be broken down by garbage disposals and can lead to clogs in the pipes?
Fats and Oils
When fats, oils, and other grease congeal they form a clog in your water system. So while they may start out liquid, they won’t end up that way in your sewage system. To prevent issues in your pipes, we recommend only putting a small amount of fats and oils down the garbage disposal at a single time. If you need to pour a small amount of oil down the drain, run your hot water for a minute or two to prevent severe clogs in your system.
Foods With High Starch Levels
Throwing small amounts of leftovers down the drain is fine, but when you try to dispose of large amounts of starchy foods like pasta, rice, or potatoes, it can cause a serious backup in your system.
Eggshells and Coffee Ground
Eggshells and coffee grounds cannot go in a garbage disposal because they don’t break down quickly and can cause damage to components in your system. In addition, these items can create mild to severe clogs in your pipes that can be expensive to repair.
Stringy vegetables like celery, asparagus, edamame, and artichokes can slip through the disposal’s blades and lead to clogs. The more vegetables you try to stuff down the disposal the higher the likelihood of a clog.
What Can Go In a Garbage Disposal
A good rule of thumb is anything that is biodegradable is fine to put down a garbage disposal. Here are some examples of what you can put down a garbage disposal:
- Fruit scraps
- Fruit pits
- Vegetable scraps
- Cooked meat
3 Signs Your Garbage Disposal Needs to Be Replaced
Garbage disposals are a useful tool to have in your kitchen, but like other systems, they won’t last forever. Here are three signs your garbage disposal needs to be replaced.
1. Strange Noises
If you’re hearing unusual noises when the garbage disposal is on, the best thing to do is check if anything is clogging the unit. A piece of silverware or other objects could have fallen down and is the cause of the noise.
2. Not Turning On
It could be time to replace the garbage disposal if it’s not even turning on. You can attempt to fix this on your own by checking the circuit breaker or resetting the unit.
3. Foul Odors
If you notice that there is a bad smell coming from your sink and you have not used any food in days, then it could be that the drain pipe has been clogged by hair and other debris and needs to be cleaned out or replaced.
Plumbing Repair Services From Casteel
If your garbage disposal displays signs indicating replacement, call the plumbing experts at Casteel. Our team of licensed technicians offer exceptional plumbing services such as garbage disposal repair, drain cleaning, water heater repair, water filtration system installation, and water line replacement. Schedule your service online today or call (770) 852-8504 to speak with a technician now.