Help! Why Is My Garbage Disposal Clogged?
Did you know Black Friday is the busiest day of the year for plumbers?
Black Friday has a reputation for being the busiest shopping day of the year. It’s also the busiest day of the year for our plumbers, who typically spend most of the day unclogging garbage disposals and kitchen sinks.
In fact, clogged garbage disposals are a common problem throughout the holiday season, with the day after Christmas yet another day filled with garbage disposal emergencies.
The good news is that when it comes to avoiding problems with both your garbage disposal and kitchen sink, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
How to Use a Garbage Disposal
When you scrape off your plates before you rinse them and put food waste in your garbage disposal, add it gradually while the water is running, so as not to overburden the system. Also, keep your garbage disposal on while you are adding food; don’t wait until the disposal is full to flip the switch and turn it on.
Most importantly, perhaps, there are some foods—foods that are almost always a part of Thanksgiving Day, in fact—that we strongly advise against putting in any garbage disposal.
What Not to Put In a Garbage Disposal
At the top of the list are potatoes and fibrous vegetables like celery, asparagus and artichokes. Many Thanksgiving hosts clog their garbage disposal while cooking Thanksgiving dinner, because they put potato peels and carrot peels and celery stalks into the garbage disposal. Then when it comes time to clean up after dinner, they can’t use the clogged sink and the result is an unsightly, smelly pile of dirty dishes, cups and silverware.
Foods You Should Avoid Placing in Your Garbage Disposal Are:
- Starchy foods like pasta and rice (already thick and gooey, pasta and rice further expand in water)
- Turkey skins and chicken skins
- Turkey and chicken bones, or any bones, really
- Corn husks
- Banana skins
- Pumpkin pulp
- Coffee grounds
- Fruit pits including avocado pits ( which can dent or break garbage disposal blades)
- Oil, fat and grease (which hardens inside pipes)
- Egg shells
As for the best way to handle oil, fat and grease we recommend letting it cool down and then pouring it into a can or jar, which can be thrown into the trash. Also, wipe off greasy pots and pans with a towel or paper towel before washing them.
EggShells Can Cause A Clogged Garbage Disposal
Last but not least, it’s a myth that egg shells can sharpen the blades of your garbage disposal; in reality, eggs shells can clog your kitchen sink or drain.
Jewell Mechanical’s Preventative Plumbing Maintenance Plan
One other thing you can do to keep a kitchen sink clog or clogged garbage disposal from ruining your Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner is to schedule preventative maintenance. Trained professionals like the experienced, licensed plumbers at Jewell Mechanical can identify minor problems in your drain lines and address them before they lead to a stubborn clog or major disaster.
As part of our preventative maintenance plan and plumbing maintenance agreement, we also inspect sinks, toilets, tubs & showers, and hot water heaters. In addition to heading off major disasters, regular maintenance can help keep your plumbing operating at peak efficiency, minimize utility bills, and extend the life of your pipes and fixtures.
Of course, if you do have the misfortune of experiencing a clogged or damaged garbage disposal, contact us online or call us in Nashville at (615) 469-5965 for fast plumbing repair or replacement. Jewell Mechanical’s drain cleaning service will have you giving thanks for our plumbers—on Black Friday and beyond. We serve Metro Davidson County and most of Middle Tennessee.