We all assume that our garbage disposal can handle anything that we cram into the drain. However, that is also the leading reason for frantic calls to most plumbers when a kitchen sink is clogged, and the homeowner is panicking. The reality is that garbage disposals were never meant to replace your trash can.
These devices were created to handle the tiny bits of food rinsed off of dishes and out of cookware. But as engineering has improved their performance, we have come to use them for more than they were ever meant to handle. But even today’s beefy units cannot handle everything you might stuff inside them. The following seven items are sure to create some nasty kitchen sink clogs.
- Oatmeal- How bad can something as soft as oatmeal be? The answer is very bad. While moist, oatmeal is soft and sticky. But as it dries, it becomes almost like mortar. It dries onto and around the grinder and inside the drain to create a horrendous clog. Scoop that oatmeal into the trash can to eliminate a concrete-like clog.
- Fat and Oil- These two liquids only remain liquid for a short time. Then they transform into sticky gunk that traps all kinds of food particles to create awful clogs that smell like rotting food because they are. Put fat and oil into a jar with a lid and place it in the trash.
- Bones- While the disposal grinder might have some impact on the meat bones, they are only going to create more shards and sharp pieces that will get stuck in the drain and form a clog. Put all bones, even cooked ones, into the trash.
- Pasta and Rice- Starchy foods like rice and pasta begin to expand when they soak up moisture. So when you put a small piece of pasta or spoon of rice into the disposal, it quickly begins to expand. And as they cool, they form a sticky clump that will clog any drain lines. Scoop this waste into the trashcan to avoid a nasty flood in your kitchen sink.
- Eggshells- Eggshells have no place in the garbage disposal, or any household drains. The old wife’s tale that they sharpen disposal blades must have been made up by an enterprising plumber who wanted to unclog some drain lines. The membrane inside the eggshell wraps around the grinder inside the disposal to impair its function and create a foul odor. Put eggshells in the trash can and use ice cubes if you want to clean up the grinder in your disposal.
- Fibrous Veggies- As much as humans need fiber, disposals despise them. All stringy peels and fibrous vegetables like celery, asparagus, and other veggie peels get wrapped around the grinder and create a significant clog. In some cases, they can even freeze the grinder in place and cause the disposal motor to burn out. Save your time and plunging and put all veggie waste in the trashcan.
- Coffee Grounds- Unfortunately, the coffee grounds that you run through your disposal never really make it out. They are so tiny that they settle to the disposal base and dry into a lump that can damage the grinder and eventually make its way into the drain to create a clog.
If your disposal seems to be falling down on the job, it could be due to some of these food items that you have put inside it. Call (530) 688-6196 for professional service from the licensed plumbers at Steve Beaton Plumbing. We will clean your disposal and drains to eliminate the blockages and foul odors.