We’ve all had those moments. You know, the ones where you think, “Is this flushable?” “Can my garburator handle this?” “Will my floor drain suffice?” If you’ve thought about this, you’re not the only one. There are times everyone may need to second guess the power of their plumbing system. Here at Water Heater Rescue we understand those thoughts, but we’re also here to help put them at ease. Here is part 2 of To Drain, or Not To Drain? To see Part 1, click here.
While the garburator seems like something that can handle a lot of things, don’t be fooled by the loud whirring noises and crunching sounds. A lot of what you put down can and will get stuck in it eventually. Be cautious and follow these tips to learn what is OK & what is a major NO-NO for the garburator.
Fat or grease: This should not go down your garbage disposal or any type of drain. It eventually cools & hardens. This means that wherever the grease is in your pipes, it will stay that way. The best way to dispose of it grease is to pour it into a jar while it’s hot and once it cools, trash it!
Onion skins: Onion skins may seem harmless, but they are thin and can easily stick to the inside shredder ring of your disposal, eventually causing major problems. It’s best to put these in your green bin or composter!
Fibrous or stringy vegetables & fruit: The stringy part of fruits & vegetables can easily be cut by the blade, but similar to your onion skins, the rest can wrap around another part and eventually cause a disaster.
Coffee grounds: These little leftover caffeine beans don’t harm your disposal itself, and in fact they may even make it smell nice – BUT they can cause a lot of damage down the road, eventually clogging your drain pipes below the garburator and throughout your home.
Egg shells: Similar to the vegetables, the membrane on the inside of the egg can wrap around parts of your device that they shouldn’t touch and cause your garburator to malfunction.
Bones or fruit pits: This should be a given, but we still get calls for it. Your garburator can only do so much “disposing”. While it has powerful blades, depending on its horsepower, they usually cannot stand up to the strength of the bones and pits, causing significant damage. Often this kind of damage requires that you replace your whole garburator, which is an unfortunate (but inexpensive) cost. On your side of the garburator, it could sound like the bones or fruit pits are being grinded, but don’t hold your breath, it is just a matter of time.
Pasta, rice & breads: These foods are like the cotton swabs mentioned above. Since they can stick together and are larger in size than cotton swabs, pasta, rice, and breads can absorb a lot more water and block the drain. Even if you manage to get your drains unclogged after a “grain clear”, it will eventually flow further down your plumbing and stick there, causing more problems!
Additional things to avoid: Shrimp shells, pennies, jewellery, banana peels, silverware, hands and fingertips.
NEVER attempt to clear your garburator when it is turned on.
How to give your disposal a pep in its step:
One of the best ways to clean your disposal is to follow these 3 easy steps. 1) Throw some ice cubes down and crush them. This helps to dissolve and eliminate fats or other things stuck to the side. 2) Run some cold water down it while the garburator is turned on to give it a good rinse. 3) Chuck a few lemon or citrus slices (about half a lemon or citrus of your choice) down the disposal to refresh your drain and release some nice, DIY home air freshener!