home from work the other day, and there was a plumber's truck out in front of
my neighbor's house. Turns out her garbage disposer had once again been the
victim of poor decision-making. This time, one of her kids had dumped pasta
down the disposer and they'd spent a long, frustrating day trying to clear the
clog before finally calling in a pro.
made me think it might be time for a little primer on what does and does not
belong in your garbage disposer. A couple of these may surprise you (they did
me). I asked our pro plumbers for their wisest advice about avoiding problems
with your garbage disposer. Here are their 5 Commandments for keeping your
garbage disposer running problem free:
Thou shall not pour grease down thy disposer. It eventually solidifies and
clogs up the pipes.
Thou shall not put rice, pasta or other starchy foods down thy disposer. It
will gather in the trap, swell and clog up the pipes.
Thou shall always use cold water when running thy disposer. Cold water
solidifies any grease that does get into the disposer so it can be broken up
into small pieces and flushed away. (Hot water liquefies grease so it runs down
your pipes until it solidifies near the trap.)
Thou shall not put stringy or tough-peeled veggies down thy disposer such as
carrot peels, celery, onion skins, potato peels, chard and asparagus ends.
Ditto with eggshells (they have a fibrous membrane). These can slide past the
blades and clog the trap or wrap around the blades and jam the motor.
Thou shall not put animal bones, peach pits or other hard objects down thy
disposer. Unless thee want to buy a new disposer.
Elisa Bernick, Associate Editor
Need to unclog a
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