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How to Avoid Garbage Disposal Repairs

The garbage disposal is an important part of the modern kitchen. It makes clean-up after food preparation and meals much simpler and more hygienic, it protects the plumbing from clogs, and it benefits the environment by sending food waste into the sewer treatment system rather than into landfills.

The standard garbage disposal handles a great deal of work during a week, and this sometimes leads to it jamming and needing professional plumbing repair work. But if you’re careful with what you place down the disposal, you can keep repairs to a minimum. Below are some tips for making garbage disposal malfunctions a rarity:

  • Don’t use ice to “sharpen the blades”: Using ice to improve a disposal is a piece of bad advice that often circulates the Internet. The truth is that there are no blades in the disposal to sharpen. Blunt impellers send food waste into an outer grind ring. Ice cubes are hard enough that they can cause damage to the components of the disposal, so don’t pour them down there.
  • Dispose of fats, oils, and grease elsewhere: Fats, oils, and grease (collectively known as “FOG”) shouldn’t go down the disposal. They look harmless in hot liquid form, but they become solids when they cool and will cause the disposal to jam. To get rid of FOG, pour it into a separate receptacle, store it in the freezer until it hardens, then put it in the trash.
  • Put actual trash in the trash: The word “garbage” in “garbage disposal” is a bit unfortunate, since it leads people to believe that any kind of waste can go into one. This isn’t true! Only organic food waste should go down the disposal. Paper, plastic, cigarettes, etc. should go in the actual trash.
  • If your teeth can’t chew it, neither can the disposal: Not all food waste can go into the disposal. Anything you can’t chew—bones, corn cobs, popcorn kernels—should be placed into the trash.

Red Rock Mechanical LLC has served Burlington and the rest of Northwest Vermont for over 23 years.

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