Can a Garbage Disposal Harm your Sewer Lines?


Can a Garbage Disposal Harm your Sewer Lines?

To many homeowners, a garbage disposal is a vital component of their kitchen. They depend on the durable appliance each day to grind up and dispose of unwanted food scraps and kitchen waste through their household drains. While the disposal is capable of handling many kitchen waste materials, there are items that you should avoid putting into its jaws so as not to damage the appliance and your plumbing system. The following post will cover the basics of disposal operation and maintenance as well as items that shouldn't enter your home's sewer system through the garbage disposal.

How It Works

A garbage disposal is an appliance that grinds up unwanted kitchen scraps and waste so they can easily be rinsed down the drain. The main components of a disposal are the motor, cutting blades, splashguard, drain outlet tube and reset button.

·The electric motor provides the horsepower needed to rotate the cutting blades.

·The cutting blades spin to grind up kitchen scraps.

·A splash guard prevents water and kitchen waste from ejecting from the unit during operation.

·The drain outlet tube channels water and ground up kitchen waste through the sink drain where it enters your main sewer line.

·The reset button is a built-in circuit breaker that deactivates the unit when it experiences an overload or becomes jammed.

Maintenance Tips

Your disposal should provide many years of reliable operation. However, there are times when problems can arise with the unit. A common problem is a sour or decaying smell emitting from the disposal. This occurs when food and other kitchen debris becomes trapped within the grinding mechanism and begins to rot. A simple home solution is to run ice through the unit. Not only will this clean and sharpen the blades but also help to dislodge trapped food and debris. If the smell persists, a mixture of vinegar and baking soda—a 2 to 1 ration—or sliced citrus should remove any lingering odors. If using the baking soda and vinegar remedy, do not be alarmed when it foams, as this is normal.

Common Garbage Disposal Mistakes

It is not uncommon for homeowners to make one of the garbage disposal no-no's. There are items that you should avoid putting into the garbage disposal. Stringy, fibrous vegetables like banana peels, celery or potato peelings can jam a disposal easily. Rice, coffee grounds, pasta, eggshells and bones can jam and/or clog your disposal. In addition, don't pour grease—hot or cold—into your disposal or sink drains. The material will stick to your drain and sewer lines eventually causing a clog and a visit from your local plumbing contractor to restore service.

For answers to your questions, contact The Pink Plumber today.