Your kitchen sink and garbage disposal are going to get a real workout during Thanksgiving in a couple of weeks. So you need to be aware of what you should and should not be putting down there. If you treat your plumbing system right, it will work well for you, but if you don’t, you will have clogs that make your holiday a very unhappy one.

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When using your garbage disposal, here are some things you should do:

  1. Use a good flow of cold water. Cold water will cause any grease and oil that may get into the machine to harden so that the disposal can chop it up.
  2. Make sure you cut large pieces of food up before putting it in the disposal.
  3. Ice can help to clean your disposal.

Now here are some things you definitely should not do with your disposal:

  1. Don’t put grease, oil or fat down the disposal. These things will just gum up the works, preventing your disposal from grinding and clogging the pipes. The same is true for the kitchen sink drain – no fats, oils or grease.
  2. Don’t try to grind high fiber foods like corn husks, celery or onion skins. These things also will just cause problems, getting tangled in the disposal blades and preventing it from working, as well as clogging pipes.
  3. Many plumbers also recommend not putting coffee grounds in the disposal. While not bad for the disposal itself, they can accumulate in the pipes and cause clogs.
  4. Don’t try and stuff large amounts of food into the disposal all at once. Feed the food in a little at a time to keep things running smoothly.
  5. Don’t stop the water until the disposal is finished working. Keep it running until everything has been ground up. Then turn the disposal off first, and allow the water to run a few seconds before turning it off.
  6. Don’t put anything in the disposal that is not food – that means no cigarette butts, plastic or paper.
  7. Don’t use hot water. This causes any grease that may find its way into the machine to remain in a liquid state, which will allow it to get into the pipes where it will solidify, causing clogs.

We hope you and your friends and loved ones have a glorious Thanksgiving this year! If – and we definitely hope this won’t be the case – you need plumbing help that day, call on the 24/7/365 plumbing experts at Plumbing Dynamics.  Call us at 214-929-3431.

By dnak [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons