Your garbage disposal’s job is to grind up certain types of food scraps fine enough, so they can easily go down the drain. To do this requires electrical wiring and sharp blades, both of which can cause serious injury if they are damaged or used incorrectly. The unit also needs lots of water, and if its pipes are broken, it can lead to a flood in your kitchen. The good news is that there are tips you can follow to ensure you are using your garbage disposal safely.
Don’t Use a Garbage Disposal With a Private Septic System
A garbage disposal works best if your home is connected to a municipal sewage system. The ground-up food created by a garbage disposal unit can overwhelm a private septic system. This can cause its contents to backflow into your house or your property and create an emergency. Sewage can even infiltrate your fresh water line and cause serious illness. Though there are garbage disposal units on the market that are made to work with a private septic system, it’s still best to buy one only if you’re connected to your town’s sewage system.
Don’t Place Your Hand Inside the Garbage Disposal
Of course you wouldn’t stick your hand inside the disposal when it’s running, but you shouldn’t put your hand in it if it’s not running. The blades are so sharp that they can slice a finger even when they’re still. Also, small children and pets need to be kept away from the garbage disposal entirely, and older kids and even adults need to learn how to operate it safely.
Schedule Regular Maintenance Checks
Have a plumber regularly check your garbage disposal to make sure it’s in good working order. The plumber can not only troubleshoot little problems before they become large ones but can let you know when it’s time to buy another unit.
Know What to Put Down Your Garbage Disposal
Though the unit can handle a great variety of food scraps, there are items that you shouldn’t put down your garbage disposal. They include:
- Stringy vegetables such as celery stalks
- Egg shells
- Potato peels
- Coffee grounds
- Paint and other household chemicals
- Foods that are hard and dry, such as dog kibble or large bones
These items can clog your garbage disposal unit and cause it to malfunction.
Only Allow a Professional to Install Your Garbage Disposal
Installing your garbage disposal is not a do-it-yourself job. Only a professional plumber should install your unit.
Learn More About Garbage Disposal Do’s and Don’ts
If it’s properly maintained, your garbage disposal should last about 10 years. Our technicians at Smart Plumbers and Rooters of Santa Clara, California pride themselves on their knowledge, skills, punctuality and courtesy when it comes to installing and servicing your garbage disposal unit, so never hesitate to call us.