Christmas Day is one of the busiest days of the year for your kitchen! With all the food preparation for the family feast, you accumulate plenty of food scraps you need to get rid of. Your waste disposal unit is a convenient way to dispose of these, but not all food waste should go in this device.
Plumbers often get called out to deal with clogged and broken waste disposal units in January. This post discusses which food types belong in the rubbish bin rather than the garbage disposer. It also discusses the warning signs that indicate your waste disposer needs a plumber's care to function again.
Foods Not Meant for Your Waste Disposal
A waste disposal has sharp blades inside that chop the food waste up into small particles. These particles are then flushed away through your plumbing by the running water. However, some foods are not easily chopped up, and examples of these include the following:
Celery has long fibrous strings that run the length of the stalk. When these strings get put into the waste disposal, they wrap around the spinning blades. Corn husks and asparagus also have these strings.
Starchy foods like potatoes make a paste when they mix with water. This paste can gum up the spinning blades and stop them from moving.
Rice and pasta both absorb water to become gloppy messes in the waste disposal. The water absorption makes them bigger than their original size, and this expansion increases the risk of a pipe clog.
Hot oils and fats poured into the waste disposal quickly cool down when they meet the running water. The temperature change causes them to solidify and coat the blades and pipes with fat. This fat layer will keep building up until the blades cannot spin or the pipes become blocked.
All of the foods mentioned above should be placed in your rubbish bin rather than in the waste disposal. If you have concerns they will smell before rubbish collection day, wrap them in some newspaper first.
You can pour oils and fats into an old coffee grounds tin while they are still hot. Once the tin is full, wrap it in newspaper and place it out with your rubbish.
If you have previously put these items into your waste disposal, there is a chance it may not work efficiently in the future. There are several signs you should get your waste disposal checked out by A&C Plumbing before the busiest cooking day of the year arrives.
Signs Your Waste Disposal Needs a Plumber
Your waste disposal lets you know pretty quickly it has a problem, so keep your eyes and ears open for the following hints that you need to call your plumber:
The waste disposal won't turn on at all.
There is a loud whining noise when you turn it on.
The motor hums but the blades do not move.
Water is not draining out of the waste disposal; the water is backing up into the sink. The waste disposal unit under the sink has sprung a leak.
All of these symptoms are signs you must stop using the waste disposal and call a plumber to come and look at it for you. Your disposal may have a pipe clog, broken blades, or a jammed motor. Some problems can be fixed right away, while others may mean you need a new disposal unit.
Don't let a broken waste disposal unit ruin your Christmas dinner this year. Now that you know what your waste disposal unit can't do, you can make sure the naughty food scraps go into the bin, and you'll stay on the waste disposal's nice list.