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Cactus Rose is asking: (2 answers)
OT: Garbage disposal question

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Last updated: Nov. 3, 2013 8:34 am
Posted: Nov. 2, 2013 4:01 pm
Answered by: Cactus Rose
Nov. 2, 2013 4:04 pm
The apartment complex where I live us publishes a newsletter of sorts the first of every month. The November issue advises to not put veggie peelings down the disposal. I know not to put bones or coffee grounds down there, but now veggie peelings? Where I'm from in Canada, it's rare for any home to have a garbage disposal. So, I'm wondering what it's purpose is if you can't put anything into it?
Cactus Rose
Nov. 2, 2013 4:09 pm
Sorry for the typos. I'm on my 2nd martooni.
Nov. 2, 2013 4:13 pm
I found out the hard way, to never put potato peels, egg shells, onion skins, large quantities of rice or anything else for that matter in just gums it up and blocks my sewer line. Those calls to the plumber to unblock are not inexpensive!! Garbage disposals are not made to grind up's mainly designed just for the stuff that's leftover on your dinner plates..(BUT NOT bones). Better to put your garbage in the collection bin.
Nov. 2, 2013 8:31 pm
No, they are not made to grind up "everything" but potato peels, egg shells, rice, etc., are NOT a problem. It's most often the OPERATOR of said disposal that is the problem. I see people put stuff in the disposal all at one, then turn it on, with the water on, run just long enough for the items to seem ground and gone from the disposal, then off goes the disposal and the water. Well, it's going to get bogged down eventually with that sort of treatment. Proper procedure would be to turn the cold water on wide open, turn on the disposal, then begin to SLOWLY feed your food scraps in just a bit at a time, letting it clear out before any more goes in. Once all the food has been fed in, let the water and the disposal run for another minute or two. Turn off the disposal then still let the water run a minute before turning off. This pushes everything on completely through your plumbing and further into the main sewer lines that are larger, and designed to handle more than your home plumbing. I've never had to replace a disposal, or had a clogged one, even when I lived with a septic system instead of city sewer. A disposal you can't put coffee grounds or an egg shell in isn't worth the price of the cardboard box it comes in.
Nov. 2, 2013 10:34 pm
Rice and pasta- No matter how much water you run or how long you run the appliance, you can never break rice or pasta down small enough. Both items swell when they are in contact with water, so the small pieces will eventually gather in the trap and swell until it is closed. Animal bones- The garbage disposal is just not strong enough to break these down small enough to fit through. Animal bones are the most common thing that jams disposals. Grease- The grease will eventually solidify and clog a portion, or all, of your drain. Egg shells- Despite what you may have heard, egg shells do not sharpen disposal blades. I’m not even sure how someone would think that would work. Mostly they just end up clogging the line. Any kind of stringy or tough-peeled vegetable- This includes asparagus, lettuce, celery and potato peels. Maybe in a small amount the disposal can handle it, but I wouldn’t try it.
Nov. 3, 2013 8:34 am
I believe Mimosa is correct in that if you have problems, it's probably more related to technique than content. I've been in this house 30 years without a single clog, and have put egg shells, coffee, whatever in the disposal. We run citrus peels occasionally to make it smell better! However, the no rice / pasta argument certainly makes sense, and of course grease is a no no no. Of course, I don't use the thing much anymore. All vegetable matter goes in the compost pile. A much better solution!
Answered by: Sweettreats
Nov. 2, 2013 4:10 pm
Potato peels etc will bunch up and clog your drain lines. My husband used to put potato peels in the garbage disposal and I had to rent a snake to unclog my drain. My mother also thought it would be a good idea to dispose of pickles down the garbage disposal and plugged up her drain. Certain foods are fine and then there are foods that will compact once washed down the sewer lines and create problems.
Cathy Myers
Nov. 2, 2013 4:14 pm
Sweettreats is perfectly right. Potato peels are the worse offenders! Citrus rinds just seem to roll around i the disposal.
Nov. 2, 2013 4:42 pm
Anything fibrous is really not something to put down the drain. It isn't the disposal that is the issue since it will grind up most things. The problem is those things collect in the drain and will eventually cause it to clog. I agree with grammom, that the disposal is really to wash away left over food particles when rising dinner plates.
Party Chef
Nov. 2, 2013 5:07 pm
Hope your martoonies are good! I put carrot tops down the disposal, what a mistake! Hubs is still bit@*ing about that! Now all I use it for is rinsing plate residue.
Party Chef
Nov. 2, 2013 5:19 pm
I heard its good for a disposal to grind egg shells and ice, has anyone heard that or am I cuckoo?
Patty Cakes
Nov. 2, 2013 5:58 pm
Not cuckoo PC, I know ice for sure but shells sound like a good suggestion too!
Nov. 2, 2013 6:17 pm
No celery! Egg shells are a no-no! My fiance' worked as a maintenance man for several years and he said they are notorious for clogging disposals.
Nov. 3, 2013 1:54 am
^^ I agree. Avoid anything that doesn't dissolve in water. Solids like egg shells will tend to gather in the elbow area at the bottom of the drain and clog it.
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