Kitchen appliances can be complicated. With tons of different functions
and settings to mess with in order to get the ideal function, it’s
not uncommon for homeowners to struggle to figure some of them out. So,
naturally, a garbage disposal should be remarkably simple, right? How
complicated can an appliance with only one function, and a simple on-off
switch be? Well, far more complicated than many homeowners might think.
This is because most homeowners are unaware that they might be damaging
or hindering their garbage disposal thanks to several “myths”
which have pervaded general knowledge.
On this blog, we’ll take a look at five of these myths and explain
the truth behind them.
#1 – Garbage Disposals Need to Be Sharpened Periodically
When you ask people what a garbage disposal is, they’ll probably
tell you it’s a device that uses spinning blades to chop up food
and other stuff you put down the drain in order to carry it away through
your sewer lines. Well, this is only half true: while there are spinning
parts in a garbage disposal, they aren’t blades. In fact, garbage
disposals don’t have blades at all, but rather grinding teeth that
spin opposite directions to quickly smash up material put down the drain.
Believe it or not, putting solid foods down the drain not only doesn’t
sharpen these teeth, but it actually can wear them out sooner and shorten
the lifespan of your disposal as a whole.
#2 – Smelly Disposal? Use a Lemon!
It’s true that over time putting various foods down your drain can
lead to foul odors and smells coming back up from the drain itself. When
this is the case, common knowledge says to slice up half of a lemon into
small chunks and then grind them up in your disposal. While this can and
does eliminate bad smells for a time, it’s not exactly the best
solution. The acidity from the lemon juice can actually cause corrosion
that eats away at the metal in your disposal’s teeth, thus creating
a situation where you’re actually shortening your disposal’s life!
#3 – Use Hot Water At All Times
For many people, this myth comes from the idea that if you put grease,
fats, or other potentially hazardous substances down your drain, using
hot water can keep it in liquid form long enough for it to reach your
sewers. This isn’t always the case, and in fact it’s actually
better to use
cold water when grinding up fatty foods than it is to use hot. Cold water keeps
the foods in solid form, allowing them to be crushed into tiny pieces
more effectively, which also prevents them from sticking and adhering
to the sides of your plumbing lines.
#4 – A Clear Drain Isn’t Clogged
Just because the water flows down the drain and doesn’t back up doesn’t
mean your garbage disposal is in good health and free from clogs. In fact,
a clog could be forming not far behind it that could lead to trouble.
What’s worse is that with a garbage disposal, it can be even harder
to tell that your drain is clogging up until it’s too late, and
snaking a garbage disposal drain can be even tougher because you’ll
have to completely disconnect the line to do so. It’s much better
to clear a drain line now while the repair is simple rather than waiting
for it to clog up completely where it can damage your home.
#5 – Ice & Eggshells Don’t Hurt Your Disposal
This is somewhat related to the first myth on the list in that many people
think these solid foods are good for your disposal by sharpening your
blades. Well not only is this a myth in that you don’t actually
have blades in your disposal, but they actually can damage the teeth you
do have by causing them to chip or dent. While it’s highly unlikely
that these foods will cause your blades to jam up because of the torque
in the electric motor that powers them, you could jam up your drain line
itself. Eggshells in particular have been known to get caught on the sides
of drain pipes or already-forming clogs, becoming huge causes of clogs.
Having an issue with your garbage disposal? The Bartlett Plumbers at Smith’s
Plumbing Services can help you resolve the issue!
Call us today at (901) 290-1110 to request your service.