Tuckers Air Conditioning, Heating & Plumbing Blog

Never Put These Items Down a Garbage Disposal

Garbage disposals are among the most convenient of devices in a modern kitchen. However, we sometimes rely on them too much and start to place objects down them that don’t belong there. As durable as manufacturers build garbage disposals, these machines can’t cope with everything, and too much mistreatment will lead to a mechanical breakdown or serious clog.

Here is a short but helpful guide to items that you should never place down your kitchen’s garbage disposal. Following these instructions will make your kitchen plumbing in Rockville, MD healthier. But should you ever need plumbing repairs of any kind, call on the dependable services of Tuckers Air Conditioning, Heating & Plumbing. We are proud to be the only contractor who offers a 15 year parts & labor guarantee.

Do not put the following down your garbage disposal!

  • Liquid fat, oil, or grease: These three liquids, which we’ll call “FOG,” are major enemies of all drains, not just garbage disposals. Although seemingly harmless when in hot liquid form, they all change into waxy, thick solids when they dry. This can easily jam up the mechanical parts of a garbage disposal, causing it to repeatedly trip its “reset” switch and eventually burn out its motor. Remove all FOG to a separate receptacle and then place it in the trash.
  • Un-chewable food items: Not all food can go down a garbage disposal. The teeth of the grind ring cannot rip through every bit of organic material sent down into the chamber. Here’s a good rule of thumb: “If your teeth can’t chew it, then the garbage disposal’s teeth can’t either.” Place chicken bones, un-popped popcorn kernels, eggshells, pit, and seeds in the trash.
  • Actual trash: Despite the name “garbage” in the title, actual paper and plastic refuse should never go into the garbage disposal. These objects will easily jam up the mechanical parts.
  • Rice and pasta: These may seem innocent enough… but both of them swell in water. If noodles and rice become stuck inside the disposal, they will continue to swell and can eventually stop the disposal from working.
  • Coffee grounds: This one might surprise people, but the tiny particles of coffee grounds will start to build up inside the pipes (the disposal does nothing to cut them down) and begin to trap other food particles.
  • Your hand: We hope this would seem obvious, but please do not put your hand down into the disposal to try to unjam it! This is a standard safety precaution. If the disposal is experiencing problems, call for plumbers to take care of it in safety.

Most garbage disposal issues are basic ones for trained plumbers to remedy. Call Tuckers Air Conditioning, Heating & Plumbing to handle the next jam you experience with your plumbing service in Rockville, MD.