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3 Causes of Garbage Disposal Clogs

Friday, May 30th, 2014 at 4:28 pm

Considering how much work kitchen garbage disposals does on a daily basis, it seems they should breakdown and stop working more than they do. Thanks to the sturdy construction of modern garbage disposals, most will keep working for many years despite sometimes having objects go down them that should never go down them. (Example: popcorn kernels. A good rule of thumb is that if you can’t chew it, your garbage disposal can’t either.)

However, you can rarely escape garbage disposal clogs forever. When your disposal stops working, don’t make the mistake of trying to put your hand down the drain to “dislodge” whatever has stopped it. Try the reset switch on the bottom of the unit first, and if that doesn’t work, call for a professional plumber to safely and effectively fix the problem.

Brooks Plumbing has 20 years of experience with repairs for kitchen plumbing. If you need help with your garbage disposal in Olympia, WA, make us your first call.

3 of the reasons for garbage disposal clogs

  1. Liquid fat, oil, grease (FOG): Perhaps no other food product in a kitchen can do as much damage to a disposal than these hot liquids. They seem innocuous enough when poured down a drain, but once they dry they solidify into tough waxy substances that will start to coat the drainpipe and restrict water flow. In a disposal, they will soon jam up the mechanical parts and prevent drainage. Plumbers will need to clean out the drains and the clean the interior of the disposal.
  2. Actual garbage: Don’t let the name fool you! A garbage disposal is never for inorganic garbage. Plastics, paper, tin foil, etc. all go in a true garbage receptacle. In the garbage disposal. They will quickly jam it up. There’s also some organic garbage that shouldn’t go here (see the rule above about chewable material): fruit pits and seeds, popcorn kernels, bones, eggshells. Another concern is coffee grounds, which will become caught in the garbage disposal’s trap, leading to clogs. Place coffee grounds in the garbage or a composting bucket.
  3. Pasta: Surprised? The trouble with pasta is that it expands in water. If it goes into a garbage disposal, it can become caught in the disposal trap, or it might remain in the pipe and continue to expand until it creates a clog. This also applies to rice, which expands in water.

You should have few troubles from your home’s garbage disposal if you refrain from putting the above objects down the drain. But if you still run across a repair problem with your garbage disposal in Olympia, WA, contact Brooks Plumbing. We promise quality in everything we do.

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