Just Before 6: Garbage Disposals

Your home's garbage disposal is one of the most used appliances in the kitchen, but, we don't think much about it, until it jams and stops working.

Yes, from countless ground up spoons to shredded cabbage overflows. I've spent a good part of my life learning what a pain garbage disposals can be if not used properly, but it doesn't have to be that way.

When properly used and maintained, garbage disposals can be a worthwhile addition to your kitchen. Just make sure you follow some simple steps, and your investment won't go down the drain.

It's important to know the difference between a garbage disposal and a garbage can. With a garbage can, it's okay to toss everything in at once. With a garbage disposal, not so much literally.

Russ Graves a local plumber goes into to details about what is the most common problems with garbage disposals. "Nine times out of 10 when people have a blockage it's because they have put a bunch of food down the disposal and then turned it on and then turned on the water. what that does is it creates a situation where it shoots a whole bunch of food all at one time through the unit."

Angie hicks from Angie's List says, "Your garbage disposal is one of the most used appliances in the kitchen, and one of the most abused. if you're not taking proper care of it, you're shortening its useful life which can be very costly."

Garbage disposals cost anywhere from fifty to several hundred dollars

Angie Hicks from Angie's List has gives some helpful tips when purchasing a new garbage disposal. "When it's time to buy a new disposal, do some quick math. if you plan to live in your house for at least five years, it's worth investing in a high end model. A high end model is quieter, more powerful, and will likely last 10 to 20 years."

And if you're going to spend any amount of money replacing your old one or adding one.

It's a good idea to learn how to use it properly.

Russ Graves a local plumber gives is advice on properly using your garbage disposal. "The proper way is to turn the water on, let it run for 10-15 seconds, turn the disposal on, start to feed the unit bits at a time until all the food is gone and let the water run for another 30 seconds to clear it all out and get it all down the drain."

The disposal is meant for food only; avoid glass, rubber, bones, and stringy vegetables like celery.

Celery doesn't get chopped up in the disposal. instead the strings wrap around the blades and can eventually stop them from working.

On occasion, toss several pieces of ice down the disposal to help sharpen the blade and add a few pieces of cut up lemon to help remove odors.

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