With a garbage disposal, you can scrape dirty dishes straight into the sink without worrying about food debris clogging your pipes. While it may seem difficult to go wrong when choosing such a convenience, these devices have their drawbacks too. Make sure you are willing to accept the inconvenience that it brings before you dispose of new garbage.
The Pros Of Garbage Disposal
a. They Make Clean-Up Easier
If your sink is equipped with garbage disposal, you can scrape small amounts of uneaten food into the sink instead of carrying and scraping plates in the garbage. This makes cleaning up after cooking and eating meals faster and easier. There’s also less risk of crumbs falling to the floor when you carry plates to and from the trash.
b. They work almost everywhere.
Garbage disposal is safe for almost all types of sewer systems, including municipal sewers and septic tanks. However, if you have a septic tank, make sure it is the right size and regularly serviced.
Some very old municipal sewage systems may not be able to handle food scraps from garbage disposal well. If you live in an area with such a system, check with your local waste disposal or water authority before installing a waste disposal system.
c. They Protect Your Pipes
When there is a pile of dishes with leftover food on them, it can be tempting to just scrap everything into the sink instead of bothering to carry the plates to the trash can. However, over time, these food particles can build up in your pipes and cause clogging. With a garbage disposal, you can grind up leftover food into small particles that are less likely to get stuck in the pipes.
d. They are cheap
The average garbage disposal costs between $ 70 and $ 130. You can then install it yourself if you’re familiar with basic plumbing. If not, installation is a routine and relatively inexpensive task for a skilled plumber. Use and maintain your garbage disposal properly, and you will get used to it for about eight to ten years.
e. Helps To Curb Odor At Home
If you use a garbage disposal, it will help reduce odors in trash cans because food won’t rot in the trash can. For homeowners with bi-weekly or monthly trash pickups, this can mean a substantial amount of food waste is rotting in the trash.
The smell can attract wild animals, which zip through the garbage to find discarded food. The drawback of using a garbage disposal is that the disposal itself can develop a foul smell, especially if homeowners put prohibited foods down the drain and clog the disposal. Adding citrus peel, citrus juice, or baking soda deodorizes the disposal, but it adds cost for maintenance.
Cons Of Garbage Disposal
a. Careful Use Of Garbage Disposal Is Required.
Garbage disposal is not a waste can for food leftovers. To avoid bad smell and jams, there are certain foods that you don’t need to throw away, including:
· Starchy foods, such as rice, pasta, and beans.
· Fatty foods, such as butter, cooking oil, and cream sauces.
· Fibrous foods, such as celery, banana peels, potato peels, and carrots.
· Hard materials, such as fruit pits, bones, and seafood shells.
This long list means you can’t be scraping all of your plates into the sink without care. Of course, traces of leftovers from a meal will not immediately clog your disposal, but if you add unsafe food too often or in large quantities, this may very well be possible.
How you dispose of waste is also essential. Always switch on the cold water before you begin disposal and then let it run while the disposal is in progress. Gradually feed in small amounts of leftover food. When you’re done, turn off the disposal device and let the water run for an additional 10 to 20 seconds to flush food debris through the disposal and pipes.
b. It Requires Regular Maintenance.
Even if you use the garbage disposal properly, some food particles can be left inside. These particles then disintegrate and can eventually begin to smell.
To avoid this situation, turn off the disposal and clean it once a week. First, wipe the inside of the rubber ring around the drain/disposal opening. Then use a bottle brush to scrub the inside of the disposal. In between cleanings, you can freshen up your disposal by grinding ice cubes ( made from citrus fruits)
Top Signs To Know When To Replace A Garbage Disposal
Garbage disposal is used to shred up food and other wastes and keep your kitchen pipes clean and free of clogs and debris.
a. It Has A Bad Smell That Does Not Go Away.
Food and trash that are old are prone to bad smells, but with the proper use of a functioning garbage disposal system, this shouldn’t be a problem. If the odors persist even after you’ve rinsed thoroughly and cleaned your trash, there may be stubborn particles inside the device that won’t move.
In most cases, you can call in a professional to remove these trapped particles. However, if your disposal is older, let say, 15 years or more, it may be time to replace it.
b. Your Garbage Disposal Cannot Be Switched On.
If garbage disposal does not turn on, there may be a severe problem with the device itself. First, press the reset button on the device to see if it works again. Then you can also examine the circuit breaker in your home’s electrical panel.
If these troubleshooting methods fail to fix the problem, you will likely need to give someone a call to investigate seriously.
c. When It Begin To Break, Jam, And Clog
Accidentally throwing the wrong type of food or too much food in your garbage disposal can cause jams. It is a common occurrence that anyone who regularly uses garbage disposal will be familiar with it. Sometimes simply pressing the reset button will restart your disposal.
If that doesn’t work, you can try to loosen the clog by inserting an Allen wrench into the flywheel hole at the garbage disposal bottom and wiggle the flywheel. Using a broomstick or needle-nosed pliers to access the blockage from the drain hole can also work.
If this seems like much of a hassle, then avoid installing a garbage disposal. It doesn’t matter if you take good care of your disposal, blockages and jams become more common as the device ages. Since the garbage disposal is not easy to repair, you will have to replace the whole thing when part of the disposal is worn out.
d. You Often Press The Reset Button On The Device
If you find yourself hitting the reset button a lot when you’re disposing of your trash, it is a sign that it won’t be long for this world. Pressing the reset button should be done infrequently. Hence ensure your mind, how often you do this.
e. Water Leaks From Your Garbage Disposal.
Nothing is forever. When disposing of garbage, you typically look between eight and fifteen years before you need to replace the device. Over time, the disposal may crack or even cause a leak. If so, you will likely need to replace the device as it would not be worth the money to repair it.
f. Strange Or Unusual Noises Starts Coming From Your Garbage Disposal.
Since garbage disposal has moving parts, special or new noises can indicate a serious problem. Point a flashlight at your drain to see if the device is blocked. Sneaky cutlery or a small bowl can easily lead to unusual noises from the device.
If you find something, then remove it cautiously and test the disposal. If you can’t find anything and still hear strange noises, you should consult a professional or consider a replacement.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why shouldn’t you use a garbage disposal?
When disposing of waste, these can accumulate in the pipes and in the system itself. This hampers the disposal’s ability to grind the food and result in clogs or narrowed pipes that can prevent food and water from moving through the system.
Are garbage disposals bad for plumbing?
The short answer is no. However, it still goes down to how the disposal device is used. You see, most people are unaware of the proper use of their disposal, but if they are and follow the guidelines, it will not damage, clog, or damage your pipes in any way.
What is the average life of a garbage disposal?
Your garbage disposal should take a good number of years before the blades wear out or the engine burns out. Although it also depends on when you installed it (modern garbage disposal is much more durable than older ones), your garbage disposal can last anywhere from 8 to 15 years.
Finally, the garbage disposal is a useful convenience if you want to spend as little time cleaning up as possible after you eat. If you’re willing to take the care necessary to avoid throwing clogging foods in and don’t mind cleaning the unit every week, the garbage disposal is probably worth the investment.