When a garbage disposal clogs, a plumber’s service call in San Francisco can cost as much as $100 just for showing up. A “fix” could add even more to that bill.
To minimize the likelihood of costly repairs, therefore, be mindful of how your disposal works, and where its limitations lie.
Most clogs are the result of how certain food waste reacts with water and there’s some items you should never flush down your sink. This is because everything sent through the disposal eventually must make its way down the waste line and that can include a trap.
Over time, the trap can get blocked.
With that in mind, here’s a short list of food waste that’s better suited for the garbage can than the kitchen sink:
- Rice and pasta : Small particles can never be completely pulverized, and will swell in the presence of water. This can clog pipes and traps.
- Egg shells : Tiny, granular waste can get “bound” with pipe sludge, creating a thick clog.
- Coffee grounds : Same as for egg shells. As a clog thickens, it’s harder for water to pass through.
- Grease : Liquid fats turn to solid when in contact with cold water. Over time, this creates a clog like plaque on an artery.
- Potato peels : Once ground, peels turn starchy like mashed potatoes. This can clog a drain pipe instantly.
With kitchen garbage disposals, the general rule for flushing food should be “when in doubt, leave it out”. Use your disposal for convenience, not for a trash chute substitute.