I think it is safe to say that we have all been there at one point. You run the water and it starts to back up for some reason. Our first reaction is to turn on the garbage disposal to clear the drain of whatever food is blocking up the pipes. The problem this time, however, is that the water is still not going down. What is causing that blockage?
What Causes Garbage Disposal Clogs?
As you know, the garbage disposal is in place to grind food particles down so they can pass through the pipes. At times, however, for one reason or another, the machine does not perform its task properly and you wind up with water backing up in the sink.
Here are some general causes:
- Lack of water – when using the garbage disposal, you should always run cold water to help the food flush through. If you are running it dry, you are more than likely going to create a blockage.
- Granular food products – if you make it a habit of flushing your eggshells and coffee grounds down the kitchen drain, they can attach themselves to sludge that is in the pipes and create a blockage. Just make it a habit if tossing them in the trash instead of down the drain.
- Fiber – if you put a lot of fibrous food down the drain, such as celery stalks, banana peels, and artichokes, they can become entangled with other food products and create a blockage. Again, just make it a habit of tossing them in the trash rather than stuffing them down the drain and turning on the garbage disposal.
- Starches – one more thing to avoid putting down the drain is starchy food. These can form a paste in the pipe and almost form a wall to create a blockage.
Preventing a Clogged Garbage Disposal
- Use cold water, instead of warm or hot water when running the garbage disposal. Also allow the water to run for about 30 seconds after turning the garbage disposal off to flush the drain.
- Periodically run the garbage disposal with cold water when you are not putting any food down the drain.
- Avoid putting large pieces of food into the garbage disposal. Cut them down to smaller pieces beforehand if you need to dispose of them this way.
Food to Avoid Putting into Garbage Disposal
- Coffee grinds
- Banana peels
- Fruit pits
- Corn cobs
If you follow those basic tips, for the most part, you should be able to avoid a clogged garbage disposal.