When it comes to the various systems and components of your home, your plumbing system is probably not one you think about a whole lot—that is, until something goes wrong. Our Sterling, VA plumbers would like to help you avoid that altogether. We can do this by performing routine maintenance for your plumbing system (once a year is best), but there are other things you can do to make sure you’re treating your plumbing system well and helping it last longer without the need for costly repairs.
Today, we’re going to talk about your kitchen plumbing. In particular, the sink. You might be one of those fortunate homeowners who have a garbage disposal system installed with their kitchen sink. This means you don’t have to deal with the stinky pile-up that can accumulate in your trash can, as most of your food scraps can go right down the drain. But, can anything go down your kitchen sink drain?
Caring for Your Kitchen Sink
Whether you have a garbage disposal system or not, there are some things that should never be put down your drain. We hope some of them are apparent—for instance, anything that’s not food shouldn’t ever see your kitchen sink. We get that if you have a garbage disposal, it may seem like it’d be able to handle garbage, but this isn’t the case.
In fact, many people have a misconception about how garbage disposal systems function. You may envision yours to be something like a blender, with sharp blades rotating around to chop of food before sending it down the drain. This isn’t how they work.
Rather, this kitchen plumbing component uses a motor that powers an impeller, which has “blades” on the end of it—but these blades aren’t as sharp as you may think. Rather, there is another part to this system referred to as a grind ring that works with the impeller to break up food items with centrifugal force (rather than the chopping up of food items with sharp blades that you might be picturing). Therefore, things like plastic, paper, and other wrappers will not break up in your garbage disposal and can clog up your drain as a result.
Other Items Not to Put Down Your Drain or Disposal System
You should pay close attention to the texture and hardness of the food you’re putting down your drain, regardless of whether or not you have a disposal system. You probably already know you shouldn’t be putting meat bones or fruit pits down the drain (some garbage disposals are marketed as being able to handle these items, but we still recommend against it).
When we mention texture, we’re talking about stringy, fibrous foods such as asparagus and celery. They can easily create clogs in the drain, and if you have a disposal system they can wrap around the motor and cause the system to jam up. Any food product with a “paper”-like quality should also never go down the drain. This includes things like onion skins and corn husks.
Lastly, foods and cooking byproducts that expand or harden with moisture or can create clogs should stay out of your drains. This means pasta, rice, and coffee grounds, for starters. This also includes FOG (fats, oils, and grease). While these aren’t a threat to your garbage disposal system, they are a threat to your drainpipes, and belong in the trash can instead.
AllTech Services, Inc. is your trusted resource for quality plumbing services. Contact us today!