It’s the most wonderful time of the year here in Dallas-Fort Worth. The weather is slowly but surely becoming cooler, and holiday dinner parties are on the horizon. While doing the dishes can be the worst part of the upcoming holiday season, it’s important to make sure you’re prepared to properly discard grease, oils, and other food scraps to keep your garbage disposal in tip-top shape.

As you prepare for the high-traffic holiday season, learn from the experts at Bacon Plumbing Heating Air Electric to avoid any holiday kitchen fiascos and garbage disposal repairs!

Run a Steady Stream of Water Before & After Disposing

Before you grind food in the disposal, run a steady, cold stream of water down the sink drain. It may feel more sanitary to use hot water, but too much hot water can cause the system to overheat and decrease the longevity of your system. Cold water can ensure your disposal unit doesn’t overheat and increase your system’s lifespan.

If you’re washing a lot of dishes, keep a continuous feed of water flowing and run the disposal for about 10-20 seconds at a time for maximum efficiency. Doing so can help food waste break down easier and prevent any blockages.

We recommend looking down into the disposal as you clean to see if you need more or less water to move things along. Once the food is ground up, continue running the water for a few seconds to flush the drain line.

Avoid Overstuffing Your Disposal

It can be tempting to dump every untouched piece of meat, vegetables, and other foods right into the garbage disposal. But your disposal’s grind chamber isn’t designed to break down large pieces of food. Ideally, your garbage disposal should only break down the small bits and pieces of food left over on your dishes before you hand clean or load them into a dishwasher.

So, this holiday season, be conscious of large pieces of food and any foreign objects to avoid slowing down your disposal system, or worse, encountering a disposal repair.

Is it bad to pour grease down the drain?

In the midst of holiday hosting, it can be all too easy to pour hot cooking oil or grease down the drain. But these hot, fatty liquids can quickly ruin your garbage disposal. As the oil or grease cools inside the pipes, it solidifies and hardens, which can lead to serious blockages and expensive plumbing repairs.

We always recommend letting grease or oil cool and then throwing it away in the trash can. Some people reuse the oil and grease from previous meals for added flavor when cooking the next. There are other options for disposing of hot grease and oil, but the rule remains the same—don’t pour these fatty substances down the drain.

Steer Clear of Fibrous Foods for Your Disposal

During food prep, we advise steering clear of tossing any potato peels and squash peels down your garbage disposal. These two peels can easily get stuck and cause your system to stop working.

Likewise, avoid grinding any fibrous foods, like corn husks and celery. The fibrous material tends to wrap around the blade, slowing down your motor, or stopping it completely. If you have leftovers of dishes like potatoes, squash, or celery and dip, toss them in the trash instead of your garbage disposal to keep your system in good condition.

Regularly Clean the Disposal

During high-traffic holidays, regular cleaning and maintenance is crucial to ensure a well-functioning disposal. One of the easiest and safest ways to clean your disposal is to use ice cubes and baking soda once per month. Just place about ¼ cup of baking soda and a handful of ice cubes in your kitchen sink and grind. The ice is hard enough to remove stubborn residue but soft enough not to damage the blades, whether they’re stainless steel or plastic.

What To Do If You Need to Fix a Garbage Disposal

If your garbage disposal stops working, it may be overheated or jammed. First, cut power to your disposal by unplugging it. Then, let the unit cool down for about 2-5 minutes while you locate the reset button. This red button is typically located on the bottom or lower portion of the disposal unit.

If a simple reset doesn’t work, call a professional to handle any further garbage disposal services. After all, even if you think your disposal is completely shut off, it can be dangerous to stick your hand down the drain or work near the sharp blades. A trustworthy plumbing company can find and fix the problem safely.

Garbage Disposal Services You Can Trust

Sometimes, repairing a disposal can be more expensive than replacing it. If you would be better off with a new garbage disposal installation, our team will help you find the right replacement for you. We often recommend Insinkerator Garbage Disposals, known throughout the industry for unmatched quality. With a variety of models, there’s a disposal system perfect for every household and budget.

At Bacon Plumbing Heating Air Electric, we’re here to provide solutions to all your home improvement problems. Keep this holiday season focused on the things that matter most. Maintain your garbage disposal, and schedule any necessary repairs with Bacon.

Five-Star Plumbing Services in Dallas-Forth Worth Metroplex

Don’t let a clogged garbage disposal ruin your holidays. Keep your disposal in tip-top shape with these tips. If you run into problems with your garbage disposal or need more tips and tricks, call us at (972) 791-8332 or contact us online. With over a decade of experience, Bacon Plumbing Heating Air Electric gets the job done right the first time, every time.

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