Those of us who have a garbage disposal unit rely on it. Even when we travel, we’re lost if our Airbnb doesn’t have one. But still, the mysteries behind these units escape a lot of us. Sometimes they simply quit working. That may lead you to believe they’re bad for your plumbing or septic system, but are they?
The truth is that garbage disposal units are fine, as long as you understand a few things.
How To Use Your Garbage Disposal Unit
First, you need to know how you can use your unit. Some people think that just because they have one, they can use it for everything— Even clearing out the fridge. However, that’s not what garbage disposal units do.
Especially in residential settings, units should be used to collect the occasional scraps lurking in the bottom of the sink after peeling a vegetable or rinsing a dinner plate— Nothing major.
When To Use Your Garbage Disposal Unit
You also need to know how often you should use your unit. If you’re not disposing of scraps in the trash or the occasional backyard toss and instead using your unit for anything and everything, you could create a blockage in the plumbing system behind it. In many cases, the garbage disposal unit could be fine.
However, the pipe behind it may not be large enough to pass a large volume of food. If you’re not sure whether your unit is powerful enough, here’s what you need to know.
Types of Units
There are generally three sizes of residential garbage disposal units.
- Three-quarter horsepower
Understand Which You Need
Half-horsepower units are fine if you use them here and there, maybe once a week. Three-quarter horsepower units have enough power to support frequent use, around a few times every week. Full-horsepower units grant you just enough power to slice food daily.
Why is horsepower so important with garbage disposal units?
If you’re using the unit very often, having the power to cut the food up very fine will be much better for the system. But no matter how powerful your garbage disposal unit is, some maintenance is essential.
We recommend putting some ice in the garbage disposal and turning it on. That ice will knock off a lot of food buildup that sticks to your unit’s blades. We also have a BioOne product that is micro-bacterial. It eats any oil and grease. We recommend using a product like that whether you have a garbage disposal or not.
It’s beneficial for your system if you ever clean off a greasy plate or pan in the sink.
Here’s a quick tip. When dealing with drain products, consider how much it costs per application. You can get drain maintenance products and pay anywhere from $5 to $15 per application. That’s $15 out of your pocket every time you pour it down the drain.
However, our preferred BioOne product equals out to about $1 to $2 per application.
Keep Your Disposal Unit Away From Some Foods
Some foods are especially bad for garbage disposal units. As a rule of thumb, stay away from eggshells, potato skins, celery and rice.
If you need help with your garbage disposal unit or you’d like to find our preferred BioOne product, give Wisler Plumbing and Air a call at (540) 483 – 9382.