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Dispelling Common Myths About Garbage Disposals

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A garbage disposal plays an important role in the function of your kitchen sink and pipes. The garbage disposal helps break down food particles that build up in the drain area, allowing these items to fit through the pipe and out to your sewer line. The actions you take with your garbage disposal can affect the lifespan and effectiveness of your garbage disposal. Unfortunately though, there are many myths about these systems that are floating around. Some of these myths are just wrong, while others can actually harm your unit. Here are a few common myths surrounding garbage disposals and the truth about these myths.

Ice Can Sharpen Garbage Disposal Blades

One of the myths surrounding garbage disposals is that you should dump some ice down the drain and turn the disposal on. The myth is that you can keep your blades sharp by doing this. However, this is a myth that is not true. First off, garbage disposals do not have blades. They have impellers. Secondly, these impellers are not sharp. When your unit is turned off, stick your hand down the drain and feel them. They are able to chop up food simply by the force created when they begin to spin. However, while ice cannot sharpen your disposal, it can be used in combination with vinegar or citrus rinds to remove smells from the drain area.

A Chemical Drain Cleaner Should Be Used for Clogs in Your Kitchen Sink

If a clog begins to develop in your kitchen sink, you may think that a chemical drain cleaner is the best thing to use. However, this is a myth and can be extremely damaging to your garbage disposal. The chemicals in the drain cleaner can eat away at the plastic parts and older metal parts in the disposal. This can cause leaks or render the unit ineffective. The other downside to using a chemical drain cleaner is that it can be harmful to a plumber if the cleaner doesn't remove the clog and you need to call in a plumbing service. If a clog develops in your kitchen sink, pour a pot of boiling hot water down the drain instead. This will help to liquefy grease and move food particles along. It also isn't harmful to your garbage disposal or a plumber, if you need to call one in.

You Should Run Hot Water When You Run Your Garbage Disposal

The last myth is that you should run hot water when using your garbage disposal. While it is true that you need to run your water when your garbage disposal is running, you should not be using hot water. While hot water can help liquefy grease and push it through your drainage system, it can also cause your garbage disposal to overheat. If done repeatedly, this can shorten the lifespan of your garbage disposal. Instead, run cool water through your sink when you use your garbage disposal. After you are done running your garbage disposal, you can rinse the sink with hot water to push any grease remaining through the system.

There are many myths about how you should use and care for your garbage disposal. And thanks to the Internet, some of these myths have become even more prevalent. Unfortunately, some of these myths can be damaging to your garbage disposal. This may leave you needing a new garbage disposal sooner than you otherwise would. Learning about these myths can help you learn the truth, which may help lengthen the life of your unit. If you have any questions about your specific type of garbage disposal, or have made a mistake that may have negatively affected your garbage disposal, contact a plumbing service professional from a company like Roto-Rooter Sewer & Drain Service. They can evaluate your garbage disposal and make any repairs, if needed.