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Keep Your Garbage Disposal Running with These Tips

Keep Your Garbage Disposal Running with These Tips

You probably take your garbage disposal for granted. After all, under normal circumstances, it comes to life with the flick of a switch and makes quick work of your kitchen waste. But your garbage disposal needs regular care to keep it running smoothly. Follow these tips for routine care of your garbage disposal. Keep the Water Running It is important to turn on the cold water and keep it running when you use your garbage disposal. While your disposal blades do the hard work of grinding waste, they can’t get rid of it on their own. Cold water flushes the bits of food from the blades and carries them down the drain. Don’t use hot water as this can liquefy traces of grease and carry it down the drain where it will cling to the plumbing when it hardens again. Clean Your Disposal Keeping your garbage disposal clean and fresh eliminates odors in the kitchen and prolongs the life of your garbage disposal. Throw a handful of ice cubes down the disposal and grind them to bits once a month to remove food particles from the blades and help sharpen them too. If odor is a problem, grind up a lemon or other citrus. Likewise, you can add a few drops of dish detergent to the drain and allow the blades to work up a lather or pour baking soda and vinegar down the drain to eliminate odors. Foods to Avoid Putting in the Garbage Disposal Sticky or Starchy Foods: It may surprise you to learn that potato peelings are a common cause of clogs in the garbage disposal. When ground, the...
Troubleshoot Your Slow Drain

Troubleshoot Your Slow Drain

If you are like most people, you probably ignore slow drains thinking they will take care of themselves. The truth is, this seldom works. Once drains become sluggish they tend to become worse over time until they can no longer be ignored. So, if your drains are slow or sluggish, bite the bullet and find out why before it’s too late. Follow these steps to troubleshoot and correct slow or sluggish drains. Check the Drain Stopper The drain stopper rests in the mouth of the drain and prevents objects from entering the plumbing system. Because the drain stopper catches hair and other debris, soap scum, hair and other junk can build up, stopping the flow of water down the drain. Pull out the stopper (wearing rubber gloves, of course) and clean the junk from the stopper. Some drains, such as shower drains, have a screen instead of a stopper. For these drains, you will need an old coat hanger or a drain weasel to pull the hair out of the drain. Check the Sink Overflow The tiny hole near the top of your bathroom sink is designed to drain excess water if your sink overfills, but that’s not its only job. The sink overflow hole also provides the air needed to for your sink to drain properly. If the hole is blocked or clogged, it will create a vacuum and your sink will drain slowly. Clean the sink overflow hole with an old toothbrush. Empty the Trap The sink trap is located under the sink. It can get clogged from items dropped in the drain and slow or stop the...
What You Shouldn’t Put Down Your Drain after Thanksgiving Dinner

What You Shouldn’t Put Down Your Drain after Thanksgiving Dinner

Clogged or sluggish drains are one of the most common household complaints when it comes to plumbing. In fact, they are so common that you have probably already dealt with one yourself. The good news is many problems with clogs can be avoided with a little care and attention in the kitchen and bathroom. So before you start cleaning up after your Thanksgiving dinner, make sure you know what foods you shouldn’t be putting down your drain. In the Kitchen Nearly everyone knows that pouring grease or fat down the drain is a no-no, but not everyone realizes that there a host of common foods that also contribute to grease buildup in the drain. Fats from cooking should always be poured into a can or other container and discarded in the trash once the grease cools. Dishes used to cook or serve the following foods should be scraped thoroughly before washing in the sink. Gravy and Sauces: It seems logical to rinse these foods down the drain, but you are asking for trouble if you do. They typically contain high amounts of fat and grease that will cling to the insides of your drain pipes. Cheese and Dairy Products: Cheese is a high-fat food that also contributes to drain problems. Dishes from casseroles, dips and sauces that contain cheese and dairy products can add grease to the drain. Soups: Many homemade soups, especially those made from homemade broth, contain fat and grease. Meat Drippings: Those drippings in the bottom of the pan might look like juices from the meat, but most are laden with fat. Bits of food, coffee grounds...
Dealing with Clogged Drains

Dealing with Clogged Drains

Clogged drains are a common household problem, but sometimes what seems to be simple clogged drain can actually be a much bigger problem. Here are a few ways to tell the different types of clogs apart and when you need to call in a professional. A Simple Clogged Drain Simple clogged drains are clogs that are trapped high in the drain system. These types of clogs can easily be flushed through with pressure or with clog-eliminating products. Clogs in sinks respond well to clog-eliminating products, while clogs in toilets respond well to plunging. When these methods do not work, there could be hair or other materials trapped and clogged too tightly to be pushed through. In these instances, a drain snake can be used to loosen the clogged material. Sometimes the material must be pushed through and sometimes the material must be pulled back up and through the opening. Main Line Clogs A main line clog is more serious than a simple clogged drain or pipe in your house. A main line is the main line connecting your house to its water source. This line can get clogged with various materials including tree roots. In fact tree roots are often the culprit. You will know the difference between a simple clog and a main line clog because when a main line is clogged all water usage in the house will cause the toilets, sinks, and tub to being bubbling and burping. This universal response to water usage and drainage is a sure sign of a bigger problem. Main line clogs must be dealt with by a professional. Septic Tanks Sometimes...