How Garbage Disposals Affect a Plumbing System 

Garbage disposals are designed to break down food waste, helping to prevent clogs and other plumbing issues. But improper use can cause serious problems. 

Fats, oils, and grease should never be poured down the drain, as they will congeal and create clogs in your pipes and garbage disposal. Starchy foods like pasta and rice can also expand, causing blockages in drains and garbage disposals. A blocked drain in Melbourne can be fixed by a professional plumber.

Fats and Oils 

Fats, oils, and grease (FOG) might seem innocuous when washed down sinks or floor drains, but they’re a huge problem for sewer systems when they build up. This is because grease sticks to the insides of drain pipes, causing clogs that lead to costly sewer backups and water-quality problems. 

When food scraps like corn husks, egg shells and banana peels are put in the disposal, they can wrap around the grinder’s teeth and cause a jam. This can shorten the lifespan of your disposal and make it less effective at reducing odors. 

Other foods that are not good for disposal include potato peels, which can stick to the shredder and clog the drain, and artichoke leaves, which have fibrous strands that can tangle in the disposal’s grinding chamber. Instead, you can toss these in the trash or compost pile. To avoid clogging and odors, always run plenty of cold water when using the disposal. This also helps flush away any leftover food particles and prevents a smelly mess in the kitchen. 

Paper Towels and Tissues 

If you have a garbage disposal, you should never flush paper towels or tissues down the drain. These materials do not break down in water and can easily clog your pipes. Additionally, they can lead to sewage overflows and other serious plumbing issues. 

The same goes for wet wipes (despite many brands claiming to be flushable), dental floss, and hair. These items can summon serious sewer system setbacks and introduce toxins and plastics into ecosystems. 

To keep your garbage disposal and pipes functioning efficiently, it’s best to rinse them with cold water after each use. This simple step prevents fats from liquefying and solidifying in your drain lines. It also keeps debris from accumulating within your appliance. Additionally, if you have a septic tank, it helps preserve the lifespan of your septic system. 

Food Scraps 

Garbage disposals help reduce kitchen drain clogs, but only when they’re used properly. Putting the wrong items in the disposal will cause problems for your plumbing system, and it can also damage the garbage disposal unit.

Grease, fats and other food scraps can create major issues for your plumbing system as they harden inside the pipes and restrict water flow. Fibrous foods like celery stalks and potato peels can entangle with the blades of the disposal, leading to malfunction and damage. 

It’s important to rinse foods thoroughly before putting them in the disposal. This will help prevent grease from liquefying in the drains and causing blockages. It’s also a good idea to flush the disposal with cold water after each use to ensure that all of the food particles are ground up and washed away. 

Stringy Vegetables 

Many homeowners believe that tossing egg shells into the disposal sharpens the blades. However, this isn’t true. Instead, they can wrap around the shredder ring and clog the unit. Other stringy, inedible vegetable peelings like corn husks, artichokes and potato skins can also cause long-term problems for disposal units. 

If you have a garbage disposal that’s experiencing new noises, contact a local plumbing team for help immediately. If the problem isn’t dealt with immediately, it can lead to expensive repairs or a complete disposal replacement. 

Garbage disposals are handy kitchen appliances when used properly. By understanding what shouldn’t go in them and incorporating sustainable practices into your plumbing, you can ensure your disposal and pipes remain healthy for years to come. For more information on garbage disposals and plumbing, look online and search for reputable plumbing experts who can help. 


Olivia is a seasoned blogger with a flair for lifestyle and fashion. With over 6 years of experience, she shares her passion for the latest trends and styles, offering inspiration and guidance to her audience on all things lifestyle-related.

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