Top 5 Things NOT to Put Down Your Drain

If you own a garbage disposal, you know how annoying it is when it’s out of order. In addition to obvious things like utensils and measuring spoons, there are a number of food items that can cause serious problems with your disposal.
The good news is, if you have a clogged disposal you can always call Moon Valley Plumbing and we’ll get it running like new (we even have 24-hour emergency service). But it never hurts to take preventative measures to put a stop to clogs happening in the first place. We’ve put together a handy list of what not to put down your garbage disposal:

1. Starchy, Stringy Vegetables
Hairy Sweet Corn
Stringy foods like corn husks, celery, onion skins and asparagus are not good candidates for the garbage disposal because they can get wrapped around the disposal blade. And whatever you do – don’t put your potato peels down the drain. Vegetables with high starch content can end up getting glued together over time and clog the drain. When it comes to your disposal, don’t take any chances. Throw these veggie scraps away or even better – compost them. Vegetable scraps make a great garden fertilizer.

2. Coffee Grounds
A cup full of Coffee Grounds
Yes, that’s right. Coffee grounds are bad news for a garbage disposal. You may have heard the opposite, that coffee grounds can help “clean out” the disposal and get rid of odors. While this may be true, they are even more likely to pile up in the pipes and cause major clogs.

3. Egg Shells
An Egg Shell
Again, many people believe that the rough egg shell pieces can help clean out the disposal and sharpen the blades. But in reality, eggs have a thin membrane that coats the inside of the shell. This membrane can get wrapped around the disposal blade and cause backups. Instead, save those eggshells for the garden – they also make a wonderful fertilizer.

4. Cooking Fats and Oils
2 meat pieces
This one is a no-brainer. Once the fat/oil/grease cools, it will solidify. And if you’ve poured it down your drain, it will make its new (and permanent) home there.

5. Starchy Foods (Pasta and Rice)
Pasta and Rice in bowls
Pasta and rice both expand when subjected to water. That means they will expand more and more each time you put water down your drain. Eventually, they will expand enough to completely clog your disposal trap. Good news for the plumber, bad news for you.

In addition to these five foods, use common sense when it comes to your garbage disposal. Only put small amounts of food down the drain at a time and only run the disposal when the water is running. If you do end up with a clogged sink, don’t panic. Call Moon Valley – our professionals are the best in the business and can fix a blocked drain in no time.

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