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Ken Neyer Plumbing, Inc. Blog

A Few Common Misunderstandings About Garbage Disposals

If your kitchen is like most modern kitchens, it has a garbage disposal in the sink to help hygienically remove food waste. Disposals make life in the kitchen much easier, and they also help keep food waste from going into landfills, instead sending it into the sewer system and sewage treatment plants.

There are a number of common misunderstandings that people have about the way that garbage disposals work and how best to care for them. These misunderstandings can often lead to disposals breaking down. We’ve listed below three of the more common ideas about garbage disposals that are false.

Garbage disposals uses blades to cut up food

A garbage disposal doesn’t use sharp spinning blades to cut down food particles so they can go into the drainage system. What it does is grind the food. A series of blunt impellers inside the hopper chamber hurl food waste against an outside rotating grind ring, where the food is then ground down. (But just because the disposal doesn’t use sharp blades doesn’t mean you should put your hand down in it. It’s dangerous to reach into the disposal no matter what.)

Pouring ice down the disposal will improve its performance

The idea of using ice cubes to help a disposal do its job is based on the above misunderstanding: ice will help “sharpen the blades.” But there aren’t any blades in the disposal, and ice is hard enough to potentially damage the components.

Garbage disposals can handle garbage

Unfortunately, the name garbage disposal is responsible for this misunderstanding. The disposal is designed to handle organic food waste only, not actual paper, plastic, or other non-organic trash. The disposal also can’t handle hard food waste, like animal bones or popcorn kernels. A good rule to follow is that if your teeth can’t chew it, the disposal can “chew” it either.

If you do encounter garbage disposal problems, or you’re looking to have a new disposal installed, just call Ken Neyer Plumbing, Inc. in Cincinnati, OH.

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