Food Waste Garbage Disposal Tips

One of the favorite items in the kitchen – Food Waste Disposal or more commonly referred to as the Garbage Disposal.

Now yours may not look like this, but if it does, you need to call Conover Plumbing!Damaged Household Food Waste Garbage Disposal Appliance

Tips for keeping your garbage disposal healthy.

Golden rule: use cold water to keep the disposal cool when operating your disposal — NOT hot water. Keep the cold water running as long as the motor is running, and be sure to avoid overloading the disposal. We all have a tendency to keep pushing items down, one right after another, then all of a sudden it groans.

Items to avoid putting down your disposal.

Banana peels, cornhusks, artichokes, oyster shells, onion skins, shrimp peels, celery, and other high-fiber material can clog your disposal. No, chicken bones are not okay… A few honorable mention items that you should avoid – spoons, forks, knives, and rings.

Stop, halt – do not pour the bacon grease, fats or cooking oils down your sink. Liquid fats can thicken in pipes, trapping food particles and clogging the drains. Hmm, grease, oil, just sitting there collecting – it makes for an interesting odor down the road.

One more item, it almost happens every morning, do not put coffee grounds down the drain. Take a moment and put them around your lilac trees, or blueberry shrubs, or in your compost bin.

Dry onion with their skinsMeat frying in grease.Fresh corn with their husks.Bananas with one partially peeled.Fresh ground coffee, you can almost smell it.

A jammed disposal?

Your disposal just quit – it is jammed. Turn off the water and turn off the motor and power to the motor. Oh yes, it is so, so tempting to put your hand down into the disposal without turning off the power to the disposal. Well, if it suddenly starts to work…well, hum, you can imagine what will happen…

To clear the obstruction from underneath the disposal, reach under the sink, you may need a mirror to look at the bottom of the disposal. Insert the service wrench that came with your disposal, or if you can’t find it, use a ¼ inch Allen wrench to insert into the hole on the bottom of the disposal; turning it back and forth. This moves the motor shaft and flywheel until it can turn freely in complete circles.

Do you have a broom handle? Make sure you turned off the power to the disposal. To clear the jam accessing the disposal from the sink you will need a broom handle. Place the broom handle down into the disposal and push against one of impellers (blades), then push in the other direction, keep switching until the impellers break lose and move freely.

Using tongs or long needle nose pliers reach in and remove whatever caused the disposal to jam.

Turn back on the power to the disposal, you may need to reset the disposal by pressing the red “reset” button on the bottom of the disposal. Don’t forget to turn on Cold water when running the disposal.

Odors, you say.

Food particles and oils, which remain in your disposal, can cause odors. Remember the bacon grease, celery, banana peel, to name a few. Put lemon, lime or orange peels in the disposal, while running cold water for about thirty seconds.

Grinding up ice cubes in the disposal periodically will also help to keep the blades sharp and clean.

Learn more about building your compost bin – click here.


Automatic Gas Shut-Off Valves and Manual Gas Shut-Off Valves

Automatic Gas Shut-Off Valves

Automatic Gas Shut-off Valves are earthquake-sensitive, shutting off when there is a 5.4 Magnitude Seismic Event or larger.  Closing the gas flow to a structure reduces the potential risk of an explosion or fire due to loss of gas line integrity from a major earthquake.

Areas classified as active earthquake zones normally require an automatic gas shut-off valve installed prior to selling a house or property. The cost varies depending on the size of the gas main coming into the property and the circumstances of the installation.

Whenever a gas service shutoff valve or possibly a computerized gas shutoff product is closed, don’t switch it on yourself. An expert professional or the local utility company should perform safety checks, restore gas service, and relight any appliance pilots, even if the closures weren’t triggered by an earthquake.

Gas Shutoff Devices

Hand switching a gas service shutoff valve to the off position is the most common approach to shutting off the flow of gas serving a building, or a section of a building, in case of emergency. Installations of Gas service shutoff valve are at the gas meter locations or outdoor locations or by the street.

  • Secure a twelve to fifteen-inch adjustable pipe wrench close to the valve just in case of emergency. Earthquake wrenches with fixed openings might not fit a specific valve, so a variable type of wrench is better.  To reduce the potential of unauthorized interference with the valve, keep a wrench situated nearby, although not in the location of gas meter.
  • Turn off the gas service shutoff valve only when you smell gas, hear gas leaking, visually see a damaged gas line, or if you believe there are gas leaks.
  • To turn off the gas, rotate the valve a 1/4 turn either direction until the valve is closed, the tang (the part you place the wrench on) is crosswise towards the pipe.

Additionally, most gas home appliances possess a gas shutoff valve situated close to the appliance that allows you to turn on or off gas to that particular appliance only. Be aware which of the home appliances use gas, the location of gas shutoff valves. In some instances, switching off the gas in the home appliances shutoff valve will be sufficient.

A quick video demonstration on turning off the gas valve.

Interesting earthquake information sites.

Be Prepared in Advance

Real-Time Earthquake Map

Latest Earthquakes in the USA – Last 7 Days

California and Nevada Earthquakes – Los Angeles

Enzyme Drain Cleaner Monthly Maintenance

Bacterial cultures and concentrated enzymes make up Enzymatic drain cleaners that interact with organic residue that accumulates on sewer pipes.  The enzymes will eat anything in your pipes that was once a living organism e.g. food, grease, hair etc. The enzyme will not eat anything that has never lived e.g. plastic. metal, jewelry, etc.

Benefits of enzymatic drain cleansers are relatively safe when used in an array of plumbing fittings, low environment impact, inexpensive and simplicity of use,

The downside on most enzymatic drain cleansers include longer cleaning occasions in comparison to many other drain cleansers.

Chemicals vs. Environment and Family Safety

I strongly recommend the use of enzyme drain cleaner for maintaining your drains.   There are a number of enzymatic biological drain cleaners on the market today such as –

Enzyme Drain Cleaner from Earth Friendly Products 

BacOut from Bi-O-Kleen.

These take advantage of the natural microbial and enzyme mixture to open and keep drains clear, the complete opposite of sodium hydroxide, they’re non-caustic and won’t facilitate combustion. There are several harsh chemical products advertized as safe, but that is not the case.

Maintenance Routine Using An Enzymatic Biological Drain Cleaner

Before going to work or before bedtime pour the enzyme into your drain, run warm water into your drain for approximately 10 seconds and let sit for several hours.

Do this every day for the first week.
Then once a week for the next four weeks.

Then once a month.

FYI: Everything from our drains eventually ends up in our aquifers, rivers, streams, water supply, and oceans, being environmentally friendly keep us and our families healthier.

Do this on a regular maintenance basis and you should not need Conover Plumbing for a clogged drain, unless of course, you lost your ring, earrings, etc.

  • Facebook
  • Google+
  • Twitter