Treat Your Garbage Disposal Right for Better Septic Maintenance

Monday, January 25, 2021
Your garbage disposal (aka ‘food waste disposer’) plays a crucial role in your plumbing and affects your septic system. However, if you don’t treat your garbage disposal right, you can end up with a break, a clogged pipe, or a septic system problem. Find out the benefits of using a garbage disposal and taking care of your disposal the right way for better septic maintenance and plumbing.

Benefits of a Garbage Disposal

A garbage disposal allows you to break up large food particles so they can easily run through your pipes. Without a disposal, large food particles would eventually cause a clog and possibly damage your pipes and septic system. Despite your disposal’s loud noise and sharp blades, it’s not impervious to damage from very large or hard debris. By taking care of your disposal, your septic system (and wallet) will thank you for it.

7 Garbage Disposal Tips for a Happier Septic System

Treating your garbage disposal right is important for plumbing and septic maintenance. By following these seven tips, your disposal should operate in peak condition.

1. Don’t Put In Hard Materials

Hard materials are a big no-no as they’ll dull the blades and eventually make your disposal ineffective. Even smaller hard materials can jam moving parts and break blades. Here are some examples of hard materials you should never run in your garbage disposal:
  • Bones
  • Dried beans
  • Unpopped popcorn kernels
  • Hard shells from shellfish or crustaceans
  • Ice cubes

2. Throw Away Fibrous or Starchy Materials in the Trash Bin

Always throw away fibrous or starchy materials in your trash bin because when starches break down, they turn into sticky pastes that will eventually cause a clog in your disposal. Fibrous materials, on the other hand, become stringy which tangles the disposal’s moving parts. Avoid running these food materials and toss them in the trash bin instead:
  • Celery
  • Potato peels
  • Rice
  • Pasta
  • Eggshells
  • Corn husks and cobs
  • Banana peels
  • Coffee grounds

3. Dispose of Grease Properly

Pouring grease, fats, or oils down the garbage disposal or drain will harden in your pipes after cooling down and can form into a clog. Dispose of grease properly to prevent a clogged pipe by waiting for it to congeal, then putting it in a trash bag and throwing it away in your trash bin.

4. Don’t Put Non-Food Items in the Disposal

Garbage disposals can only handle food materials that are soft, non-starchy, and non-fibrous. That means you should never put any non-food materials in a disposal like human hair, nail clippings, medications, dental floss, sponges, plant matter, etc. When in doubt, throw away the item in the trash.

5. Run the Disposal with Water

Make sure to run the disposal with water to ensure the materials go down the drain. Also, don’t put too many materials in the disposal or wait to run it all at once so it’ll be easier for the materials to go down. Water is crucial for garbage disposal because it keeps the appliance from overheating as well as pushes food particles out of the disposal and down the pipe.

6. Schedule a Regular Inspection

Having your plumber inspect the disposal regularly, like once a year, is a good way to make sure it stays functional. If you can’t get around to an annual inspection, you could schedule the appointment around the same time you get septic maintenance service from Honey Wagon (typically every 3-4 years) to ensure everything is in proper working order.

7. Take Care of an Issue Immediately

When an issue arises with your garbage disposal, it’s best to take care of it immediately rather than waiting until it becomes a bigger problem. Call your plumber right away if your disposal won’t turn on, is jammed, drains slowly, emits foul odors, leaks, or has grinding noises.

Prevent an Emergency with Maintenance

A garbage disposal can benefit your plumbing and septic system by preventing large food particles from clogging pipes - but only if you operate it properly. Follow our garbage disposal tips to prevent a clog or break from snowballing into an expensive repair. Since 1986, Honey-Wagon has been providing septic maintenance services such as inspections and septic tank pumping in the Kansas City area. We’re a family-owned septic company that services Miami, Wyandotte, and Johnson counties in Kansas, and Jackson and Cass in Missouri.
Contact us online or (816) 525-5100 to get an estimate!
Staff 1/25/2021