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Is Summer Causing Your Garbage Disposal to Be More Clogged Than Usual?

Summer is a time for family vacations, backyard barbecues, trips to the beach, and…garbage disposal clogs?

Believe it or not, summer is a prime time for backed-up garbage disposals, and faulty plumbing fixtures are often to blame. Here are the top reasons for summer-related garbage disposal drama and what you can do to prevent and fix the problem.

More Family at Home, More Usage

The kids are home for summer vacation, you’re taking days off work to spend time with them, and parties are happening every weekend on your patio. Increased traffic of family members and guests translates into more wear and tear on all of your plumbing fixtures. Large parties often leave leftovers behind, and some of those extras inevitably end up going down the garbage disposal because they sat out in the sun too long.

Summer Foods That Put Plumbing Fixtures at Risk

Whether you’re blending up healthy smoothies or cooking up meats on the grill, summer foods can cause big damage to your kitchen’s garbage disposal. This includes watermelon rinds, fatty juices from burgers, and bones from those tasty chicken wings. Also avoid putting corn-on-the-cob, celery, potatoes, and grease down your garbage disposal after summer parties. The average household disposal isn’t equipped to handle hard or fibrous vegetables, and starchy foods have a tendency of expanding over time to cause blockages in your plumbing pipes.

Good Garbage Disposal Practices

Even if you avoid adding these foods and substances to your garbage disposal, it can still become clogged, broken, and damaged. No matter what you’re putting down it, allow the cold water to run for about 10-15 seconds to wash it down and eliminate pipe residue and the smells that it can cause.

Signs That Your Garbage Disposal is Malfunctioning

It’s easy to ignore household issues, like a malfunctioning garbage disposal, when you’re caught up in your busy summer schedule. But a sure sign that things are working like they should is that the disposal doesn’t turn on when you flip the wall switch. The motor may hum without any rotation, which is definitely a problem too. You may hear loud metal clanking sounds if a blade is stuck or if a utensil has been trapped down there. If your sink is backed up and not draining water, the problem could be that food is stuck in the garbage disposal or that there’s a larger problem with the entire plumbing system.

Risks of Not Replacing a Broken Garbage Disposal

It’s very important to have a broken garbage disposal repaired or replaced as soon as possible to avoid personal injury. Garbage disposals are made with a series of sharp blades, and repair should only be attempted by an experienced professional. Since disposals are also connected to electricity and water, having a broken one makes your family more susceptible to electric shock.

Broken garbage disposals are notorious for causing leaks, which can cause water damage to your home and trigger the growth of mold. Rodents, insects, and other pests in search of water on hot summer days may be enticed by standing water from leaks in your home and cause a whole new array of problems. Garbage disposals aren’t designed to last forever, and even high-quality models often need a full replacement after about eight to 10 years.

For all your garbage disposal needs in the Tri-State Area, trust the experts at Central Plumbing Specialties. We’ll help you browse our hand-picked selection of plumbing fixtures and decorative products in one of our five well-appointed showrooms and keep your kitchen working well all summer long!

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