Do You Really Need a Garbage Disposal?
The first garbage disposal came on the market in the 1930s. That means before this time, households simply did without this modern plumbing convenience and tossed food scraps into the trash. If your great grandmother got by just fine without one, do you really need a garbage disposal? We think you do.
Why You Need a Garbage Disposal
Food scraps account for 10 to 20 percent of household waste. Rather than casting these scraps into the landfills to rot, garbage disposals will grind these scraps into very fine particles which then become part of the city's waste water, eventually breaking down into natural compost. In a rural setting, waste water lines usually lead to a septic tank where the food particles will be broken down even more. Garbage disposals use very little electricity to operate, yet prevent a significant amount of food waste from reaching our nation's landfills each year.
The most common problem with modern garbage disposals is that they can become clogged. This is a minor issue and one that is easily avoided by making sure your disposal is installed and used properly.
When it comes to installing your garbage disposal, make sure you hire a professional plumber. It might seem like an easy DIY project, but a licensed plumber will ensure that the disposal has the proper horsepower to get the job done. Professionals will also make certain that the piping is fitted to handle food waste without clogging and will make recommendations for the best way to operate the device. If you live in a multi-family building, a licensed plumber can also check the building codes to see if a disposal is allowed.
Clogs generally happen when there isn't enough water present to properly flush the waste from the disposal. You should always run the water before, during and after cycling the disposal on and off to ensure that all the particles are cleared from the system.
Should your disposal become clogged, do not use caustic agents like Draino. Instead, we recommend plugging the drain and filling your sink about half way with water. Then remove the plug, turn on the disposal and let it run. The water should flush out the problem-causing waste particles. This simple procedure can be done weekly as preventative maintenance to stop problems before they have a chance to start.
Ready to install a garbage disposal of your very own? Call Chicago plumber John Baethke & Son Plumbing. As an emergency plumber we are on call 24/7 to come to your rescue, or by appointment for your not-so-urgent plumbing needs. Schedule an appointment online or call us at 773-276-5430.