Two Garbage Disposal Myths That Could Break Your Appliance

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Garbage disposals are a staple in most American homes. While these appliances can make life in the kitchen more manageable, there is quite a bit of bad advice regarding their use and maintenance circulating that could lead you to damage yours beyond repair. If you really want to keep your garbage dispose working property, here are two common pieces of advice you should ignore.

Myth #1 – Sharpen the Blades with Ice

One of the most common pieces of advice regarding garbage disposal maintenance is to toss a few ice cubes into the appliance if it seems like it's having difficulty shredding food into waste. The idea is that the ice will somehow act as knife sharpeners and restore the garbage disposal blades to their former food chomping glory.

However, there are a couple of problems with this bit of advice. First, garbage disposals don't have blades but rather impellers that behave similarly to a cheese grater, so there is nothing for the ice to sharpen. Second, ice is too weak to actually sharpen metal. In fact, garbage disposals were designed to deal with soft foods, so throwing a hard substance like ice into the appliance may actually damage it.

If your garbage disposal appears to be having trouble cutting up the food you put down it, that may indicate either there is a clog of some kind, something is stuck in the appliance preventing it from working correctly (e.g. bread tie), or the appliance has simply worn down and needs to be replaced. It's best to have a plumber inspect the device to help you determine what the issue is.

Myth #2 – It's Okay to Use Hot Water When Running the Garbage Disposal

Another common myth is that it doesn't matter whether you use hot or cold water when operating the garbage disposal. This is not true at all. There are a couple of reasons why manufacturers implore customers to only use cold water when running the appliance.

When the garbage disposal runs, it generates heat. Using hot water may cause sensitive parts in the device to overheat, leading to an unwanted and expensive breakdown. Second, despite your best efforts, a small amount of grease and fat may find its way into the disposal. Cold water causes this fat and grease to solidify faster, making it easier for the garbage disposal to grind it up into small bits that may pass without incident through the pipes.

There are many other pieces of bad advice about garbage disposals floating around. At the end of the day, it's better to consult with a professional about trouble you're having with your appliance than follow questionable advice that may result in expensive repairs. For assistance with your garbage disposal, contact a plumber, such as from Newman's Plumbing Service & Repair, LLC.

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