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garbage disposal maintenance

Summer Plumbing Tips

Family Having Fun Playing In Garden

When thinking about the summer, plumbing issues likely aren’t the first thing to come to mind. Yet warmer months tend to be prime time for plumbing problems that may not occur during the rest of the year.

Protect your home and property from any issues this summer by keeping the below in mind:

Washing Machine Maintenance
Spending more time outdoors can lead to more loads of wash – and you’ve got to make sure your washing machine is prepared. Check its hoses for any leaks, cracks, or bulges. If you haven’t replaced the hoses in the last several years, now may be the time to do so.

Clogged Disposal
Be cautious of what is thrown down your garbage disposal, especially after cookouts. Remember, stringy foods (think corn husks, celery, etc) can easily wrap around the blade, clogging the drain. Greasy foods should also be avoided as they leave a film over the disposal’s blades, diminishing their effectiveness.

Standing Water
Give your yard a thorough inspection for any areas that are too wet and with unusual plant/grass growth. This could mean you have a standing water problem, commonly from a damaged sewer line. Standing water is not healthy for children or pets and can be a breeding ground for pesky insects!

Clogged Toilets
Household toilets are used more regularly in summer months – what with children home from school. Make sure all members of your household aren’t overusing the toilet paper and are flushing only after they actually use the bathroom.

Following these tips will keep your home’s plumbing system running smoothly this summer. If you do run into a problem, don’t hesitate to contact Patterson Plumbing and Heating at (719) 544-4922. Like us on Facebook for even more plumbing tips.

What Not to Put Down the Garbage Disposal

Group Of Friends Having Dinner Party At Home

With guests coming over for your Memorial Day celebrations, the last thing you want is a malfunctioning garbage disposal. As convenient as this appliance is, if it’s not operated or maintained properly, it can easily break down, block, and clog your drains causing a whole laundry list of problems.

So how do you ensure you are using it properly? Start by making sure you aren’t putting any detrimental items down there! Here are the top foods you should avoid putting down your disposal:

  • Grease – Any oil or hot, liquid fat should not go down the disposal (let alone the drain). When grease cools, it solidifies in the drain – leading to clogs down the line.
  • Starchy Vegetables – Keep any stringy, fibrous, or starchy vegetables (think potato peels, lettuce, or celery) out of the disposal as they can easily wrap around the blade clogging the drain.
  • Pasta – The longer pasta sits in water, the more it expands, ultimately clogging your drain over time.
  • Bones – A garbage disposal isn’t strong enough to handle bones from chicken, pork, lamb, or beef. Throwing them down there will get them caught and wear out the disposal.

It’s important to remember your disposal shouldn’t be used in place of your trash can. If you do find yourself with some clogs after your company leaves – don’t panic, we’re here to help. The experts at Patterson Plumbing & Heating are available for all of your plumbing needs, give us a call today!

Foods to Avoid Putting Down the Garbage Disposal

Pouring water

Your garbage disposal – a handy appliance that has rescued you from unwanted odors. It’s primary function is to shred food waste into pieces small enough (generally less than 2mm) to pass through plumbing. But this doesn’t mean ALL food waste should skip your garbage or compost and head straight for the disposal. In fact, many foods can actually render your trusty assistance useless.

As we head into the holiday season, the last thing you want to deal with in the midst of holiday gatherings is a faulty disposal. Below, we’ve listed some items to avoid putting down the disposal and some other maintenance tips to keep everything functioning well through the New Year!

Foods to Avoid:

  • Greasy Foods (meat fats and cheese) – These foods leave a film over the disposal’s blades, which can diminish their effectiveness. They may also clog your drain!
  • Hard Things (any shells, bones, seeds, etc) – Anything hard has the power to dull or worse, break, the blades and jam the unit, causing the motor to burn out.
  • Peels (carrots, bananas, potatoes, etc) – These foods’ peels can easily wrap around the blades and keep the motor from operating.
  • Expandable Foods (pasta and rice) – Even SMALL amounts of these foods can swell with water and clog the trap.
  • Egg Shells – Their stringy membranes can wrap around the shredder ring while the shell itself is ground to a sand like consistency that can clog pipes.

Be sure to practice proper disposal maintenance in case any of these damaging foods do slip in – you’ll be prepared. Always keep the water running for 30-60 seconds after the food has cleared the drain because the waste still has a ways to go. The water will help the waste go down easier, pushing it as it goes. Also, always use cold water. Using hot water can melt fat which can then re-solidify as a blockage further down the drain. Finally, throw some ice cubes down it every once in a while. The cubes will not sharpen the blades (as commonly believed) but it does knock off any debris build up that keeps the disposal from grinding food properly.

At Patterson Plumbing & Heating, we’re available for all of your plumbing and heating needs. Give one of our expert technicians a call today: 719-544-4922. Don’t forget to LIKE us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for more updates and industry news.