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Garbage Disposal

Garbage Disposal Do’s and Don’ts


If you have a garbage disposal in your kitchen, you know what a convenience it can be. This under-the-sink workhorse can help relieve household duties by providing an easy solution for food waste disposal. We often take our garbage disposals for granted… until something goes wrong.

Use these do’s and don’ts to help prevent any future problems for your garbage disposal.

  • DO clean your garbage disposal when it starts to smell. Grinding a handful of ice cubes and lemon peels for 30 seconds should do the trick.

  • DON’T put fibrous objects in your garbage disposal. Items such as banana peels, broccoli, corn husks, potatoes, and celery stalks can jam the blades.

  • DO run your disposal at least once per day to avoid rust and corrosion.

  • DON’T run your garbage disposal dry. Have cold water running before, during, and after you turn on your garbage disposal.

  • DO keep silverware, shot glasses, and other small objects away from the disposal to prevent them from falling in.

  • DON’T pour grease, oil, fat, or coffee grains down your disposal. These don’t harm the blades, but they can clog your drain.

  • DO unplug the garbage disposal or turn off the appropriate circuit before attempting to fix a jam. You don’t want to lose your hand!

Looking for more garbage disposal advice? Check out the full list of do’s and don’ts from Horizon Services.

Got a problem with your garbage disposal? Call Patterson Plumbing & Heating! For over 20 years, homeowners in Pueblo, Colorado and the surrounding areas have depended on us for superior plumbing solutions. Call us now at (719) 544-4922 for quick service, or contact us online and we will get back to you shortly.

Prevent Plumbing Problems This Thanksgiving


Thanksgiving is just about here – a day where your kitchen is in overdrive. Unfortunately, the traditional Turkey day meal and fixings have been known to cause some major stress on your plumbing.

We want to make sure you are thankful for clear and clog-free pipes this Thanksgiving – follow the tips below for a problem free holiday:

Don’t treat your garbage disposal as your trash can. Scrape any leftovers into the trash or compost pile. When you do use your disposal, careful not to overload it. Gradually feed waste to prevent any blockage or slowed blades.

Be careful of what you DO put in the disposal. Any starchy, stringy vegetables (like potato peels or celery) should be kept away from the disposal. These pieces can easily wrap around your blades and clog your drain. You also want to avoid throwing any turkey bones down – your disposal isn’t strong enough handle them and instead will wear it down.

Dispose of grease properly. Do your plumbing a favor, and discard used cooking oil or grease the right way. While there are many ‘right’ ways to do this – we can tell you the wrong way is pouring it down your drain. Instead, find an empty plastic container and allow the grease to cool slightly before pouring inside. Then, place it in the freezer until frozen. With a quick twist – pop the now frozen grease out like an ice cube tray and drop it into a freezer bag to dispose.

Keep water running. Keep cold water running for 30-60 seconds after disposing items in the garbage disposal. This will help the waste go down easier, pushing it along. Try not to use hot water, this can melt any fat inside which can re-solidify as a blockage further down the drain.

Don’t let a plumbing mishap interfere with your holiday or seasonal plans – give the experts at Patterson Plumbing & Heating a call today!  Our team has helped Pueblo homes since the fall of 1984 and are available for any of your plumbing needs. Give one of our expert technicians a call today: 719-544-4922.

Don’t Spook Your Plumbing this Halloween


It’s prime pumpkin carving season – but homeowners beware, putting stringy pumpkin pulp and seeds into your drain or garbage disposal can be pretty scary for your plumbing.

Pumpkin innards are notorious for getting stuck around disposal blades and clogging drains. Flushing pumpkin guts down the toilet is also another big no-no.  So avoid any plumbing mishaps, think twice before putting pumpkin pulp where it doesn’t belong!

If you plan on carving pumpkins in your household, keep the below tips in mind:

  • Spread out newspapers in your carving area before beginning – do this away from your sink, outdoors if possible.
  • Create two piles when carving – one for stringy pulp and one for seeds.
  • Dispose of the pulp in a compost pile or garbage can.

Now as a treat – save the seeds for roasting! Lay the seeds flat on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and other seasonings (salt, pepper, cinnamon, etc), and bake them in the oven until seeds begin to brown.

If you’ve read this too late – give us a call! The experts at Patterson Plumbing & Heating are here to help your Halloween be a little less scary. For any plumbing issues you may encounter this season, give us a call at (719) 544-4922 for fast service!

Easily Avoidable Plumbing Mistakes

Cropped image of senior woman cleaning plate in kitchen

A flooded basement or needing professional help with water lines during a renovation are good reasons to call a plumber. However, sometimes you reach for the phone in a panic due to situations that could have easily been avoided! Below are some of the most common plumbing errors to keep in mind so that you can work to avoid them:

Treating the garbage disposal like a trash can: Despite it’s name, not all garbage should go down the garbage disposal. While you may know the rules of your garbage disposal use – if you have guests at your home, make sure they know as well!

Not removing the disposal plug: Since installing a garbage disposal doesn’t require advanced plumbing skills, many homeowners take care of this on their own. However if the unit is to be connected to a dishwasher, a knockout plug in the disposal must be removed first. If it isn’t, water will leak everywhere.

Placing too much weight on fixtures: Be cautious of how many things you stack onto your shampoo racks that hang from the shower head. Too much weight can damage the shower head as they are not meant to hold weight. Same goes for resting your feet on the bathtub spout as a footrest.

Forgetting how things go back together: Taking apart plumbing components is easy – wish we could say the same about putting them back together. One thing that could help is documenting the exact disassembly process (either by writing things down or taking photos).

While there are plenty of home projects that don’t require advanced skill sets – there are equally some things that are better off left to the professionals. If you have a serious plumbing job to be done, don’t risk making a costly mistake – give us a call first!

At Patterson Plumbing & Heating our plumbers, drain cleaning techs and home heating and air conditioning professionals can repair any problem with your home’s plumbing, furnace, boiler or air conditioning. Give us a call today at 719-544-4922.

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!