We like to think of our drains as receptacles for any number of unwanted items. The truth is…they’re pretty limited on what they can handle! Don’t be fooled. Just because it can fit in there, doesn’t mean it should! There’s also the issue of garbage disposals. They’re meant to take just about anything…right? I’m sorry, but they also have their limitations.
The first goal here is to determine if it’s a regular drain. Especially if it’s in the kitchen sink. Many kitchen sinks will have at least one garbage disposal (if there are two sinks). You’ll be able to tell by the wide hole in the top and the rubber splash guard. If it looks like a regular sink with small holes, please do not use it for disposing of food or grease. It’s simply not meant for these items. If you can drink it, it can go down a normal sink. Coffee = OK! Coffee grounds = Not OK! The same goes for any drain in the house. Liquid only! The obvious exception is your toilet. In this case, flush only toilet paper down the toilet. While toilet paper is meant for this type of job, it still can cause problems when used in excess. Keep this in mind the next time nature calls! Be mindful of what you’re asking your toilet to handle.
While the garbage disposal looks menacing and capable, it is also limited in the items it can handle. Jamming your garbage disposal can take hours to fix. Ask anyone that’s shoved potato peels down their disposal! What should you avoid? According to a 2016 article on Angie’s List, there are four major groups of food to avoid: Fibrous Foods, Greasy Foods, Egg Shells, and Pasta, rice, potatoes, and beans. The fibrous foods can wrap around the mechanisms and prevent the motor from running properly. Greasy foods will reduce your blade’s effectiveness by coating them an unpleasant, smelly, film. Egg shells will also damage your pipes because of their sandy like consistency. Pasta and other starchy foods tend to expand and swell when wet. This can clog the trap, reducing your disposal’s effectiveness.
WHAT IF I CAN’T CLEAR A CLOG?
Many DIY types can handle most clogs with a few tools and maybe a chemical drain clearing product. But, when it becomes evident that no amount of plunging and “Drano” is going to fix it, it’s time to call a professional drain cleaner. They have the tools and experience to get your drains flowing again. That’s a decision that you’ll have to make, but you can relax knowing that when you make that call, the drain will be cleared. You can get back to your day and stop laboring over that clog! You probably have better things to do!