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A rose by any other name is still a rose, but a garbage disposal is not for garbage

John the Plumber

We know, we know. We get it. It says “garbage disposal” right on the box. The manufacturer proudly proclaims that their unit has the biggest motor ever. That must mean you’re supposed to put leftovers down the sink, right? Wrong.

John Nelson of John the Plumber explains why, “The blades on a garbage disposal aren’t blades in the sense that most people think. They are very thick impellers that grind the waste rather than cut it up.” So what about putting things down the garbage disposal to sharpen the blades? He laughs, “Won’t do a thing. Nothing is going to sharpen the impellers and that’s a good thing. Many people reach down into the garbage disposal to retrieve rags and such. Can you imagine if there were sharp blades in there?”

What about lemon rinds or coffee grounds to cover up odors? John admits that they won’t harm the disposal and it will help temporarily with smells but they can end up building up in the pipes and causing blockages later. He recommends putting a bit of dish soap and warm water and for really stubborn smells, a splash of bleach.

So what should a person put down their garbage disposal, we ask. “Honestly, very little,” he replies. “Garbage disposals cause so many problems due to misuse that we actually recommend removal of them to landlords, as so many tenants don’t seem to care and will put just about anything down there. If there’s no disposal, things will get thrown into the trash, where they belong, and not the sink. In my home we rarely use the garbage disposal. We even have a wire screen cover over the opening to catch small scraps from the plates and pans.”

With the holiday season fast approaching, that means more cooking for many of us but it doesn’t have to mean a call to your favorite plumber to fix a clogged sink or a jammed garbage disposal. “The number one culprit during the holiday season,” John tells us, “is potato peels. It’s fine to peel your potatoes in the sink as long as you use a mesh screen to catch the peels before they go down the sink. Potatoes, along with pasta and rice, have a ton of starch and get gooey in the drain. Dispose of them in the garbage can, not the garbage disposal.”

To reach John the Plumber, call (661) 823-8031. You can also check out their web page at http://www.JohnthePlumberCA.com or their Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/JohnThePlumber.CalCityPlumbing/.