The Care and Feeding of Your Garbage Disposal This Season

distressed_lady_with_dishes_pilling_upThat’s right, it’s that time again for friends & family, giving & being thankful, and lots and lots of food. Turkeys, hams, pies, cookies, corn, potatoes, green beans, cranberry sauce, gravy… and leftovers! So how do you keep your essential plumbing equipment working amid this constant onslaught of food waste?

This week we’re releasing a special article about your garbage disposal. With a few simple tips, you can avoid certain disaster in the kitchen and make sure your home stay flowing.

1. Don’t Forget Your Trashcan!

Some think that a garbage disposal is an incinerator, or some kind of industrial food waste processing facility. It’s actually just a set of rotating blades that helps break up chunks of smaller food waste. Always put uneaten food in the trash first, and then use your garbage disposal for smaller pieces.

2. Turn it On

Always turn your garbage disposal on before putting anything inside. Having a food inside the device when you turn it on can overwork and damage your garbage disposal. It also needs the blades to be lubricated, so be sure to turn the water on before, during, and after turning on the disposal.

3. That Does NOT Go In There!

There are certain things that will simply destroy your garbage disposal.
Avoid putting bones, coffee grounds, fibrous vegetables, eggshells, rice, or potato skins through your disposal. Also avoid using chemical drain cleaners that could damage your disposal and drain piping.

4. No Grease!

Grease is a major no no – it might get through your disposal, but can clog the drain line system! Often times it doesn’t solidify until after it travels far into your plumbing system, making it an even bigger problem. Put extra grease, gravey, or buttery sauces into a contain in your refrigerator where it can solidify, making it easier to throw away (or reuse!).

5. Cleaning and Freshening

Over time the inside of your garbage disposal will build residue on the inside of the housing and on the blades. Besides being unsanitary, it can release a constant odor noticeable when in the kitchen. Putting citrus peels (NOT whole fruit!) through the disposal will remove the odor. You can also use vinegar to disinfect the inside of your garbage disposal. Just run the unit and pour a little into the drain – the garbage disposal will do the rest of the work.

You can also try putting some ice into your disposal to sharpen the blades. Try freezing vinegar to do 2 at once!

Hopefully these simple tips will help your holidays go a little more smoothly. If there is something that comes up and you find yourself in a “jam”, just give us a call or schedule online, and we’ll come out right away to take care of your problem.

Five Plumbing Applications You Never Thought About

cern_particle_acceleratorNot many people realize the importance of plumbing for health and sanitation in daily life. Even fewer realize that plumbing is used all around us in ways we don’t even think about. From cars to modern medicine, pipes and valves keep our world flowing when and where it needs to.

1. At the Dentist

Plumbing might not seem like the most obvious item in your dentists tool kit, but without it, many common practices just wouldn’t be possible. With flexible piping attached to various angled nozzles, washing hard to reach areas of your mouth, especially during surgical procedures, becomes extremely easy. And don’t forget that annoying tube they always stick in your mouth that sucks you dry! This specially designed drain tube pulls moisture from your mouth and sends it on it’s way.

2. At the Doctor

Plumbing is a crucial part of modern medicine. Large dialysis machines pump blood out of your body and into a specially plumbed filtration process to remove toxins when the kidneys fail, safely returning the blood into your body afterwards. IVs are another way plumbing helps doctors by delivering nutrients, hydration, or medicine directly into the blood stream.

3. In Your Car

Your car is a very powerful, intricately designed plumbing machine. Besides the motor and wheels, the internal plumbing of any vehicle is the most essential component of the system. By delivering fresh, clean fuel to the engine & circulating engine oil and coolant, your car can do more than just sit in the driveway. Plumbing also helps get fuel from the gas station to your car (and not by flushing your money down the drain…)

4. At the Pool

In the deadly summer scorchers of Northern California, submersing yourself in water is often the only way to avoid certain death by (sun)burning alive. There’s always the streams, creeks, and rivers of our inland country, or you can head to the coast for a dip in the Pacific. However, some like to enjoy cooling off in the comfort of their own backyards. But how exactly does all that water get to your 20,000 gallon swimming pool? It’s plumbed in of course! Water from the main water service to your home branches off towards a jungle of valves, pipes, filters, and pumps, where it is carefully purified and delivered to your pool.

5. In the Lab

You might be surprised to learn that particle physicists have been dabbling into the humble skill of plumbing. Although they still probably jiggle the handle when the toilet runs, scientists are revolutionizing plumbing in some very interesting ways. Large pipes surrounded by a layer of supercooled liquid hydrogen allow electric current to be passed through with 100% efficiency. These large tubes are charged on and off in sync to accelerate particles in circuit until their inevitable fate of smashing together in splendid display.

These are just a few ways plumbing has revolutionized technology. Besides improving the basic quality of life for most people, and eliminating scourges such as the Bubonic plague through sanitation, plumbing has shared the limelight with some worthy industrial and scientific breakthroughs. No matter where you look, plumbing is everywhere.