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Keep your garbage disposal running through the holidays

These maintenance tips will allow for worry-free holiday cleanup

Your garbage disposal is going to get a workout in Philadelphia this holiday season. From grandma’s yams to your uncle’s dressing, a lot of leftover food is going down the drain after the feasts are done.

Garbage disposals should be seen and heard but never smelled. Here are six DIY disposal maintenance tips. The Philadelphia plumbing experts at Giannone want to help you keep disposal odors at bay and ensure it will do its important job during the holidays.

  1. Dispose with care. Don’t put coffee grounds, potato peels, or stringy vegetable peels like bananas or corn husks in your disposal. They can stop up pipes and tangle disposal blades. Don’t grind anything but leftover food. If your disposal is a high-end unit, for ex. the Insinkerator Evolution Series, it can handle larger and tougher items.
  2. Keep it fresh. To keep your disposal smelling fresh, pour hot water into it while grinding lemons cut into quarter slices, two quarters at a time.
  3. Avoid dumping grease. Grease doesn’t belong in your garbage disposal because it will harden, collecting food scraps and eventually clogging the drain. For those that have issues with grease and oil, a biological drain and septic system solution may be used. Contact Giannone for details.
  4. Use ice. Clean your disposal ice cubes weekly.
  5. Use lots of water. Run cold water through the disposal for about 15 seconds before and after use.
  6. Unjam it. If the disposal blades are jammed, turn off the power to the unit. Turn the disposal’s motor shaft using the hex-head Allen wrench that came with the disposal (that can also be picked up at your local home center) — first counterclockwise and then clockwise — to dislodge the obstruction.

With a little TLC and regular maintenance, your garbage disposal should work fine through its holiday workload. If all else fails, contact Giannone today and we’ll be happy to lend a hand ahead of the holidays.

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