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Proudly Serving The Columbia Area Since 1985


Fulmer Heating & Cooling Blog

Don’t Put That Down Your Garbage Disposal!

Pouring water in the kitchen

The garbage disposal in your Ballentine, SC home might seem like it can handle anything. It sounds so powerful when you flip it on. It chops up the food scraps you put down it like a champ. It hasn’t given you any problems. You feel confident that your garbage disposal is foolproof and fail-safe. 

However, we’re here to tell you that your garbage disposal is indeed fallible. If it hasn’t failed you yet, you’ve either been lucky or you have a good sense of what shouldn’t be put down a garbage disposal. Let’s make sure your garbage disposal continues to be indispensable! Here’s a list of what you can and can’t put down the disposal.

These Are Big No-Nos:

  • Fats, oils, and grease: These items are known to cause so many issues they have their own acronym: FOG. Many people think because these are in a liquid form when they’re hot that it’s okay to put them down a drain. However, they solidify when they cool and are doing so in your drains. They also become sticky when they solidify which means they latch on to everything else being put down the disposal. FOGs down your drain is a recipe for disaster. 
  • Things that can’t be chewed: We know, your disposal seems all powerful. But if you can’t chew something, your garbage disposal can’t handle it either. Bones, popcorn kernels, fibrous vegetables, and fatty meat are all examples of things that should be thrown into the garbage. 
  • Rice and pasta: Rice and pasta are quite soft, so your garbage disposal should be able to grind them up without a problem, right? However, both rice and pasta will continue to absorb water, causing them to swell up and cause quite a problem if they get caught inside the disposal.
  • Coffee grounds: You love that morning cup of coffee but your garbage disposal hates coffee grounds. Even though they’re small, you go through a lot of them, and they can gather and settle in your pipes. FOGs can easily trap them which can lead to problematic clogs. 
  • Your hands and fingers: Keep those hands out of the disposal. If you need to retrieve something, use a fork or a pair of scissors. Never attempt to fix a jammed disposal with your hands! It can be very dangerous and you should call a professional plumber to fix a jammed disposal anyway. 

How To Dispose of Fats & Cooking Oils

To avoid needing us to come out and fix a clog due to FOGs, here are suggestions on how to dispose of them. If a small amount of cooking oils have accumulated in a pan, wipe them out with a paper towel and dispose of the paper towel in the trash.

If you have a large amount of oil used for frying, did you know that you can recycle it? Used cooking oil can be dropped off at any Richland County drop-off sites to be recycled into biofuel. Oil should be transported in suitable containers and poured into the cooking oil collection tanks onsite at these locations.

Contact Fulmer Heating & Cooling for help with your garbage disposal and plumbing!

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