Treat Your Garburator Right
Garburator maintenance continues to be one of the most asked-about and most misunderstood topics in all of plumbing. We have many homeowners call us to inquire about issues with their units, and are often asked to advise on the best ways to care for a garburator.
We’ll keep it simple, then: A garburator is not meant to last forever, but if you treat it well then it should last a good long while. A lot of garburator maintenance boils down to knowing what you should and should not put down it—and frankly, if you’re ever in doubt, it’s best to err on the side of caution and simply scrape your leftovers into the trashcan instead of putting it into your drain.
With that said, a more specific roundup of garburator care tips includes the following:
- Remember that your garburator is for food particles—period. Anything that doesn’t fall into the category of food should be disposed of elsewhere. Glass, plastic, paper, metal, cigarette butts—all of these things can do harm to your garburator.
- Avoid liquids that congeal! Certain liquids will get harder over time, clogging up the inside of your garburator and pipes. Grease, oils, and fats all fall into this category.
- Fibrous foods will jam your garburator. Some specific ones to avoid include banana peels, corn husks, onion skins, and celery stalks.
- Hot water can be problematic. Yes, even hot water should be used cautiously, as it can cause grease and fats to liquefy and spread further down your pipes before hardening again. Use cold or lukewarm water when you’re using the garburator.
- Avoid foods that expand. Anything that gets bigger when it gets wet will potentially cause your pipes to clog. As such, you’ll want to avoid disposing of any just-add-water foods, such as rice and pasta.
- Don’t dispose of coffee grounds. Some people use coffee grounds to make the garburator smell better, which can actually work; however, those grounds will do damage to your actual pipes. Best to sweep them into the trashcan instead!
- Don’t overexert your garburator. The garburator is meant to help you dispose of very small quantities of food particles; place too much food into it at once and it could be disastrous!
Our point is that this valuable tool is really intended to be used judiciously—else, it could lead to more trouble than it’s really worth. If that happens, though, don’t hesitate to call our team of Vancouver plumbing professionals!