Is Your Garbage Disposal Messing Up Your Plumbing?
Garbage disposals are frequently installed in kitchens, for the convenience that they provide. Occasionally, these units can cause more trouble than you expected. If you regularly experience plumbing issues in your kitchen, particularly with the disposal in your sink, or possibly even other appliances, your garbage disposal may be to blame. Here's why.
Garbage Disposal Units Aren't a Catch-All
Garbage disposal units are handy, but the average set of kitchen pipes were not intended to handle the kind of waste that goes through a garbage disposal unit. Solid waste, like the kind that can run off of dishes and the like, can cause problems for your plumbing. However, even if the runoff food is ground down into fine bits, or even a paste, by your garbage disposal, doesn't mean that you're out of the woods just yet.
When things, like food, are ground up by a garbage disposal, they're often made small enough that they can be flushed out of the pipe when water runs. However, the oil from the runoff food may not be quite as cooperative. This can lead to your pipes being covered in sticky oil, which can pick up scraps of food and other solid waste that goes down the drain, gradually clogging the drain, and even producing an unpleasant stench of rotting food coming out of your sink.
How Other Appliances May Be Impacted
Unfortunately, the problems don't stop there with garbage disposal units. When it comes to kitchen plumbing, multiple devices are often plugged into the same series of pipes. This is done in order to carry away fluid produced by those devices, like dishwashers, and even some washing machines, depending on their location. As a result, these devices may have difficulty draining properly. Alternatively, if your drain becomes blocked badly enough by waste going down it, water may not be able to drain properly, and could instead drain into your dishwasher, backing it up.
What to Do
If you think you're having this problem, it's a good idea to call out a plumber to clean your drains. They can inspect them first to find out if your garbage disposal unit is to blame, and from there, can fix up the situation so that your sink and all appliances tied into the same plumbing system will run properly.
From there, you have a decision to make. You can stop using your garbage disposal, which will dramatically cut back on the risk of this problem happening again. Otherwise, you should schedule regular drain cleanings with your plumber. This will keep things running smoothly, and will prevent clogs before they start. This will let you keep enjoying the convenience of a garbage disposal, without any problems stemming from it.
For more information about drain cleaning, contact a local plumber, like Minuteman Sewer & Drain Cleaning.