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Reliance Plumbing Sewer & Drainage, Inc. Blog

Caring for Your Commercial Garbage Disposal

white question mark on blue backgroundThere are a number of appliances within a home that you rely on daily—many of them that we take for granted, and would cause a major inconvenience if they suddenly stopped working. The garbage disposal in your kitchen is definitely one of them! But imagine the disruption it would cause to your residential kitchen, then think about how that problem would amplify in a commercial setting.

The last thing you want in your commercial kitchen is a jammed up garbage disposal system. This is one of the most common emergency commercial Palatine, IL plumbing calls that professional plumbers receive, which is understandable considering the huge business interruption they can cause. So, are you properly caring for your commercial garbage disposal? If not, what can you do?

Avoid Putting Non-Food Items down the Drain

This should be a no-brainer, and chances are that your staff is trained not to do this—however as you are very well aware, commercial kitchens are fast-paced and a mistake can happen in an instance.

This is particularly true for anyone who is inexperienced or unaware of how garbage disposals actually function. Many people picture garbage disposals as blender-type apparatuses, with sharp blades rotating around to chop up food before sending it down the drain. This is not the case, though!

Rather, garbage disposals are comprised of a motor and an impeller. The impeller has “blades” on it, but they are not sharp. There is a grind ring within the component and that is what actually grinds the food down as the centrifugal motion of the impeller blades breaks the food apart.

So plastic, paper, food wrappers, and napkins can end up getting wrapped around the impeller, causing a jam. Or worse, these items can make it down the drain and get stuck there, leaving you with drain clog issues and a backed up sink.

Also Avoid Putting Hard Food Items down the Disposal

This includes items such as meat bones and fruit pits. Since the garbage disposal in your commercial kitchen isn’t designed to for these types of hard foods, they should never be put down the drain. A general rule of thumb is that if it’s an item that you can’t chew with your teeth, it doesn’t belong down the garbage disposal.

Consider Food Textures

The average person probably doesn’t think very much about how food texture can impact how effectively a garbage disposal breaks up food. But stringy, fibrous foods are one of the most common problems for garbage disposals.

This includes things like asparagus and celery. These items could potentially wrap around the motor and cause it to jam up. This also includes things like onion skins and corn husks—food items like this should be properly disposed of in the trash rather than down the drain.

Remember too, there are some items that can be handled by a garbage disposal, but still shouldn’t be put down your commercial kitchen sink—like pasta and rice, which both expand with hot water, and FOG (fats, oils, and grease) which hardens as it cools and creates clogs.

For expert plumbing service, installations, or maintenance contact Reliance Plumbing Sewer & Drainage, Inc. Our knowledgeable plumbers serve the North Shore and Northwest Chicago suburbs. Rely on Reliance!

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