Summer Barbecues Are Bad For A Garbage Disposal's Health

Posted on: 2 March 2017

Hosting a summer barbecue is a great way to mingle with friends and family members while eating great food. Unfortunately, these cookouts often put a lot of strain on a garbage disposal and cause it to get clogged. Here's what should be known about this odd concern.

Barbecue Cookouts Use A Lot Of Food

When hosting a barbecue, a homeowner will go through a lot of food. How much food is typically consumed at a barbecue? One estimate claims that the average adult will consume at least one pound of food, while each child will eat a half pound. With so much food around, it is possible that many people won't finish their meals or that a person will prepare too much food.

This is particularly true if chips, vegetables with dip, and other snacks are included throughout the barbecue. Excessive food like this is often saved by many people, but food that can't be saved or which is trash is often flushed down the garbage disposal without a second thought.

Garbage Disposals Can Be Heavily Abused

People often misunderstand the power of their garbage disposal. They assume that it can process and destroy a large amount of food without a major problem. That is a major mistake. Garbage disposals are designed to deal with scraps (such as bits of dried-up hot dog bun), not large amounts of food (such as whole hot dogs). Abusing a garbage disposal like this after a barbecue can cause a clog.

When a clog occurs in a garbage disposal, it can cause a nasty backup that can smell bad and even seriously impact the health of a home. Understanding how to deal with this problem is crucial to fixing it and avoiding it in the future.

Home Repair Methods May Be Useful

When a garbage disposal clogs up, it is possible to fix it on your own. Start by turning off the breaker that controls the disposal, turning off the disposal switch, and using tongs or pliers to pull any visible items out of the disposal. For example, a large chunk of old hamburger from the cookout could be clogging up the gears or the outlet and causing it to back up.

It is also possible to wash baking soda and other clog removers down the drain to break apart clogs that exist further down the pipe. When all else fails, it is necessary to call a professional plumbing contractor and have them remove the clog. They may have to take apart the disposal temporarily, but it is worth it to avoid constant backups and clogs.