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Garbage Disposal Care

The garbage disposal is one of the most used and abused appliances in your house. And according to Angie's List, many of us don't know how to properly use our disposals, and the consequences can be costly.

Plumbers offer this 101 in proper garbage disposal use. First, turn on the water and let it run for 10 to 15 seconds. Then turn on the disposal. Feed the food into the disposal in small portions until it's all gone and then let the water run for another 30 seconds to clear everything out. Now you're ready to turn off the water and disposal. Overloading or otherwise abusing the garbage disposal can cause serious problems.

Russ Graves is a plumber. "Nine times out of 10 when people have a blockage it's because they have put a bunch of food down the disposal and then turned it on and then turned on the water. What that does is creates a situation where it shoots a whole bunch of food all at one time through the unit," he says.

Misusing the disposal can shorten its life span and cause you to spend money sooner than you have to. Whether it's a repair job, or having a new one installed, the folks at Angie's List say it's a job best left to the professionals. But do some homework first.

Angie Hicks of Angie's List offers this advice. "When it's time to buy a new disposal, do some quick math. If you plan to live in your house for at least five year's, it's worth investing in a high end model. A high end model is quieter, more powerful and will likely last 10 to 20 years."

In addition to paying the plumber, garbage disposals will run you anywhere from $50 to $250. Angie's List says to help maintain your disposal, toss some ice cubes in occasionally to help sharpen the blade, and throw in a few pieces of lemon to remove odors.


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