Can You Have A Garbage Disposal With A Septic Tank? (Find Out Now!)
Garbage disposals are kitchen devices that can help you get rid of food waste by washing it down the sink without creating clogs or other problems. Garbage disposals are known for being a convenient alternative to a trash can and a way to keep food waste out of a landfill.
You can have a garbage disposal with a septic tank if you are careful and intentional about what you put down the disposal. Best practices for maintaining your garbage disposal include running cold water, grinding hard materials, using the disposal on a regular basis, and cleaning the disposal with dish soap after each use.
How Does a Garbage Disposal Work?
The garbage disposal is mounted on the underside of the sink and collects food waste in a chamber. When turned on, the food is chopped with a spinning disk. This forces the food waste to the walls of the chamber. Then, the tiny pieces of food get washed through holes in the small chamber wall.
Garbage disposals are popular because they provide a convenient way to get rid of food waste. After eating a meal, depending on its contents, food can be scraped directly into the garbage disposal instead of into the trash. This is a time saver for busy families.
Best Practices for Using Your Garbage Disposal with a Septic Tank
If you are using a garbage disposal with a septic tank, there are a few best practices to follow. Running cold water, grinding hard materials, using the garbage disposal on a regular basis, and pouring a small amount of soap in the disposal will help things to run smoothly.
Run Cold Water When Tour Garbage Disposal Is On
When the garbage disposal is on, be sure to run cold water. This will help any greases or oils to become hard, which means they can be processed by the garbage disposal rather than caking to the side.
If you need to use hot water to remove residue from your dishes, turn the garbage disposal off while you do so. Then, turn the water to cold and let it run until the water reaches a cooler temperature. Once the water is cold, you can turn the disposal back on.
Grind Small Hard Materials in your Garbage Disposal
If you have small animal bones, such as chicken or fish, you can grind them through the garbage disposal. This helps to scour the grind chapter and actually helps keep the garbage disposal clean.
However, not all animal bones or shells should be put down the disposal. While small chicken and fish bones are okay, seafood shells and egg shells should be avoided.
Use Your Garbage Disposal on a Regular Basis
Try to use your garbage disposal on a consistent and regular basis in order to avoid rust or corrosion. Regular use will also help to keep the garbage disposal clean. Run the garbage disposal multiple times per day as needed.
Pour Dish Soap in your Garbage Disposal
After you finish washing your dishes, let the water run for an extra minute. Drop a small amount of dish soap down the disposal to keep it clean. This will help to sanitize and deodorize your garbage disposal.
Things to Avoid When Using Your Garbage Disposal with a Septic Tank
When using a garbage disposal with a septic tank, there are many things you should avoid to prevent problems from arising. You should avoid putting non-biodegradable items down the garbage disposal, shutting the garbage disposal off immediately after use, using hot water, and putting expandable and fibrous foods down the disposal.
Do Not Put Non-Biodegradable Items Down Your Garbage Disposal
Only biodegradable foods should go down the garbage disposal. Additionally, do not put anything like paper, metal, plastic, or glass down the disposal. Cigarette butts and paint should also be avoided.
Do Not Shut the Garbage Disposal Off Immediately After Grinding
Do not shut the garbage disposal off right away – let it run for a minute. If you shut it off right away, food could get stuck and not be processed through the disposal.
Do Not Use Hot Water When Running your Garbage Disposal
Hot water can cause oils to liquify, which can lead to clogs. Be sure to use cold water.
Additionally, do not pour oil down the garbage disposal; oil can be frozen and then discarded in the regular trash.
Do Not Put Expandable Foods Down the Garbage Disposal
Rice, pasta, cereal, oatmeal, and bread can really expand when put down the disposal. If they expand, this can create clogs. It is better to throw expandable foods directly into the trash.
Other expandable foods to avoid include potato peels, beans, nuts, and coffee grinds. This will help to keep the garbage disposal running effectively and avoid any issues that could arise.
Do Not Put Fibrous Foods Down the Garbage Disposal
Foods such as celery stalks, onion skins, and fruit peels should not go down the garbage disposal. Other foods to be avoided include corn husks, pumpkin, and rhubarb. Additionally, all fruit pits should be avoided. This can create clogs, jams, or even create issues with the motor.
Select a Garbage Disposals Designed to Use with a Septic Tank
Many manufactures offer garbage disposal systems that are specifically designed to be used with septic systems. These types include solutions of enzymes that can help break down compounds in the septic tank. When shopping for a garbage disposal, select one that is specially designed to be paired with septic tanks.
Limitations of Using a Garbage Disposal with a Septic Tank
There are also some limitations of using a garbage disposal with a septic tank. Some of these limitations include that it can reduce the effectiveness of the septic system, and it can create additional costs. Lastly, there is another alternative that should be considered.
Limited Effectiveness of Using a Garbage Disposal with a Septic Tank
In your septic tank, there are water waste solids that sink down to the bottom of the tank called sludge. Normally, the bacteria in the tank have enough time to keep the sludge levels in check by organically breaking down the matter.
If you put a lot of food down the garbage disposal, the sludge levels can rise, which decreases the effectiveness of the tank. This makes it harder for the bacteria to treat the wastewater.
If you are using a garbage disposal with a septic tank, you might consider putting less food down the disposal to prevent this problem from happening.
Additional Costs of Using a Garbage Disposal with a Septic Tank
If the sludge levels increase, this means that the tank will need to be pumped more frequently. This can add additional costs for maintenance, repairs, or to have the septic tank pumped on a more frequent basis.
Organic Composting instead of Having a Garbage Disposal
There are other ways to dispose of food waste that can benefit the environment and better protect your septic system. You can compost your food, which transforms organic waste into a natural resource. The compost can be used to add nutrients to laws and gardens.
It is important to take good care of your garbage disposal and get regular maintenance as outlined in the manufacture’s manual. Read the manual and mark your calendar to remember to schedule regular maintenance appointments. Doing this can help to keep your garbage disposal running effectively.
How much does it cost to install a garbage disposal?
It can cost between $120 – $300 to install your garbage disposal. There are a number of factors that impact both the cost of installation as well as the price of the disposal.
If I dropped glass down my garbage disposal by mistake, can I remedy the situation?
Yes, you can remedy the situation by killing the power and using needle-nose pliers, a shop vac, or manually removing the blades.
What are the best garbage disposal cleaners?
The best garbage disposal cleaners both clean and deodorize the garbage disposal with natural and non-toxic ingredients. The best cleaner is the Glisten Garbage Disposal Foaming Cleanser.
What does it mean if my garbage disposal is humming?
If your garbage disposal is humming, it may mean there is a jam, a stuck grinding plate, overheating, a need for a restart, or a fried disposal. Fortunately, all of these problems can be remedied and resolved.
With the proper care, it is possible to have a garbage disposal with a septic tank. Be sure to adhere to the recommended rules and care suggestions in order to not overwhelm your septic tank. Additionally, regular maintenance will help keep your garbage disposal in the best condition possible.
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