Is Hot or Cold Water Best for Your Disposal?

Is Hot or Cold Water Best for Your Disposal?

If you're running hot and cold water, you could be doing more damage to your disposal than you might realize. Some people argue that hot water helps keep garbage flexible and flowing down the drain, while others say that cold water helps keep your disposal from overheating. Which side is right? Here is the truth behind the rumors.

When to heat things up

When you're going through daily disposal usage, make sure you run hot water for a full minute after you shut the disposal down. This helps flush your pipes out and remove any remaining debris out of your disposal. This practice should be part of your total pipe maintenance plan that helps keep your home's pipes clear of blockages. Some plumbers recommend running cold water instead of hot because any fat or oil in the waste stays solid instead of cooling off further down the pipes. We recommend you never put fats or oils into your garbage disposal in the first place, as hot water coming into your drain lines farther down the system can cause the fats to liquefy and cause more problems later on when they cool again.

When to give your disposal the cold shoulder

If you start having problems with your garbage disposal's smell, it's time to add some ice, but only in a very specific way. You'll want to start by running warm water down your disposal for a minute, then toss a few ice cubes at a time through the system. The hard, sharp edges of the ice going through the disposal will help work any bits of food or debris out of your disposal. While you're running the ice cubes through, keep the warm water running. Why? Because you want the ice to finish melting further down the line and get the debris out of your drain system. After you're done with the ice cubes, keep warm or hot water running for another minute. The heat from the water will heat the blades, allowing them to dry more quickly and prevent corrosion.

With these concerns in mind, you can now care for your garbage disposal without having to worry about running into bad consequences later on. If you're having problems with your garbage disposal or otherwise need help with getting your plumbing operating well, please contact us. We've been serving the area for more than 63 years.