Q. "I've heard that garbage disposers waste harms septic tanks. Any truth to that?"
A. We have yet to read any study that reflects that. Some cities have banned disposers and then, later changed their minds and allowed them, such as New York. From what we know, food disposer waste gets consumed by bacteria in sewage treatment plants and septic tanks.
Q. "I installed my new disposer into a stainless steel sink but the thin gasket I used that came with the disposer keeps the flange slightly raised above the inside of the sink. Small amounts of water do collect around the flange. Should I have used plumbers putty?"
A. Some disposal manufacturers recommend using the rubber gasket that comes with the disposer. However, other disposer manufacturers recommend using plumbers putty. We believe if the flange is properly installed using plumbers putty, the installation will provide a seal for a longer length of time than the rubber gasket. When a flange is installed with plumbers putty the putty will keep water from leaking through it. The plumbers putty will also stay pliable over time. As the sink is used water comes in contact with the plumbers putty which slowly absorbs into the putty. The water actually acts as a lubrication for the putty and helps keep it from drying out. This is why sink flanges installed with plumbers putty can function for 20 years or more without leaking. If the sink is not used for 4 months or longer the putty will begin drying out which will lead to leakage when the sink is again used. If you have more confidence in using the rubber gasket and can live with small amounts of water left in your sink, then by all means use the rubber gasket.
Q. "My garbage disposer smells! Is there anything that I can do besides buying a new one?"
A. Generally the simple solution to this is to clean the disposer by having it grind up a few cups of ice and some table salt. This helps to cut the grease and slime off the sides of the disposer. Then flush it out with cold water followed by half of a lemon or lime to deodorize.
It is the opinion of our Founder Vic that garbage disposers are not garbage cans, therefore, should not be used as such. Most potatoes peels, carrots and the like will not get chopped up well (with any brand), and can help clog your drain lines. He feels that food (garbage) disposers should be used sparingly. Much of what goes into your drains eventually has to be removed by sewage treatment facilities or be dealt with by some system.
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