If you have a septic system, you may have heard that you cannot use a garbage disposal with a septic system. In reality, you can have a garbage disposal (aka food waste disposal unit), but you’ll need to use it properly and sparingly!

Most people who live in town on public sewer don’t give use of their garbage disposal a second thought. This is typically because the city pays for waste disposal and repairs in the city sewers. With a septic system, any problems that arise are the homeowner’s responsibility. For the sake of your septic system, (AND your wallet) we recommend you take extra precautions if your home has garbage disposal. Below is a list of garbage disposal “dos” and “don’ts” from some Victoria septic system repair experts.

Some garbage disposal dos and don'ts, courtesy of the best home inspector in Victoria Texas. Barrie Inspections is your top rated real estate inspector in south texas.

Some Dos:

  • Use cold water when you grind food. Cold water will cause any grease or oils to solidify so that they can be chopped.
  • Pour a little dish soap inside the disposal after washing dishes, run for about a minute with some cold water.
  • Run your disposal regularly. Frequent use helps prevent rust and corrosion.
  • Grind hard materials such as small chicken or fish bones. These create a scouring action inside the grind chamber that will help clean the garbage disposal’s walls.

Some Don’ts:

  • Do not put anything in the garbage disposal that is not a biodegradable food. When in doubt, throw it out!
  • Don’t use hot water when grinding food waste. It will cause oils to liquify and accumulate somewhere in your disposal or down your drain, causing clogs.
  • Don’t turn off the motor or water until grinding is complete. Let the water run at least 15 seconds after the grinding is completed.
  • Don’t grind fibrous materials like corn husks, celery stalks, onion skins or artichokes. The fibers from these can get tangled and jam your disposal’s motor.
  • Do not pour oil, fat or grease into the disposal (or your drain!). Even though cold water will help it to solidify, it will slowly accumulate, clog drains and even hinder your disposal’s grinding ability.
  • Don’t put large amounts of food down the disposal. Throw them in the trash!
  • Don’t put expandable foods like rice or pasta into your disposal. They might seem small, but when added to the water of your drains, they will expand and can cause jams or clogs.
  • Don’t use coffee grounds. Grounds will accumulate, and what starts small will build up and cause clogs.
  • Don’t grind glass, plastic, metal, paper, anything combustible or even cigarette butts. If we just mentioned it, it’s because someone’s been dumb enough to do it!
If you want to avoid costly septic system repair, and you have a garbage disposal, check out Barrie Inspections blog post on using a garbage disposal with a septic systems.

There are obviously a lot more “don’ts” than there are “dos” when it comes to a garbage disposal. Backups and clogs can be costly, so if you want to use the disposal, take caution. To help your septic tank break down solids and food waste, you can invest in an affordable monthly product like Bio Active or Rid-X. It’s not overly critical to use these products monthly, but they can help. I definitely recommend using these products right after a septic pumping/cleaning to help ‘jump-start’ the active bacteria starting!

Barrie Inspections is ready to handle all your real estate inspection needs! We have the experience and expertise to give you the best value and the most detailed inspection in the Crossroads! Call 361-298-0472, email James@BarrieInspections.com, or schedule on our website 24/7 HERE. Barrie Inspections is here to help you!