Should you run water when using a garbage disposal?

Yes, while using a garbage disposal you should run plenty of cold water through the entire process, and then some more.

Here is how you should run a garbage disposal;

  1. Start running cold water into the garbage disposal
  2. Turn the garbage disposal on
  3. Add food scraps into it
  4. Once all the food wastes are disposed of stop the unit
  5. Keep the water running for 10 seconds more, and then turn it off.

The reason why you need to keep the water running is to make sure that all the ground food particles are completely flushed down the drain. When you start running water before you switch the disposal on, it flushes away any debris that’s left in the disposal’s grinding chamber. Running water during the grinding process helps to reduce the load on the disposal unit and it helps to avoid any clogs and jams. Water acts as a lubricant in this case and it also takes away the ground food wastes into the drain quickly preventing the disposal’s grinding chamber from accumulating a mass of food wastes.

When you keep running cold water even after the unit is turned on, the water removes any residues left on the blades and in the grinding chamber. This cleans the garbage disposal for the next use and it also prevents rot and rust.

Pouring water from a bottle into a glass on blue background

Can you run hot water while using the garbage disposal?

Running hot water while using a garbage disposal is not a good idea. Every food you add to the disposal unit has some grease and oil in them. When cold these grease and oil particles solidify and they are easy to ground and removed through the drain pipes. But when you add hot water, the grease and oil melt, and they will be carried down the drain. But at some point down the drain, these particles will solidify again and start clogging the pipes over time. In order to avoid this problem, it is always recommended to use cold water while running a garbage disposal.

Should I run water if I am using a batch feed garbage disposal?

A batch feed garbage disposal is started by inserting a specially designed cover. This cover works as an on/off switch and it also covers the sinkhole. Many people think that this will prevent water from going down the sink drain into the garbage disposal but that is not true. This cover has slots in it to let the water flow through. So just like for a continuous feed garbage disposal you need to run cold water when using a batch feed unit.

How much water does a garbage disposal use?

The average amount of water used by a garbage disposal is 1 gallon per person per day. That is not going to add much to your utility bill in case you are worried about that.

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