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Garburator Repairs – how to avoid!!


When I first moved to Canada I moved into one of those old heritage houses that had been renovated into suites. Coming from Tokyo, where everything is tiny, I was blown away by the size. This beautiful big house sat surrounded by trees and one gigantic monkey tree. The 3 bedroom + living room may have been average size for a Canadian home, but for me it was like living in a huge mansion. I wasn’t used to walking down a long hallway to get from my bedroom to the living room. You could probably fit 3 of my apartments in Japan into this one suite! But today’s blog isn’t about how big Canadian houses are compared to Japanese houses. Today’s blog is about a little thing called a garburator. I had never seen one of these things before moving to Canada. As far as I know they don’t exist in Japan, at least I never saw one in any of the houses I grew up in.


Ah ha! I guess it is a Canadian thing. Apparently, in the US they are called Garbage Disposal units. And these helpful little (or big) garbage blenders are far less common in other parts of the world.

One day I was dicing some vegetables in my very large kitchen. I made a little pile of scraps I was going to throw away, when my roommate came up to me and told me I could just throw them down the drain. What? Why would I do that? He then proceeded to throw the scraps into the sink, turned the water on, flipped the switch and I watched in amazement as they disappeared down the drain. “But, won’t it clog up the drain?” I asked. He then explained to me there is this thing called a garburator in the sink and it shreds up the food waste into tiny little pieces making them small enough to pass through the drain. Amazing! From that point on I started throwing everything down there. Vegetables, leftover food, rice, meat scraps, etc., etc. Little did I know, as great as this invention is, you simply can’t just throw everything and anything down there. If you put too much food or the wrong kind of food you end up clogging it up and dealing with a sink full of water and other nasty particles. Which, in my case, is exactly what happened. Ring…ring…plumber, please help!!

However, this messy and possibly stinky situation can be avoided! You just have to know what NOT to put down your Gaburator. Before writing this post I had a little chat with my boss, owner of True North Comfort, Graham Beatty. Boss knows best, so I asked him for a list of things you shouldn’t put down the garburator. I also looked at various garburator manuals. Here are some general guidelines to follow:








Now that we’ve covered most of the Don’ts…here are a few Do’s:

  • DO keep your garbage disposal clean! Pour a little bit of dish soap down the garburator and let cold water run for a few minutes while your garburator is on. Avoid harsh chemicals like bleach or drain cleaners as they can damage blades and pipes.
  • DO use it frequently. It assures that all parts stay moving and prevents obstructions from accumulating. Also prevents rust and corrosion.
  • DO use a strong flow of COLD water when grinding food waste. If there is any grease, hot water will cause it to liquify and accumulate…thus clogging your pipes, so only use cold water when the garburator is on. Continue running cold water after grinding is complete to flush the drain line.
  • DO cut large items into small pieces and feed them into the chamber gradually.
  • DO grind hard materials such as small bones (not big ones!), fruit pits, and ice. The particles create a scouring action inside the grind chamber.
  • DO grind citrus peels, like lemons and oranges (in small amounts) to help freshen up drain smells. You can also use disposer cleaner, degreaser, or deodorizer to relieve odours caused by grease build-up.
  • DO keep the disposer on until grinding is complete. Once you can only hear the motor and water, you can turn it off.

By following these simple rules you should have a long-lasting, well-working garbage disposal unit. Keep in mind that each manufacturer will have their own recommendations, some will tell you it’s okay to put chicken bones and coffee grinds down your garburator, others will say not to. When in doubt, check the manual or call the manufacturer! If you accidentally put the wrong thing down there, or your garburator needs to be repaired or your pipes unclogged, don’t delay and call us today to book a service call. One of our experienced technicians can fix or replace your garburator and unclog your pipes. These issues are best addressed as early as possible, so they don’t turn into a larger more expensive issue.

Happy cooking! 😀