DIY Solutions for Cleaning a Garbage Disposal

If you’re a cook, then you know that you sometimes get some odd odors emanating from your kitchen.

Perhaps you forgot to clean off the dinner dishes in a timely manner, or the garbage wasn’t taken out.

But what if that smell is coming from your garbage disposal?

Did you know that there are a number of simple things you can do to clean your garbage disposal and get rid of that bad smell?

The DIY Solution That Really Works

You’ve probably ran the spare lime or lemon in the garbage disposal to get rid of the bad smell and replace it with something a little more citrus. That’s a good choice for smell, but it doesn’t do as much to clean the disposal. Before you address the smell, you need to clean the disposal.

To do that, there is a three-step process to clean, sharpen, and deodorize your disposal.

Step 1:

Sprinkle ½ cup of baking soda in the disposal. Then follow that with 1 cup of regular white vinegar.

This may sound like your middle-school science-fair volcano—because it is. The bubbling action serves to loosen up the grime you might have on the moving parts of the disposal. It also goes into the second chamber and the plumbing line of the disposal to clean.

After the bubbling begins to slow down pour a kettle of boiling water into the disposal. This washes through the gunk that was loosened.

Step 2:

Break a full tray of ice cubes (about 2 cups) into the disposal. With running cold water, flip the switch on for 10–15 seconds, or until the ice is gone.

This step gets rid of any lingering gunk in the disposal and also sharpens the grinding mechanism in the unit.

Step 3:

Now cut that lemon or lime in half and, one at a time, put the fruit in the disposal while the cold water is running. Flip the switch, and be sure that the first half is completely gone before adding the second.

Here, you’re deodorizing the drain and helping to remove anything that’s still lingering on the grinding components.

How Often to Clean the Disposal

For most homes, cleaning the disposal once every 2–3 months is likely sufficient. However, if you are smelling something rancid and can’t find the source, it’s a good idea to look to the sink.

With all we put down our drains, it’s likely that it’s accumulated a lot of grime and needs a good cleaning.

In less that 15 minutes, you can have it clean and smelling nice again. Making your whole kitchen more welcoming!

Of course, if your disposal is no longer working as it should, even after you’ve run through this cleaning regimen, it might be time to call Forrest Anderson.

We can repair or replace your disposal. No matter what the verdict, we have the solution!

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Is It Time to Re-pipe Your Home?

That beautiful home in the older section of town might have seemed like the dream house you were looking for, but time is not kind to homes. If your home is older, then you might consider re-piping to bring your home up to code and avoid a number of potential disasters.

Age Is More than a Number

If you have a turn-of-the-century home, then your pipes are well past their prime. Depending on the type of pipes you have and when they were last replaced will tell you a lot.

Determine when your home was built to figure out the age of your pipes. If you have original fixtures, they could have a lifespan of at least 20 years. Your home-inspection report will tell you what material your pipes are made, which is another indicator of longevity.

The life expectancy of supply lines, those coming from the main line into your home, is:

  • brass: 80–100 years
  • copper: 70–80 years
  • galvanized steel: 80–100 years

Then there’s also the age of your drainpipes, those that remove water from the home:

  • cast iron: 80–100 years
  • PVC: 24–40 years

The Wrong Type of Pipes Could Signal Danger

Once upon a time, we didn’t have the knowledge we have today, and building materials could include dangerous components or just weren’t made to last.

If you have lead pipes, then the lead can leach into the water supply. As you are well aware, lead is toxic, and can cause physical and mental delays in children younger than six.

Polybutylene piping was used in homes built between the 1970s and 1990s. Although it was a cheap building material, it turns out that it is of poor quality and prone to break. That could mean a big renovation job down the road.

Leaks Are Never Good

When water is coming out of places it shouldn’t be, that’s usually a sign that it’s time to re-pipe. Although you might think that one leak is a patch job and not worth a whole replacement, there may be a chance it is.

The reason is that all of the pipes in your home are of the same age, and if one has a weakness, then others will have the same issues. Remember, if you can see one leak, then there are plenty of other leaks you can’t see.

Water Should Always Be Clear

The water that comes out of your faucets should always be clear. If it’s brown or yellow, then that’s not a good thing. While you might jump to the conclusion that your pipes are rusty—and it may well be the case—it could also be a rusty water heater.

Before you make plans to re-pipe your home after seeing rusty water, have the water heater checked to rule out that option first.

Corrosion Is Not Good

Yes, you read it right. No matter how old or new your house is, if your pipes show even a small amount of corrosion, then it means the situation isn’t good. Check out your exposed pipes for signs of discoloration, stains, dimpling, pimples, or flaking. If you see any problems, call for a second opinion.

Ready to Re-pipe?

Re-piping your home is a very expensive endeavor, so it should not be undertaken lightly, and it should probably occur in conjunction with other renovations you have scheduled.

If you think your home is ready for new pipes, then call Forrest Anderson for an inspection and to get a professional opinion!

We’ll help you determine if it’s time and get your home on the road to recovery.

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When Is It Time to Replace a Garbage Disposal?

You’ve had an extremely hectic day at work, after which you’re just ready to relax. You return home and head to the kitchen to make a delicious dinner. As you go into the kitchen, you smell something putrid! You eye the garbage disposal.

Who was in here last? You flip the switch to turn it on and hear something that doesn’t sound quite right.

Get to Know Your Garbage Disposal

Like all appliances in your home, garbage disposals have a limited lifetime. They will eventually need to be replaced. You’ll usually be clued in when something in the disposal stops working.

When you put food into the garbage disposal, a spinning plate with blades forces the food against a stationary grind ring. It’s this ring that breaks down the food into very tiny particles that are flushed through the pipes with running water.

Hints That It’s Time to Replace

Most of us just take our garbage disposals for granted—until the moment when they no longer work. Then we’re in a panic. Here are some hints that you might be in the market for a new garbage disposal.

The Smell

If no matter what you do the garbage disposal just seems to stink, then it might be time to upgrade. Sludge can build up in the unit, necessitating a good cleaning. One trick to clean is to put a cup of ice into the disposal but if that doesn’t work then you’re ready for the next step.

It Won’t Turn On

This is a pretty obvious one. If you flip the switch and nothing happens, you know it’s time. Before you call for help, check the reset button beneath the disposal, the breaker, or fuse box to make sure it’s not a simple fix.

It Clogs a Lot

The joy of the garbage disposal is that it gets rid of everything pretty quickly. If you find that the disposal isn’t helping much of anything to go down the drain, you could have an issue. This might be fixable, or it might be time to replace.

Leaking

Are you finding puddles in the cabinet under the disposal? Leaks are a sure sign that something’s amiss. The leak might be coming from the seals, which is a fixable problem, or it might be from a crack in the disposal. If it’s the latter, then you definitely need to replace the unit.

Kitchen Upgrade

Although it’s not mandatory to replace your garbage disposal when you put in a new sink, it’s certainly a good time to assess the age of the unit and if you’re ready to start anew.

Install Professionally

When you are ready to purchase a new garbage disposal, be sure to have it professionally installed. Instead of risking issues with improper installation, you can trust the plumbers at Forrest Anderson!

We’ll be happy to provide and install your new disposal or if it’s not yet time to replace, then provide maintenance for your existing unit.

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Types of Garbage Disposals

Whether you’re in the market for your very first garbage disposal or you are ready to replace the one you’ve had for years, you’ll want to do your research. This is an important part of your kitchen and makes your cooking and cleaning a lot easier!

Motor Size

After you’ve determined which feed you want–continuous or batch–and where you want your disposal to live, you need to choose the power you want. As with most motors, garbage disposal motors are sized by horsepower (hp).

You can choose a size from 1/3 hp to 1 hp, depending on your needs. A 1/3 hp is perfect if you don’t cook a lot and a 1 hp is for people who love to cook as its power can disintegrate hard waste like chicken bones!

If you only regularly dispose of soft foods, then 1/2 hp will be sufficient. Most of us tend to dispose all kinds of food and waste, so 1/2 hp is going to be the best option for the majority of homeowners.

Type of Grinding Chambers

Bet you didn’t know you had an option of the type of grinding chamber, did you? It’s related to the motor size, in that the smaller disposals have smaller chambers and limited power to do their jobs.

Look for a chamber made of stainless steel or glass-filled nylon rather than lower quality metals. These are the easiest to clean and won’t rust. Also, choose impellers (rotors) that are stainless steel.

Choose Your Machine

With these thoughts in mind, you have some better direction on which garbage disposal will be best for your home. You’ve probably heard of the top brands, such as InSinkErator and Waste King, but there are many choices.

Think of what your needs are and your budget, and then buy the best you can afford. So remember that your garbage disposal is an investment!

You will have a quality disposal for years to come with proper maintenance.

Questions? Contact Forrest Anderson. We’re happy to help!

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Why Do Pressure Regulators Matter?

Being a homeowner comes with many worries, don’t let water pressure damage be one of them. With the a pressure regulator your pipes can function properly, and prolong the life your plumbing.

What Is a Pressure Regulator?

It is a plumbing valve that connects the main water line and your home. Reducing the main-line water pressure to a safe level before it reaches the interior plumbing of the home.

Too much pressure in your residential plumbing lines can cause all kinds of issues, not the least of which is a potential pipe explosion. So it’s vital that the pressure in the home is under control.

When Pressure Regulators Go Bad

Things never last forever, no matter how hard you might wish them to. Your pressure regulator is the same. It will eventually go bad, but how can you tell?

It’s likely your pressure regulator is bad if your water pressure has a significant change or you hear water hammering.

Pick up a pressure gauge at your local hardware store if you’re curious about how high your water pressure is. You can easily test your water pressure by following the included instruction.

As part of your regular home maintenance you should check your water pressure at least once a year.

How a Pressure Regulator Helps

So you know what a regulator does in your home, but how does it really help? And why should you have one?

Too much water pressure can put extra strain on your home’s plumbing.  Water can erode any type of mineral—no matter how refined.

All kinds of band things can happen when your plumbing is weak. Running toilets and dripping faucets, both are small issues, but they are not only annoying but also waste water. You can hear the pipes hammering the walls as the water rushes to get through the pipes.

If that hammering water isn’t dealt with, then you could be opening yourself up for a big problem: burst pipes. You’re dealing with extensive damage, clean up, and construction issues if pipes burst.

By replacing your water pressure regulator, you are avoiding tens of thousands of dollars in restoration costs.

Contact the plumbing experts at Forrest Anderson if you think you need a water pressure regulator! No matter if it’s either for the first time or as a replacement for one that’s gone bad.

We’ll test your water pressure and determine if it’s time to upgrade.

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Who Needs a Pressure Regulator?

Are you a homeowner? Then you need a pressure regulator.

Signs of High Water Pressure

When you’re taking a shower, do you feel as if you’re standing under a fire hose? Does hand washing dishes end up with you wet from chin to belt?

These are likely signs that your home has high water pressure. In some instances, it’s a good, and welcomed, thing. There are lots of people who are whining about their weak water pressure and try to find ways to have a “real” shower. However, most of the time high water pressure is a hassle.

Somewhere around 40 psi is ideal for residential water pressure. If your home has regular pressure comes in at twice that, then you’re setting yourself up for some challenges down the line.

If You Want Your Fixtures to Last Longer

The fixtures you see, as well as the pipes you don’t, are made to withstand a lot, except for constant high-powered water. When you install a water pressure regulator, your water pressure is just right for your home.

If You’d Rather Not Replace Appliances Too Soon

Dishwashers, washing machines, water heaters, and water softeners are an investment. Likely, when you made those purchases, you wanted them to last for a while. With high water pressure increasing the stress on those fancy appliances, they will have a much shorter lifespan.

If You’re Not Ready to Build an Ark

Rowboats, rafts, and arks are super cool, but not so much when you need them to escape the sudden river that’s flowing through your living room. When water pressure is too high, it weakens hoses and can result in them bursting.

So while you were expecting a lazy Sunday afternoon of laundry and football, you could be dealing with a disaster! All of which could have been avoided with the addition of a water pressure regulator. Okay, maybe not the laundry; but someone has to do it.

So How’s Your Pressure?

If your morning showers have been feeling a little too vigorous, then it’s time to call Forrest Anderson and have one of our licensed plumbers test your water pressure.

Instead of dealing with a fire hose for a faucet, consider a pressure regulator!

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Pressure Regulators 101

No doubt you’ve heard of a pressure cooker—and maybe you even have one in your kitchen right now. That’s a simple example of a pressure regulator, but did you know that you could have a number of pressure regulators doing their silent jobs across your home right now?

Types of Pressure Regulators

A pressure regulator is a valve that limits the flow of a liquid or gas to a certain pressure.

In your home, you’re likely to find a pressure regulator in the following locations:

  • Gas grills, to regulate propane
  • At the furnace, to regulate natural gases
  • Engines, to regulate fuel
  • Air compressors, to regulate the compressed air
  • Medical equipment, such as an oxygen tank to regulate oxygen flow
  • Water lines, reducing the pressure of water coming from the main line into the home

No matter where you find a pressure regulator, its job is essentially the same: reduce inlet pressure to a lower outlet pressure.

Water Pressure Regulators

This plumbing valve is located where the main water line from the city enters your home. Its job is to reduce the pressure of the fast-surging public water to one that works better in residential pipes. However, not every home is equipped with a water pressure regulator.

If you don’t have a water pressure regulator, then you may need one. Your water pressure may be too high, and is currently damaging your pipes!

If you’re not sure what your current water pressure is, then you can measure it with a pressure gauge—picked up at a local hardware store.

Test your water pressure at various times of the day and night. Just don’t do so when the water is turned on either inside or outside of your home. If the pressure gauge registers between 40 and 60 psi, you should be fine.

However if the pressure is higher or lower, then contact Forrest Anderson for an inspection and installation.

Why Pressure Regulators Are Important

Your home’s water pressure will be tested when you are buying or selling a home. Also, beware that some cities in Arizona require homes to have a pressure regulator, regardless of the water pressure coming into the home!

During an inspection, assessing water pressure is a good way to determine if there are any issues in a home’s water supply. While low or high pressure could be related to a faulty pressure regulator, it could also signify a problem within the home.

If you are unsure if your home has a water pressure regulator, look at where the main line enters the home. The regulator will usually be installed downstream of the city water meter.

While servicing the regulator is typically a simple process, remember that adding a regulator is a much more entailed project.

If you’re a complete novice when it comes to anything dealing with your home, that’s okay; we’ve got your back.

Call us at Forrest Anderson with any questions you have about your pressure regulators—and if you even have one. If you need yours serviced or replaced, contact us to take care of it for you!

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Why Should Forrest Anderson Hydro Jet Your Pipes?

Hydro jetting is essentially a power wash for the inside of your drains and pipes. It cleans out all clogged debris, as well as tree roots that have grown through the line.

Picture this; you’re walking through your home, you smell something…. What is that? You look around, you spray an air freshener, and you go back to watching the latest episode of your favorite show.

But an hour later, there it is again!

Now you’re stumped. Seriously, what is going on here? You make sure the toilets are flushed and the disposal has been run, and it’s when you’re heading into the kids’ bathroom that the smell gets stronger. It’s coming from the sink. You’re afraid of going any closer. What is that?

With hydro jetting your drains will be clean, water will flow freely, and return your home to the neutral smell you loved before your nose started to twitch.

When Drains Go Wild

Food, hair, soap scum, the random toy…. Anything and everything can clog up pipes and lead to some really bad smells in your home. This isn’t something that a bottle of over-the-counter drain cleaner can rectify. It’s time to call in the big guns.

It’s time for hydro jetting.

Why Hire Forrest Anderson?

Technicians are the right people to call to hydro jet your pipes, mostly for the following reasons:

Special Protective Gear

Unless you love dressing up, you likely don’t have the protective gear needed to work with high-speed water. Technicians wear gloves and masks to protect their faces and hands. Hydro jetting without these things can be downright dangerous.

The Right PSI

In order to get the water to pressurize enough to power wash your pipes, one end of the hose is attached to a machine that works under enormous pressure and temperature. The water passes through a long hose that the plumber directs to the pipe in the direction and way that is most harsh on the debris without harming the pipe.
The nozzle of the jet is also complex. Varieties of nozzle have different kinds of spray effects that are best understood by the technician.

Safety

Have you considered how strong pressurized water is? It’s a bit like a blade, one that can easily slice off a finger! In fact, they use pressurized water to cut marble and granite stone slabs.

When you have a Forrest Anderson technician hydro jet your pipes, they’ll let you know how frequently you should schedule a retreatment. Most homes need to have their pipes power washed once or twice a year.

What Are You Waiting For?

So you know that the best way to thoroughly clean out your drain pipes is with hydro jetting..

Call Forrest Anderson to come by today!

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