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Grilling Safety: Propane BBQ Edition

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Grilled food can really hit the spot on nice Arizona days. Before you use your BBQ, make sure that you keep these grilling safety tips in mind. This helps ensure that you and your family can enjoy grilled dinners without any trouble.

Store Propane Tanks Properly

Grilling safety involves storing propane tanks properly. Tanks for gas grills can easily become a hazard. Store these tanks in a vertical and upright position. Also make sure they are kept far away from any heat or ignition sources, such as lighters or matches. If you have a gas line for your grill, you don’t have to deal with propane tanks at all.

Turn the Grill on Safely

Another important grilling safety tip is to make sure that you turn the grill on correctly. This involves opening the lid and turning the propane on. After this is done, turn the knobs for the burners, then push the ignition. Doing this the right way lowers the risk of fires and other accidents.

Never Use Lighter Fluid

Never use lighter fluid to ignite a gas grill. Lighter fluid is a major fire hazard when it isn’t used properly. You will avoid having to worry about this if you have a gas grill with its own natural gas line installed.

Check for Leaks

Gas leaks can occur when you use propane tanks for your grill. You should check for leaks by putting a solution of water and light soap on the gas tank hose. If you see bubbles, this means you have a gas leak that needs to be fixed by a professional right away. Grills with a gas line have a lower risk of ending up with these leaks.

Don’t Reignite Right Away

If your grill doesn’t ignite, don’t light it again right away. You could have gas in the air that needs time to clear out. Lighting it again immediately could result in a fire and serious injuries. Wait for 5 minutes before you try to ignite your gas grill again.

Keep Your Grill Clean

Grilling safety includes making sure that your gas grill stays in good condition. Grease and other debris can build up over time, which can increase the risk of a fire. Clean debris off your grill and from the tray under it. You should wait for your grill to cool before cleaning it. Getting into the habit of doing this after using your grill each time means you won’t have to scrape a lot of debris off later on.

Turn Your Grill Off Properly

When it comes to grilling safety, it’s important to ensure that you turn your grill off the right way. This reduces the risk of injuries and accidents. You’ll need to turn the gas tank off before shutting off the gas burners. Make sure that your propane cylinder valve is fully closed to prevent gas from leaking. With a gas line grill, all you have to do is shut it off without having to deal with any tanks.

If you’re ready to install a gas line for your grilling area, contact Forrest Anderson. We can ensure that this is done properly for your safety.

The right way to use a food waste disposer at home

Your food waste disposer, or garbage disposal, is one of the hardest working appliances in your home. This device is found in more than half of American houses and is typically used on a regular basis. However, just because you use your food waste disposer all the time doesn’t mean you’re using it correctly. Here’s what you need to know to use it right and extend the life of your machine.

What You Can Put in Your Food Waste Disposer

This appliance is great for getting rid of leftover food waste. When preparing meals or clearing the dinner table, you can dump many food items into the disposal. Make sure that none of the food waste is too large or hard.

Although many people use hot water to flush their garbage disposals, it is actually better to use cold water. Hot water can melt the fat in food, causing it to stick to the sides of the machine instead of flushing it through your plumbing. Cold water, on the other hand, makes it easier for the machine to move foods along.

After using your food waste disposer, let the water run just a little longer. This will ensure that everything gets flushed out through the pipes. You can also add a bit of dish soap for extra cleaning power.

What You Can’t Put in Your Garbage Disposal

Food waste disposers are quite durable, but they can’t handle everything. You should never put hard items like bones, fruit pits, and similar items down your garbage disposal. A food waste disposer is exactly that, to dispose of food waste. Never put non-food items, such as matches or napkins, in the disposal.

Aside from hard items, you should also avoid putting grease and other fat down the disposal. As the grease cools, it hardens, and it can clog your pipes if enough of it builds up over time. Similarly, nut butter and other sticky foods shouldn’t go in either.

Starchy items, like potato skins and rice, shouldn’t go in the food waste disposer. When they get wet, they release starch, which can make them stick to the inside of your appliance instead of exiting through your pipes. This can lead to odor over time and can damage your food waste disposer. In addition, rice and pasta expand when they get wet, which can cause them to create a blockage in your pipes.

Care and Maintenance Tips

Caring for your food waste disposer is relatively easy. Most of the work takes place when you are using the device. As mentioned above, let the water and machine run a bit longer than needed to ensure that no lingering food remains. You can also use your disposal to grind up leftover lemons and their peels. Their juice acts as a deodorizer, eliminating any odors that have developed.

When using your food waste disposer, start running the water first. Then turn on the appliance. When adding the food, put it in slowly, just a few pieces at a time. This will prevent you from overloading or breaking the machine. Let the water continue to run for a few seconds after you turn off the disposer.

When to Call an Expert

If your food waste disposer isn’t working properly, try a bit of troubleshooting before you call us. For starters, reset the device using the reset button. This button is typically red and on the underside of the motor under your sink. Your machine may have shorted out, and this will get it up and running again.

For stubborn problems that persist, call the experts at Forrest Anderson. We’ll identify the issue so we can repair it for you right away.

Dishwasher food disposal tips

Dishwashers save you the hassle of having to wash your dishes by hand. But, should you be rinsing off your dishes before placing them in the dishwasher? Find out more about dishwasher food disposal to make sure you’re getting the most use out of your appliance.

Scraping and Rinsing Dishes

Scraping food off dishes is a good habit to get into. This habit will help you avoid putting larger pieces of food in the dishwasher. These food items can cause damage to dishwasher parts, resulting in the need for repairs. Simply scraping food off with a fork or napkin is enough to remove most food particles from dishes.

When it comes to rinsing, there’s more debate over whether or not to do it and how much might be needed. A quick or light rinse is often all that’s needed before loading your dishwasher. However, some have features that make this step unnecessary, such as food sensors and built-in garbage disposals.

Keep in mind that skipping heavy rinsing saves on water usage in your home. Giving dishes a light rinse can make it easier for your dishwasher to clean your dishes without having to work as hard. This could help your dishwasher last longer without needing repairs or a replacement.

Food Sensors

Some modern dishwashers have features that eliminate the need for spending a lot of time and water rinsing dishes off before loading. Food sensors have special equipment that detects how much food is in your dishes. When dishes are heavily soiled, the dishwasher runs a heavier and longer cycle to ensure that they’re completely clean.

When you rinse your dishes off but leave small particles of food stuck to them, the food sensor might cause the dishwasher to only run a shorter and lighter cycle. This can leave you with dishes that still have those food particles stuck to them. In order to make sure that you have clean dishes, you should only remove leftover food or large pieces of food from your plates before loading them. The food sensor should cause the dishwasher to thoroughly clear off any food that’s left.

Built-in Garbage Disposals

A built-in garbage disposal makes dishwasher food disposal even easier. When you have a dishwasher with this feature, which is found in some modern types, the disposal takes care of any food that is left on your dishes. However, it’s important to note that these disposals usually don’t operate as effectively as traditional garbage disposals. This means that your drain can become clogged with food particles or grease.

When you have a dishwasher with a built-in garbage disposal, you should remove larger food items from your dishes prior to loading. This helps lower the risk of having bits of food cause clogs in your drain and pipes. You should also avoid placing dishes with oil or grease on them in your dishwasher since these substances can also clog up your drain.

If your dishwasher isn’t draining correctly, please contact Forrest Anderson. We provide reliable help for drainage issues, as well as moving or installing water lines.

Worst foods for the garbage disposal

One of the hardest working tools in your kitchen is the garbage disposal. These machines are often abused and expected to chop all kinds of food into small pieces. You will quickly discover that there are foods for the garbage disposal that are harmful to it. If you treat your garbage disposal the way you should, it is far less likely to break down on you. Here are a few tips about the worst foods for the garbage disposal.

Big Piles of Anything

One of the most certain ways to break this essential appliance is to stuff large pieces of leftover food down it. Smaller pieces will fare much better in your garbage disposal. Take the time to put items down it in small quantities.

Egg Shells

There is some controversy about putting egg shells down the kitchen sink. Some people think it is okay, but even these innocent looking items can cause a problem. The shredder ring of the disposal can become cluttered and damaged from the membrane of egg shells. If you have a septic tank, forget about putting these into the sink. Egg shells cannot be broken down by the bacterium in your septic tank.

Vegetables and Fruit with High Fibers

Stringy items like asparagus, celery, and corn husks have fibers that might wrap around the blades and moving parts of the disposal. Do not set aside these foods for the garbage disposal unless you want to have a headache, a mess, and if you are interested in calling us to fix any problems.

Used Coffee Grounds

You can find some people to advise that running coffee grounds through a disposal is good for it. While it will not hurt the appliance, it may create a sludgy mess and clog up your kitchen pipes. Coffee grounds are not foods for the garbage disposal.

Peels and Skins

You may already know better than to put banana peels or onion skins down into the sink. These items are very likely to get caught in the moving parts of your disposal. They do not break down easily, and can also clog pipes.

Pits and Bones

Fruit and avocado pits are not foods for the garbage disposal either. They are thick seeds that take a long time to grind, so it is better to put them into a compost pile or throw them in the trash. Bones will fragment if you try to grind them, and this is likely to shorten the life of the disposal. Even if the bones were to pass through to the pipes, they can become lodged instead of passing through. This will cause your pipes to gather debris and clog.

Grease and Fat

Do not make the mistake of thinking that grease and fat are foods for the garbage disposal. They may pass through the grinder blades just fine, but your pipes are in for trouble when they harden and clog the way.

Worst Foods for the Garbage Disposal

If your garbage disposal stops working, or your drain and pipes become clogged, contact Forrest Anderson for help. We are also happy to help you prevent trouble, and discuss with you which are proper foods for the garbage disposal.

What foods can go down the garbage disposal?

Garbage disposals keep a significant amount of food out of landfills. They do this without wasting a lot of water or spending extra money on electricity. When you follow the garbage disposal rules listed below, you allow lots of food particles to move quickly through the sewer systems. That food then becomes fertilizer and is partially reclaimed as water, from the water content in fruit chunks, for example. Naturally, these garbage disposal rules were made to avoid damaging your garbage disposal.

Garbage Disposal Rule #1 – Cold Water

One of the most critical garbage disposal rules is always to begin and conclude with cold water. Doing this beforehand ensures the disposal is reasonably free of particles that may put stress on the motor. During operation, your garbage disposal will get hot if you do not have cold water running over it.

Running the cold water for at least an additional 10 to 15 seconds after you have turned off the garbage disposal will both flush away any extra particles and ensure that the unit has some time to cool down. Air alone will not allow the unit to cool down properly and can result in prematurely damaging the motor.

Garbage Disposal Rule #2 – Soft Foods a Baby Can Eat

Among the most important and general garbage disposal rules is that if a baby could not eat it, you should not put it down the garbage disposal. Fibrous foods are out, as are larger chunks of food. Only soft foods should go down the garbage disposal, as the motor can quickly get caught on anything with fibers. Anything substantial can quickly and easily dull the blades. As well, larger items need to be broken down because they can become too much for the motor to handle at once.

Garbage Disposal Rule #3 – Chopped Particles

Another garbage disposal rule is that you should chop up anything before putting it into the disposal. Even reasonably soft items can cause the motor to over-work because larger pieces can double up and become more rigid. The higher the level of rigidity an object has, the more stress it will put on the motor. Anything that cannot be chopped, such as coffee grounds or other gritty materials, should be thrown away.

Garbage Disposal Rule #4 – Dish Soap

While dish soap is not a food item, dropping some into your garbage disposal every now and again is beneficial. As the disposal works, bits of things tend to stick to the blades. Over time, these can cause the blades to become duller, or can even chip them and make the motor have to work that much harder to function. As well, the smell of old foodstuffs can cause your drain to smell bad because water alone may not be enough.

Garbage Disposal Rule #5 – Alternative Ice Cubes

Sometimes bits of food get stuck in your garbage disposal’s blades, and they need to be removed. Attempting to scrub the blades could be dangerous and is very difficult. For this reason, putting regular ice cubes down the drain can be helpful. As well, making ice cubes out of vinegar, lemon juice or other natural cleaners can help clean your garbage disposal blades by knocking off the built-up food residue.

If You Didn’t Follow the Garbage Disposal Rules

If you are concerned that your garbage disposal may not be working correctly, contact Forrest Anderson to have the unit professionally inspected.

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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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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