A Complete Guide to Your Garbage Disposal + Upcoming Holiday Season Tips & Tricks

  • By Bulldog Rooter
  • 17 Oct, 2016
Garbage Disposal Spokane, WA

The garbage disposal is a wonderful invention! It keeps food waste out of landfills, your garbage bins free of critters and is also very convenient during the holiday season. Between Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, households generate plenty of organic waste. Here’s what you need to know about your garbage disposal during the upcoming holiday season.

How Your Garbage Disposal Works

Your garbage disposal’s grinding blades shred food waste into bits that can easily flow through the pipes and on to the local wastewater treatment plant. Most everyday food scraps, peels, and rinds can go down the garbage disposal with no problems.

How to Dispose Wisely - Garbage Disposal Tips & Tricks

Garbage disposals are not catch-alls for every food item in your home. While Bulldog Rooter can get you out of a sticky situation, avoid putting these items down the drain to prevent costly repairs.

  • Grease of Any Kind: Grease coats the blades of your disposal, increasing bacteria and decreasing effectiveness.
  • Potato Peelings: Keep your mashed potatoes on the table where they belong! The starches in potato peelings create a paste, clogging the blades. The same goes for pasta and rice.
  • Pumpkin Goop: Stringy, slimy fibers - also found in the membranes of egg shells and celery, asparagus, and the like - don’t break up well in a garbage disposal. They can wrap around the blade or dry in your drain, causing a clog.
  • Seeds & Pits: Your disposal’s blades could have a difficult time breaking down these tough items. Think about roasting your pumpkin seeds instead for a delicious holiday treat!
  • Turkey Bones: The remains of your turkey are likely too tough for your garbage disposal’s blades. If you can’t bear to throw them away, prepare for colder days ahead by simmering a bone broth soup .
  • Coffee Grounds: While these don’t affect the disposal immediately, they can gradually wear down the blades and clog your drain.

Keep Things Flowing

Follow these additional tips to increase the life and effectiveness of your garbage disposal.

  • Run cold water while operating your garbage disposal to help food down the drain.
  • Chop into chunks any larger pieces of food waste. Gradually disposing of food will avoid clogs.
  • Deodorize the natural way. Got extra rinds from creating orange zest for your holiday cookies ? Send them down the garbage disposal for a fresh scent.

If you find yourself in a bind despite your best laid-plans, contact Bulldog Rooter and we will happy to get your holiday plans back on track!

By Bulldog Rooter 11 Jan, 2018

Plumbing problems may arise all of the sudden, but they’re often the result of long-term issues or improper homemade repairs. How do you handle a plumbing emergency?

 1. Know your systems!

  • How many sinks, tubs, shower heads, and toilets do you have? Where’s your fridge? Washer? Dishwasher?
  • Keep an eye on the ceiling below and floor around any plumbing connections. You’ll spot discolorations or puddles quickly if you know your systems.

2.      Know where the main water shut-off valve is located!

  • The shut-off valve is generally somewhere in your utility closet.
  • Mark the shut-off valve with a ribbon or permanent marker so it is easy to locate in an emergency.

3.      Know how to turn off the hot water!

  • If you have a gas water heater, turn the switch to “pilot” position.
  • If you have an electric water heater, turn the circuit breaker to “off” position.

4.      Keep duct tape or pipe sealing tape in your all-purpose drawer!

  • It’s best to stop the flow of water as soon as possible. A little duct tape will go a long way in small emergencies.
  • Duct tape and pipe sealing tape are only  temporary fixes .

 Once you have the water down to a slow leak or small drip, you will likely need an expert like us to fix the problem sooner rather than later.

5.      Own a plunger … or two!

  • Different plungers are best for different clogs.
  • We don’t know about you, but we wouldn’t want to plunge our kitchen sinks with the same plunger we use on the toilet.

6.      Own a set of wrenches!      

  • A pair of medium sized slip joint pliers and adjustable wrenches will do for any basic fix.
  • Owning the right tool is one thing … getting to the issue culprit can be another story. Plumbing often involves a lot of know-how and a   comfort level with working in small spaces.

7.      Be leery of over-the-counter chemicals!

  • Chemicals designed for clogs are often designed for specific pipes and may not always work.
  • Some chemicals can even damage your plumbing or be the cause of an even larger clog.

8.      Do or do not, there is no try!

  • Go ahead and tackle that sink leak or toilet clog but know that complex problems can be made much worse if you try to repair them yourself.
  • When you’re in doubt and unsure of where to start or what to do, it’s wiser to ask an expert to step in.

Plumbers like us know what to do in a plumbing emergency. There are many things you can do to protect your home, but that doesn’t mean you’ll be emergency free. Know your systems, stay vigilant, and keep your trusted plumber on speed dial in case of a plumbing emergency.

Bulldog Rooter is Spokane’s premier plumbing company. Our plumbing contractors can fix all of your plumbing problems and drain problems, including clogged sinks, toilets, showers, disposals, and other drain clogging issues. Got a clog?

Call the dog !

By Bulldog Rooter 12 Dec, 2017

Most plumbing jobs require a professional due to the intricacies of the plumbing system. There are a few tasks that you might be able to take on yourself, provided you have the right tools and a basic understanding of the main plumbing parts and how they work. If you know nothing of plumbing, be sure to familiarize yourself with the following parts of your plumbing system before attempting any DIY work:

  1. Main Water Valve – The main water valve controls the flow of water into your home, and is the first thing you should shut off in case of an emergency. This is also the first indicator of leak or burst in your pipes.
  2. Shut-Off Valve – Before you start any of your own plumbing repairs, always turn off the water supply to the fixture or the main shutoff. A shut-off valve allows you to cut off the flow of water to certain plumbing fixtures while still supplying water to your other fixtures that need it (toilets, sinks, etc.). Shutting off the water is often the first step of many plumbing projects. Locating and turning off the appropriate water shut off valve is therefore, very important.
  3. Traps – The curved or S-shape section of pipe under a drain, traps are vital components of the drainage system. Water flows from the basin with enough force to go through the trap and out through the drainpipe, but enough water stays in the trap afterward to form a seal that prevents sewer gas from backing up into your home.
  4. Water Meter – A water meter is a device that allows you to see the overall health of your system. The primary purpose of a water meter is to measure the flow of water flowing into the home. If there is low pressure, a leak or defects in your plumbing system, this can all be identified through your water meter.
  5. Pressure Regulators – A water pressure regulator is an indicator of how much pressure there is in your water flow. This can be useful when there is too much pressure in your pipes which could cause damages to your pipes and to the home owners.

If DIY plumbing is not something you’re up for trying, don’t sweat it!

Bulldog Rooter  is Spokane’s premier plumbing company. Our plumbing contractors are able to fix all of your plumbing problems and drain problems, including clogged sinks, toilets, showers, disposals, and other drain clogging issues. Got a clog?  Call the dog !

By Bulldog Rooter 07 Nov, 2017

Since pipes are often located underground and in between walls, problems may linger without you even having any idea. This can be costly if you have any pipe leaks, which can result in several gallons of water lost. It can also take away from the performance of your home’s most essential plumbing fixtures, including showers and toilets.

Here are some of pipe repair warning signs:

  • Multiple Leaks: One leak may be easily repairable, but you should definitely call a plumbing service when you notice leaks coming from all angles of the system.  This may be indicative of something seriously wrong with your system.

  • Unexplained Cracks and Holes: Through the outdoor or basement pipes, you should be able to notice any damage like cracks or holes. Damage like this is much more common in older pipes.  Consider repiping services so you can save money on repair cost and future bigger costs.  

  • Corroded Pipes: You can often see from the outdoor and basement piping if there is any corrosion.  Corrosion is piping that appears rusty, looking like a plumbing probp to the point where it looks like a plumbing problem lem may be may break out at any moment.    

  • Low Water Pressure:  Times you may notice water pressure is when taking a shower or washing the dishes.  This could be a sign of pipe failure and that you should call for service as soon as possible.

  • Unexplained Dampness: Are you noticing your walls and floors becoming inexplicably damp? Usually a sign of a pipe problem, it should be fixed immediately.  If not fixed immediately, you risk facing high costs on water damage restoration services.

  • Contaminated Waters:  If you are noticing murkiness on a much more consistent basis, your water may be contaminated. Damaged, leaking pipes may allow contaminants to enter your water supply, putting the health of your entire family at risk.  It’s a sign that there might be a serious problem with your piping.

  • Outdated Pipes: If you have older pipes made from outdated materials, you may just be better off seeking a full-scale pipe replacement service. Any piping made of polybutylene, clay, or cast-iron will be much more likely to break apart and leave you with costly problems.

Bulldog Rooter  is Spokane’s premier plumbing company. Our plumbing contractors are able to fix all your plumbing problems and drain problems, including clogged sinks, toilets, showers, disposals, and other drain clogging issues. Call us at (503) 535-3447.  





By Bulldog Rooter 04 Oct, 2017

As summer draws to a close, it’s important to make sure our homes are prepared for the cold winter months ahead. Preparing your home can help prevent broken or frozen pipes, and save you money down the road.

  1. Outdoor Water: If you have an indoor shutoff valve for the outdoor water, make sure you shut off the valve to ensure the water drains out of the faucets. Also remember to drain and store hoses so they don’t have to weather the cold outside. Another aspect of outdoor water to keep in mind are sprinkler systems. If you use a sprinkler system, make sure you get them blown out before it freezes to prevent cracking and damage. This will keep your sprinkler running for years to come.

  1. Prevent Frozen Pipes: A great way to ensure your pipes don’t freeze is to check the foundation of your home around pipes to make sure there aren’t any cracks or gaps that would allow cold air to pass over the pipes. This helps keep the water a safe temperature, and prevent broken or cracked pipes down the road.

  1. Adjust Your Water Heater: To keep your water heater running efficiently in the winter, the temperature should be set to 120 degrees.This will allow it to perform its best and prevent burn injuries.

  1. Have a Plumber Inspect Your House: A licensed plumber from Bulldog Rooter will know where the most plumbing problems occur in a home during the winter. An inspection won’t take long, and they can also give you tips on how to keep your plumbing in tip top shape all year long.

  1. Don’t Procrastinate! Waiting to complete any of these tasks can create quite a headache, for you and your wallet, down the road. Prepare for the cold early, before you run into any problems.

If problems with your plumbing do occur this winter, or if you’d like some advice or help answering questions on preparing your plumbing for the cold, call the experienced professionals at Bulldog Rooter. We can help answer any questions, and we’d love to help you keep your plumbing in the best possible shape all year long. Give us a call today at 509-535-3447 or visit our  website .

By Bulldog Rooter 09 Aug, 2017

Trying to unclog your pesky garbage disposal? Bulldog Rooter has got you covered. We know the steps and the process of maintaining, unclogging, and repairing a garbage disposal. Bulldog Rooter is Spokane’s premier plumbing company. Bulldog Rooter experts are well-versed in fixing plumbing problems such as repairing main water and sewer lines, clogged drains in your shower, tub, toilet, or sink. We also do plumbing inspections on your pipes, water heaters, and water softening systems. Unclogging a disposal all begins with how much water you use.

Dropping forks or spoons down the disposal are usually the main culprit for the clogging of a garbage disposal. Along with larger objects, too much food and not enough water down the drain can lead to a serious clog. Never put a corn cob, artichokes, avocado pits, or bones down a disposal. However, sometimes food bits will sneak down the drain whether you want them to or not. After washing dishes, food will fall into the disposal.  Make sure you run the water for at least 30 seconds to really make sure everything is down and everything is flowing properly. A quick cleaning tip to live by:  every month put a lemon or ice cube in the drain and it will naturally clean it by removing grease  residue and giving that fresh lemon smell in return.

Bulldog Rooter is Spokane’s premier 24-hour emergency service plumbing company. Our expert plumbing contractors pride themselves on customer service. If it’s fixing a frozen pipe, burst pipe or leaky faucet, from the moment you call, you become Bulldog Rooter’s first priority. Bulldog Rooter experts are well versed in fixing plumbing problems such as repairing main water and sewer lines, clogged drains in your shower, tub, toilet, or sink. We also do plumbing inspections on your pipes, water heaters, and water softening systems. Plumbing remodels in your bathroom, kitchen and laundry room is another Bulldog Rooter specialty. For more information visit our website at  bulldogrooter.com  or give us a call at (509) 535-3447.

By Bulldog Rooter 06 Jul, 2017

Limescale is commonly found on faucets, tubs, and other appliances. It appears to be a chalky, off-white, mineral deposit called “Alkaline.” It’s found on surfaces where “hard water” has evaporated. The white residue left over is grey or white, leaving a chalky texture.

How to Remove Limescale

Although, it is possible to scrub off limescale, it’s the hardest way to do it. Products like, vinegar and lemon juice are recommended to soak the limescale with. The more expensive alternative is buying a brand name product specifically for limescale removal.

To clean a faucet, you will first, need to get a rag and soak it in either vinegar or lemon juice. White vinegar is the overall best choice. After you soak the rag, wrap it around the faucet where the limescale is. Wrapping a rubber band around the rag will help apply more pressure. Finally, after an hour of letting it sit, use a rag or sponge to gently clean.

Cleaning sinks and tubs involve spraying the vinegar or lemon juice on the limescale, then letting it sit for 30 minutes to an hour. After waiting said time, wash off with a sponge or rag.

Toilets are a little different when it comes to limescale removal. Once again, vinegar and lemon juice will be needed, but creating a mixture with borax is suggested. Borax is often used in detergents and dissolves in water, so it will make it a lot easier to clean your toilet. Let the mixture sit for 30 minutes and then you can begin scrubbing! Softening the limescale will make it easier to remove.

Our employees and contractors at Bulldog Rooter have many years of experience and take pride in our overall customer satisfaction. Bulldog Rooter is Spokane’s premier plumbing company and offer a variety of services. Our plumbing contractors are able to fix all your plumbing problems and drain problems, including clogged sinks, toilets, showers, disposals, and other drain clogging issues. We also install water softening systems and water heaters, and perform commercial jetting. 

For more information about Bulldog Rooter visit our website at  www.bulldogrooter.com/home  or give us a call at 509-535-3447.

By Bulldog Rooter 21 Jun, 2017

Trying to find the best way to clean your drain? Bulldog Rooter can keep your drain clean and unclogged! Bulldog Rooter is Spokane’s premier plumbing company. We can solve all your plumbing problems and drain unclogging needs!


Drain cleaning and unclogging all starts with, “what type of drain do I have?” If water is involved with your kitchen, bathroom, and laundry appliances, there has to be a drain! The first two things you should do to clean a clog is to use a liquid drain cleaner or a drain snake. Liquid drain cleaners are usually the first go-to product, but sometimes they just aren’t strong enough. The drain snake goes down, your drain and collects any built up of hair or objects stuck within the drain. The auger, according to acme tools, is your next best bet. Plumbers usually have one with them. The drain snake can’t get tough materials out like the auger can, because the auger is an electric powered drain cleaner and applies more force.                  


In the end, though, it’s important to know how to prevent drain clogging, because it all starts with you and what you put down your drains. And you can start by preventing clogs with your basic hygiene and grooming routines. Both the sink and shower drain have various kinds of hair catchers that you can buy. For showers, it’s important to brush your hair before showering to prevent loose hairs from going down the drain. Taking these simple steps will save you money and time.


Bulldog Rooter can unclog any drain with our many years of plumbing expertise. We provide multiple plumbing services. Our plumbing contractors are able to fix all your plumbing problems and drain problems, including clogged sinks, toilets, showers, disposals, and other drain clogging issues. We also install water softening systems and water heaters, and perform commercial jetting. 

For more information about how to unclog drains or Bulldog Rooter visit our website at


or give us a call at (509) 535-3447.

By Bulldog Rooter 23 May, 2017
Choosing the right improvement project for your home requires careful consideration. It should be balanced between personal preferences as well as how the project will impact the value of your home. This is especially important if you are considering selling in the future. Plumbing upgrades are not always on a homeowner’s radar when they consider value-added improvements. There are several things you can do that are excellent investments in your home.

It’s the little things
It is amazing what small upgrades will do to the value of your home as well as the aesthetics. Plumbing is no exception to this rule. Simple improvements like updated fixtures in the bath or a new faucet in your kitchen are cost effective and easy steps to take to increase value. Consider coordinating the fixtures throughout your home for a unified look and feel. Select from the same manufacturer and design family for a similar theme in every room.

Green homes are not a passing fad, rather they are the way consumers, contractors and manufacturers are working together to preserve our planet. Low-flow devices can be added to your shower heads and faucets to save both money and natural resources. Additionally, consider installing energy efficient, low-flush toilets in your bathroom. New designs use only 1.5 gallons of water per flush compared to older toilet models that use up to five gallons. Even the toilets from just seven years ago use up to 3.5 gallons.

Capital improvements
Older plumbing can create big expenses for homeowners. From leaks to clogs, there are a lot of things that can go wrong as it ages. One big sign that an upgrade is needed is discolored water. This can mean your pipe material is breaking down. Additionally, if your fixtures are lead or iron, it might be time to consider upgrading to PVC or copper. Lead pipes, in particular, are cause for concern as they can leach toxins into your water. Finally, low water pressure is another issue that can signal the need for an upgrade. While the culprit might be as simple as a clogged pipe, it could point to a leak somewhere in your plumbing system.

 If you have questions about plumbing upgrades, the team at Bulldog Rooter is available to talk. Contact us today with questions about the best way to update your plumbing.
By Bulldog Rooter 07 Apr, 2017
Spring cleaning, yard cleanup, and gardening after a long winter seem to mark this time of year. Spring also allows us to assess any damage our properties sustained during the harsher winter months and gets our homes in good shape so we can enjoy the coming summer. Including a quick plumbing inspection both indoors and out is easy to add to your spring maintenance list, and can catch any problems that surfaced over the winter before they become bigger repairs.
By Bulldog Rooter 10 Mar, 2017
Plumbing problems can cause questions and concerns if you are not sure what is standard. Similar to a doctor being asked about medical issues, as plumbing contractors, we are often asked questions about what is normal for plumbing systems.
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