Why You Should Run Water With Your Garbage Disposal

Why You Should Run Water With Your Garbage Disposal
Share Article

Do you really need to run water with your garbage disposal? We were always told to, but never given a reason why or what it did! In this post we’ll explore why running water with a garbage disposal is necessary, whether you should run the disposal when the sink is full of water, and if it's safe to pour boiling water down the disposal.

You should always run water when using a garbage disposal. Running water helps to lubricate the disposal blades and flushes away the ground-up food particles, preventing clogs in your pipes and unpleasant odors from developing. Sepura users don’t have to run water with it on. Sepura uses an auger instead of blades, and food scraps go into an odor-proof compost bin instead of down your pipes!

Why run water with garbage disposal?

When you turn on the disposal without running water, you risk damaging the blades, causing clogs, and potentially even damaging the disposal unit itself. 

Sepura owners don’t need to worry about using water, Sepura will work with or without water to wash food scraps down. When turning it on with water running, Sepura will wait for the water to drain down your pipes before putting your food scraps into the compost bin to ensure water doesn’t end up in your bin.


unclogging a sink with a plunger


Running water with garbage disposals helps to flush the ground-up food waste through the disposal and down the drain. The water helps the food waste to move through the pipes more easily, preventing it from getting stuck and causing clogs. Without water, the food waste can become compacted in the disposal or the pipes, which can lead to blockages and unpleasant odors.

Sepura users can dispose of food down their drains without worrying about clogging their pipes. The food scraps they send down their drains ends up in the under-sink compost bin.

The disposal’s motor generates a lot of heat when using it, so running cool water with the garbage disposal also helps keep the motor cool. This will prevent overheating, which can damage disposals and shorten their lifespan.

Running water with the garbage disposal can also help clean it. As the food waste is ground up, small particles can get stuck on the blades or in the crevices of the disposal. Running water helps to wash away these particles and keep the disposal clean and in good working order.

It's important to note that you should always run cold water, rather than hot water when using your garbage disposal. Hot water can cause fats and oils to liquefy, which can then solidify further down the drain and cause clogs. Cold water helps to solidify fats and oils, which makes them easier to grind up and flush away.

To recap, running water with your garbage disposal is important for proper operation and maintenance of the unit. It helps to flush the ground-up food waste down the drain, cool down the motor, and clean the unit. Always remember to use cold water, rather than hot water, to prevent clogs and keep your disposal running smoothly.

Should you run the garbage disposal when the sink is full of water?

Running the garbage disposal when the sink is full of water is not recommended as it can cause the water and food scraps to back up into the sink. The reason for this is that the water in the sink can prevent the food scraps from being properly ground up by the garbage disposal.

If the sink is already full of water, running the garbage disposal can cause the water to splash out of the sink, creating a messy and potentially dangerous situation. In some cases, the water and food scraps can also back up into the dishwasher connected to the sink.


garbage disposal with sink full of water


To avoid these issues, it is best to turn on the garbage disposal before the sink becomes too full. This allows the water to flow freely through the drain, preventing any backup.

It's also important to note that you should not put large or hard food scraps into the garbage disposal, as they can damage the blades and cause a clog. Instead, it's recommended to cut larger scraps into smaller pieces before putting them in the disposal.

Sepura, on the other hand, can take care of any food scrap you’re able to fit down your sink.

Another tip is to run the garbage disposal with cold water rather than hot water. This helps to solidify any grease or oil that may be in the food scraps, making it easier for the disposal to grind them up.

Overall, it's best to use the garbage disposal with caution and avoid overloading it with too many food scraps at once. By following these tips, you can help ensure that your garbage disposal and sink drain work efficiently and without issue.

Is it OK to pour boiling water down a garbage disposal?

Boiling water is not recommended for use in a garbage disposal. While it may seem like a quick and easy way to clean the disposal, pouring boiling water down the drain can damage the unit and cause it to break down more quickly.

The high temperature of boiling water can cause the plastic components of the disposal to warp or melt. This can lead to leaks, clogs, and other issues that can be costly to repair. Additionally, the hot water can also damage the blades of the disposal, making them less effective at breaking down food waste over time.

To clean a garbage disposal, use a mixture of baking soda and vinegar:

  1. First, pour 1/2 cup of baking soda down the disposal
  2. Next, pour 1/2 cup of vinegar down the disposal
  3. Let the mixture sit for a few minutes, then run cold water and turn on the unit 

This will help to break down any food particles and deodorize the unit without damaging the components.

Sepura’s in-sink composter is self-cleaning, so families who use it don’t need to take the time to clean it. The compost bin component can easily be cleaned if necessary due to the non-stick surface.

garbage disposal alternative Sepura self cleaning feature

Another way to keep sink disposals clean and fresh is to grind ice cubes in the disposal. This helps to sharpen the blades and break down any residue that may be stuck to the walls of the unit. Adding citrus peels, such as lemon or orange, can also help to freshen up the disposal and eliminate any unwanted odors.

Overall, it’s not recommended to pour boiling water down a garbage disposal as it can damage the unit's components. Instead, use cold water when running the disposal and clean it regularly with a mixture of baking soda and vinegar or by grinding ice cubes and citrus peels. By following these tips, you can keep your garbage disposal in top condition and avoid costly repairs down the line.


Using a garbage disposal correctly requires running water with it to keep it running smoothly and prevent clogs and unpleasant odors. However, avoid running the disposal when the sink is full of water, and never pour boiling water down the disposal, as it can cause damage to the unit.