Frequently Asked Questions
I Want to Learn More About IMPERIAL Lofts
Can I just drive by Imperial Lofts and stop in without an appointment?
All meetings at Imperial Lofts are done by pre-arranged appointment. If you just show up, no one will be available to meet you without some advance coordination. Please contact our Property Manager to arrange a time that suits both of you.
How do I arrange a tour?
Tours are given by appointment only. Please contact our Property Manager.
How do I know which apartments are currently available for lease?
Just contact us and we would be happy to tell you! We will certainly show you the available apartments. Please also let us know what you are looking for and we can put you on a waiting list for an apartment that has an upcoming vacancy with those characteristics.
How long are your leases?
Lease terms are typically for 12 months. Sometimes we agree to shorter lease terms but always with a rent premium. We do not write leases less than 6 months in length.
How much is the security deposit?
The required security deposit typically equals the rent for 1 month, but this can increase when there are credit issues involved.
What utilities are included in the rent?
Trash, water/sewer, and basic high-speed Internet are all included in the rent. The tenant pays for power, any desired TV options, and any desired upgrades to the Internet provided.
What kind of appliances are provided?
We provide upscale stainless-steel appliances, including a refrigerator, dishwasher, microwave, oven/range, and garbage disposal. Every apartment has a washer/dryer in the unit.
How are the apartments heated?
The units are heated via an energy-efficient heat pump system (part of the electric bill); the apartments are designed to be energy-efficient.
What does the tenant-paid power bill typically cost?
Your power bill will depend on your usage; the apartments are designed to be energy-efficient. Generally speaking, plan on $50-$90/month as a likely power bill cost, depending on the season (and your usage). The common areas of Imperial Lofts are heated/cooled (our bill) and the apartments adjacent to yours are as well creating powerful insulation around your apartment that will aid in keeping your costs low.
What is there to do in the area?
Where do I do laundry?
Right in your apartment; every apartment has a washer/dryer in the unit.
Where can I go for a walk?
Imperial Lofts has approximately 4 acres of grounds, and the lovely and very walkable downtown of the Town of South Boston is a short stroll down the block.
What is your pet policy?
We pride ourselves in being very pet-friendly. In terms of dogs, only certain “bite breeds” are generally prohibited while most other dog breeds are warmly welcomed. Banned breeds include: Pit Bulls, Dobermans, Chows, Rottweilers, German Shepherds, Dalmatian, Huskies, Malamutes, and Presa Canarios. There is a one-time non-refundable pet fee (per pet), but we don’t have a monthly pet rent nor a separate pet deposit. There are other rules and regulations in the lease needing your thorough review, but some of the major lease restrictions are regarding number (2 pets per unit is the limit) and respective weights (70 lbs. per pet is generally the limit). We can send you lease language at any time so you can see all the restrictions and conditions that would apply. We have occasionally made case-by-case exceptions for the weight restriction and even the breed (if obedience training has been documented). We have an on-site dog run, and plenty of grounds for walking. Most of our tenants have pets, so there are plenty of four-legged friends to be made.
Where can I walk my dog?
We have approximately 4 acres of grounds where you can walk your dog (but always leashed). We also have a fenced dog run on the south side of the building. Many of our tenants have dogs, so there are plenty of four-legged friends to be made.
Tell me how to find the building address with my GPS
Our address is 700 Watkins Ave, South Boston, Virginia 24592. Click here to be linked to Google maps for directions.
Is Imperial Lofts a party environment?
Not at all, we like quiet living. While our tenants are fun and friendly folk, we cater to busy professionals that like to sleep peacefully at night. If you are seeking something more loud and crazy, please look elsewhere. We enforce this policy; those that disrupt our Quiet Hours will not be with us long!
Tell me more about the history of the building.
For information on the history of Imperial Lofts, click here.
Will I feel safe at Imperial Lofts?
We think you will feel very safe at Imperial Lofts. South Boston is a wonderfully charming and safe place. Apart from the community itself being safe, our mix of tenants (mainly professionals) should give you comfort. We also have access control at all of our exterior doors and cameras are continually covering the exterior entrances, hallways, and the grounds – not that we need that in South Boston! There can be no unauthorized entry through our exterior doors without this being video-recorded. South Boston/Halifax County is a very safe place, but – regardless – Imperial Lofts meets a high standard for resident security.
I Want to Live at IMPERIAL Lofts
Is there a fee to apply?
No. However, applicants must have a minimum combined gross monthly income of 3 times monthly rent; additional sources of verifiable income may be considered. Apply On-line Now!
How long does it take to apply?
Not long at all once you send us the Rental Application. We can usually have the required background check complete and a customized lease back to you for review within 24 hours.
How do I apply to rent at Imperial Lofts?
Please complete our On-line Rental Application – there is no fee to apply. Once the application is received, we will process your background check (sending you authorization instructions via email). Once that background check is done, we then send you a lease for your review. All this can happen in 24 hours if we work together on these steps.
Do you ask for references from past landlords?
Sometimes we do. If this happens in your case, we will send you a Landlord Reference Form and we ask that you have your current landlord fill it out and send it back to us via email (firstname.lastname@example.org). If you prefer for us to reach out to your landlord directly we are happy to do so, please provide us their contact telephone number and/or email address.
What if I have issues with my credit history?
We can usually work with folks who have credit issues. Frankly, a positive reference from a past landlord means a lot to us. If you have good landlord references but also some credit issues, we utilize a variety of lease options to overcome the credit issues. For example we could add a co-guarantor to the lease and/or require that rent for the first and last month is pre-paid upfront. We would also have you complete a credit card charge authorization form to serve as a back-up to cover any delinquent rents/charges. The point is – we can work together towards a solution that fits your circumstances. Please Contact Us for details.
My application is done – how do I authorize my credit check?
With your Rental Application in hand, we request your credit/criminal background check from a third-party background check provider. From that request you will receive an email from the background check firm requesting your authorization to allow us to run your credit/criminal background check. We cannot proceed with this credit/criminal background check until you follow the instructions on that email and authorize us to proceed with the credit/criminal background check. The email/instructions will state that the credit/criminal background check request is from the firm “Echelon Resources, Inc.”, which is simply our property management company (while “IMPERIAL LOFTS LLC” is the Landlord). If you cannot locate that email, please check your spam folder, as others have reported it often ends up there. If the email is not in your spam folder please let us know and we will resend it. Follow those instructions and we should be good to go!
I am preparing to move into IMPERIAL Lofts.
How do I set up the utilities?
- Don’t worry about water/sewer and trash service…we have that covered.
- For Internet service support or upgrades, please Contact Us between the hours of: 8:30-5:00 Monday-Friday. In addition, you may add Comcast TV, phone and private Internet services, as well as all of the Comcast Xfinity services.
- For electricity, please have the power account switched over to your name as of your lease start date. Please contact Dominion Power to switch the power account to your name by calling them at (866) 366-4357 or visiting www.dom.com. When you call them, please navigate the phone prompts to connect residential service in your name. Provide the operator your address: “700 Watkins Ave, [INSERT YOUR UNIT #], South Boston, VA 24592”. Please be aware that they need about one week notice to switch service, and they don’t connect on Saturday or Sunday.
How do I schedule my move-in appointment?
All meetings at Imperial Lofts are done by prearranged appointment. If you just show up, no one will be available to meet you without some advance coordination. To set up that move-in appointment – Please contact our Property Manager – well in advance – to arrange a mutually-acceptable time to meet.
What should happen on my move-in day?
On your move-in day at your pre-arranged appointment time, please meet the Property Manager in order to (1) obtain your unit keys, your entry access cards, and your mail-box keys; (2) receive a move-in packet with FAQs, tips, and other useful information; and (3) conduct a move-in inspection.
When should I do my move-in inspection?
It is best to do the move-in inspection the day you arrive. This is done together with the Property Manager, resulting in a completed Inspection Form as a record of any pre-existing issues. The purpose of this Inspection Form is to ensure that all aspects of your apartment are in good working condition. If for some reason this was not done on your move-in day, you have 3 days to submit this Inspection Form to be added into your file. Your completed Inspection Form ensures that no pre-existing damages will be deducted from your security deposit upon move out. If you did not complete this Inspection Form, please contact us right away.
What do you do with the Resident Information Form?
The information you provide on the Resident Information Form helps us keep accurate records and stay in contact with you, particularly when there is an emergency. Please notify us if your phone number, emergency contact, or license plate and/or vehicles change.
What do I do with my moving boxes?
When you move in, please break down all boxes before putting them into the dumpster. Do not put empty/whole boxes into the dumpster. Dumpster pick-up is (usually) early Friday morning, so feel free to put the boxes (broken down) outside the dumpster if it seems full (no trash though as that might attract rodents).
The exterior doors are locked – how do I get access to the inside of Imperial Lofts?
All exterior entrances have access control discouraging unauthorized entry. Authorized access is only granted via key fob, assigned access code, and/or being “buzzed in” from the callbox located at the western entrance. When you move in, the Property Manager will provide you – along with your apartment keys – an assigned access code and key fob. All building entrances and most of the exterior is continually being video-recorded by cameras. The South Boston community is a very safe place, but – regardless – Imperial Lofts meets a high standard for resident security.
I am preparing to move out of IMPERIAL Lofts.
Where do I leave my keys?
Ideally you would leave your unit keys, door access fob, mailbox keys, and storage room keys (if applicable) with the Property Manager during your move-out inspection. If that does not happen, leaving all keys in a labeled envelope in the Rent Drop Box is a good alternative.
Can I terminate my lease early?
Please understand that you are obligated to your lease through the end of your lease term. The only early terminations allowed per the lease are for active military members with valid/documented transfer orders. If that provision does not apply to you (documentation required), you are obligated to fulfill your lease obligations to the end of your lease term even if you move-out early
What if I really need to terminate my lease early due to a job transfer?
Please understand that you are contractually-obligated by your lease through the end of your lease term. The only early terminations allowed per the lease are for active military members with valid/documented transfer orders (documentation required). That being said, we understand that life circumstances change and at times we will negotiate the early termination of a lease on a case-by-case basis, at the sole discretion of the Landlord. Typically this involves (1) the forfeiture of the security deposit, (2) a negotiated lease-break penalty, and (3) ongoing liability for rent payments until we re-lease the apartment to another party. The tenant breaking the lease incurs a lease-break penalty and continues with the liability for rent payments until the replacement tenant is paying rent for the re-leased apartment.
Could you market my apartment to other prospective tenants?
If you want us to market your apartment to other prospective tenants, we will need (1) confirmation that you are in good standing with all your rent paid, (2) a firm date that you will be vacating the apartment (so the prospective tenants can make plans), (3) a mutually-acceptable lease-break penalty we have negotiated (this varies, but typically the penalty equals the rent for one month per each 3-month period remaining on your lease), and (4) a Lease Termination Agreement signed by you (but not yet fully-executed by us) that memorializes these terms but is conditional upon a new tenant moving in. Also, we can only market an occupied apartment if the current tenant keeps it in “show” condition.
Can my security deposit be used to pay my rent for the last month of my lease?
No, security deposits cannot be used as your rent payment for your last month per the lease.
Do I need to do a move-out inspection?
This is not a requirement, but it is a good idea to do so. This is ideally done together with the Property Manager, and an Inspection Form will be completed and retained as a record of any existing issues. You participating in this inspection process ensures that you are aware of any damages that might be deducted from your security deposit. The inspection will occur with or without you, but we encourage you to schedule a time with the Property Manager to do it together! Remember that any incoming tenant will conduct a corresponding inspection of the same apartment.
When will my security deposit be returned to me?
When you do your move-out inspection with the Property Manager, you will partially fill out a Security Deposit Refund Form where you will write down your forwarding address. Within 45 days of your lease end date we will mail you a copy of this Security Deposit Refund Form along with any applicable deposit refund. If your security deposit is not sufficient to cover any damages or other outstanding charges, you will be mailed an invoice for these things.
How can I ensure my full security deposit is refunded to me?
It is always our goal to refund the full amount of the security deposit back to the tenant, but that is conditional upon the tenant leaving the apartment in great condition (as well as having paid the rent on-time). The Move-Out Information Packet provided by the Property Manager will have some guidelines to help you through that process in a step-by-step manner.
What if I need to move-out early but will honor my lease through the lease term?
The apartment is yours through the end of the lease term. Whenever you choose to move-out is your decision, but please be sure to pay your rent on-time and maintain the power account in your name through the end of the lease term.
What if you lease my vacated apartment to another person before the end of my lease term?
We can only do this with your consent of course, as the apartment is yours through your lease term so long as we have not already mutually-agreed to terminate the lease early (provided you are in good standing with rents paid, etc.). In the odd circumstance that we have a tenant move-in early to your apartment after you’ve vacated but before your lease term is up (it happens rarely), we are happy to refund to you the rent for the days the apartment (during your lease term) was occupied by another tenant.
IMPERIAL Lofts Resident Questions.
What happens if I do not pay my rent?
We will send you an email reminder and try to work with you to get that oversight corrected promptly. Please understand that we do not tolerate tenants that do not pay rent. If our friendliness does not result in the overdue rent and associated fees being promptly paid, we will quickly issue a “Pay Or Quit” notice to you that gives you five days to pay the overdue rent and associated late fee. If payment is still overdue and you are still in the apartment, then we proceed by filing a “Summons for Unlawful Detainer” with the General District Court requesting the judge to award us both possession of the apartment and a judgment against you for the overdue rent, fees, court costs, attorney fees and any other relevant fees (at the time of the court date). If you have abandoned the apartment, we will proceed to the General District Court to file a “Warrant in Debt” requesting a judgment against you for the overdue rent, fees, court costs, attorney fees and any other relevant fees (at the time of the court date). Judgments awarded are pursued for collection – we are very serious about getting rent paid. While we do go through all the above when necessary, it is a big pain for all parties, so how about we just get the rent paid on-time, OK?
How do I contact the Property Manager?
Who cleans up the messes my pet leaves?
You do! If you have a pet, please clean up after it and comply with all applicable rules. Please do not leave pet messes anywhere on the property, including the grounds and the dog-run. If you are found not picking up after your pet, you will face a $100 fine for the first offense. Subsequent offenses will result in a $150 fine for each incident. Repeated violations will be cause for termination of your lease.
Where do I direct questions, concerns, and/or suggestions?
We would love to hear from you. Please contact our Property Manager or Landlord directly to communicate your questions, concerns, and/or suggestions. We can only correct what we know about so please make us aware of things that are bothering you. Our goal is to have a clean, safe, pleasant community for all of our tenants and their guests. If we fall short of that standard, please let us know what we can do better. We want to impress you with our responsiveness to any issue.
There is an unknown party wanting to access the building – what do I do?
Please do not allow unauthorized visitors to enter the building and please report any suspicious activity immediately.
How do I refer other prospective tenants to Imperial Lofts?
The biggest compliment we can receive is when a tenant refers a friend to live with us. We hope you enjoy your new apartment home, and we would love to have your friends stay with us as well! Please refer other potential tenants to us, as we will pay you $250 for any such referral that executes a 12-month, full-rent lease. Please contact our Property Manager or the Landlord directly with such referrals and we will demonstrate our appreciation! You may receive cash or a rent credit for your next month – your choice. Thanks!
Do I need renters insurance?
We highly recommend that all tenants carry renters insurance. It is inexpensive, and the Landlord/Owner insurance policies will not cover your belongings should something unfortunate happen.
Will my lease renew automatically?
Yes, unless you give us notice that you will not be renewing your lease at least sixty days prior to the end of your lease term, your lease will renew automatically for another 12 months.
How do I let my visitors into Imperial Lofts?
Authorized access is only granted via keyfob, assigned access code, and/or being “buzzed in” from the callbox location. You should never give your keyfob nor assigned access code to your visitors. Your visitors should use one of the two callboxes to contact you (the callboxes will be programmed to call your number of choice), and you can “buzz” them in by pressing “9” on your phone keypad after they call you from the callbox. All exterior entrances have access control discouraging unauthorized entry, and all exterior entrances are being continually video-recorded by cameras. South Boston is a very safe place, but – regardless – Imperial Lofts meets a high standard for resident security.
Are there cameras at the entrances and in the hallways at Imperial Lofts?
Yes, there are cameras continually covering the exterior entrances, hallways, and the grounds at Imperial Lofts. Authorized access is only granted via keyfob, assigned access code, and/or being “buzzed in” from the callbox location. All exterior entrances are being continually video-recorded by cameras. South Boston is a very safe place, but – regardless – Imperial Lofts meets a high standard for resident security.
What if I am being disturbed by after-hours noise or if there are security concerns?
If you deem the situation to be serious, please dial 911. If the problem is not serious enough to involve the police, please still tell the Property Manager about it in detail, so we can address the issue properly with the offending party. Please contact our Property Manager and provide the details about the incident (including day and time) so we can investigate.
What if I locked myself out of my apartment?
If you lock yourself out of your apartment, you may call 434-362-0116 to see if a member of our staff is able to assist you. There is a $75 charge for this service after hours, payable directly to the staff member who responds. After-hours lockout service is a courtesy provided by our individual staff members. If a staff member is not available to assist, you will need to call a private locksmith at your own expense.
How do I contact you about an issue that concerns me?
We always want to hear from you if you have concerns, complaints, or criticisms (we welcome compliments too!). In the case of a true emergency after hours, please call 434-362-0116, and leave a detailed message. In your message, please clearly state (1) your name, (2) your apartment number, (3) your telephone number, and (4) a detailed description of the problem. Feel free to contact the Property Manager as well. Once you have contacted us, a team member will contact you ASAP. At that time, they will make arrangements to meet you at your apartment to resolve the problem.
What do I do if the weather outside is extreme and I have no heat/AC in my apartment?
This is considered an emergency when outside temperatures drop below 66 degrees F (for heat) or above 80 degrees F (for A/C), and when the unit is not working due to mechanical malfunction. If your electricity is shut off for non-payment of your bill, call Dominion Power to re-establish service.
What do I do if there is no electricity in my apartment?
Many electrical issues can be solved by simply flipping the switches in your breaker box. Please locate your breaker box (grey) and move the “OFF” circuit breaker(s) from left to right. If a wall switch or outlet begins to smoke or smell like it is burning, turn off the switch or unplug items from the outlet and turn off the circuit breaker, then report the problem during normal business hours by calling 434-362-0116. Partial outages do not constitute as an emergency. An electrical outage may be considered an emergency ONLY if there is no electricity throughout the unit AND:
- You have called Dominion Power and Dominion Power is not at fault.
- You have checked all the circuit breakers by flipping them hard to the OFF position and then hard to the ON position.
- You have reset any and all GFI breakers. These are the little buttons sometimes found on outlets in bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry rooms.
What do I do if there is a water leak in my apartment?
Call 434-362-0116 immediately if there is any risk of damage to possessions or the property and you cannot contain the leak. Turn off the water valve to the broken pipe or to the exterior water main – if you can locate it – until a team member arrives. Do everything within your power to contain any leaking or flooding and contact the office immediately 434-830-1580.
What do I do if there is a total stoppage of the plumbing drain system?
If your plumbing drain system ceases to work, none of your sinks, tubs or toilets will function properly. The stoppage of one toilet or drain when other bathrooms are functional is not an emergency. Do everything within your power to contain any leaking or flooding and contact the office immediately 434-830-1580.
What do I do if I see a broken entrance door lock or broken window?
How do I report a maintenance issue?
Please contact our Property Manager. The Property Manager is your first point of contact for needs or concerns and will coordinate with the maintenance and cleaning teams.
My dishwasher doesn’t work, what do I do?
New construction requires a power shut-off switch on the wall (it is usually next to the switch that operates your sink disposal). Make sure that it is in the ‘on’ position to provide power to your dishwasher…it may be as simple as that. If not, let us know and we will come by to check it out.
I have a light bulb that is out, what do I do?
Tenants are responsible for purchasing their own light bulbs and batteries. As a courtesy, we will change out any non-working bulbs or batteries for the first 14 days of the lease. Please notify us if you require this service, or if you have trouble accessing the lightbulb location – we are happy to help.
What if there is no hot water in my apartment?
Please contact our Property Manager ASAP so we can investigate the issue. This may be considered an emergency ONLY if there has been no hot water for an extended period of time (days, not hours). In the event of no hot water over the weekend and after business hours, we may be unable to repair the problem in as timely a manner as we would like, so be resourceful in the meantime.
What if my toilet is clogged up?
Please contact our Property Manager ASAP so we can investigate. This may be considered an emergency only if there is only one toilet in the unit and you have made every effort, including plunging, to clear the stoppage yourself.
What should (and should not) be flushed down the toilet?
Please take care to only flush standard/biodegradable toilet paper in the toilets. Anything else flushed could cause major sewer line issues.
What type of detergent should I use in the clothes washer?
The type of detergent in these washers is very important. All the apartments have “high-efficiency washers”. Such washers require the use of a high-efficiency or “HE” low-suds detergent. Using normal detergent (those detergents not specified as “HE” or “low-suds” detergent) could result in excessive suds and detergent not rinsing from the clothes. Using regular detergent will cause problems with this type of high efficiency washer as there are sophisticated sensors that require the use of low suds detergent specifically made for them to operate at peak performance.
How do I troubleshoot problems with the washer and dryer?
- Rattling and clanking noise – Check the washer/dryer to see if there are foreign objects present such as coins. If noise continues after washer is restarted and after you’ve removed all visible foreign objects, additional objects may be in the pump. Call the Property Manager for it to be serviced.
- Squealing sound or hot rubber odor – Caused by overloading. Stop the washer and reduce the load.
- Thumping sound – Heavy loads may produce this sound. Stop the washer and reduce the load. If the sound continues, the washer might be out of balance. Please call the Property Manager for it to be serviced.
- Washer will not spin – The lid may not be completely closed. Close the lid, but take care so that safety lid lock is not be broken.
- Water leaks – Call the Property Manager for it to be serviced.
- No water/No activity – Check to see if the drain pipe is pushed too far into the trap, as such a condition forms a siphon suction which fools the water-cut-off sensors.
- Removing items when the cycle is completed – For your safety, the lid locks when the tub is spinning. It will remain locked for 2-3 minutes after the tub stops spinning. To open the lid during the spin push the cycle selector knob and wait about 2-3 minutes for the lid lock to release. Do not force open a locked lid – a $200 fee will be charged for any broken lids.
- Still not working? – If the washer or dryer is still not running, please contact our Property Manager for it to be serviced.
How do I get my refrigerator to work?
If your refrigerator does not run – first confirm that the plug is tightly pushed into electrical outlet, then check the circuit breaker. Keep in mind that the refrigerator may be in a defrost cycle so wait 20 minutes and check again. If it is still not running, please contact our Property Manager for it to be serviced.
How do I get my stove/oven to work?
If your entire stove/oven does not operate, the problem could be caused by the time of day not being set. The time of day must first be set in order to operate the oven. Also, please confirm that the cord/plug is plugged correctly into outlet. If just the oven does not operate please confirm that the oven controls are set properly for the desired cooking feature.
How do I get my dishwasher to operate properly?
New construction requires a power shut-off switch on wall (it is usually located next to the switch that operates your sink disposal). Make sure that it is in the “ON” position to provide power to your dishwasher…it may be as simple as that. If not, please contact our Property Manager for it to be serviced. Also, please note that/check for:
- The top rack is designed for cups, glasses, small plates, saucers and bowls.
- The bottom rack for plates, pans, casseroles.
- Take care to load sharp items (knives, skewers, etc.) pointing down.
- Be sure nothing protrudes through bottom of basket or rack to block the spray arm.
- Run the garbage disposal before running a dishwasher cycle.
- If dishwasher shows signs of any leaks, please contact our Property Manager for it to be serviced.
How do I keep my garbage disposal operating properly?
- Keep your garbage disposal clean. Pour a little dish soap inside and let the garbage disposal run for a minute or so with some cold water after washing dishes.
- Run your garbage disposal regularly. Frequent use prevents rust and corrosion, assures that all parts stay moving and prevents obstructions from accumulating.
- Grind food waste with a strong flow of cold water. Why cold water? It will cause any grease or oils that may get into the unit to solidify, so that they can be chopped up before reaching the trap.
- Grind certain hard materials such as small chicken and fish bones, egg shells, small fruit pits, etc. A scouring action is created by these particles inside the grind chamber that cleans the garbage disposal walls.
- Grind peelings from citrus fruits such as lemons or oranges to freshen up smells.
- Cut large items into smaller pieces. Put them into the garbage disposal one at a time instead of trying to shove a large amount in all at once.
What should I never put in my garbage disposal?
Do not put anything in the garbage disposal that is not biodegradable food. A garbage disposal is not a trash can; it is for food scraps only. Nonfood items can damage both blades and the motor. When in doubt, throw it out!
- Do not grind glass, plastic, metal or even paper.
- Do not pour grease, oil or fat into your garbage disposal or drain. Grease will slowly accumulate and impede the grinding ability of your garbage disposal as well as clog drains.
- Do not use hot water when grinding food waste. Hot water will cause grease to liquefy and accumulate, causing drains to clog.
- Do not grind extremely fibrous material like corn husks, celery stalks, onion skins, and artichokes. These fibers can tangle and jam the garbage disposal motor and block drains.
- Do not turn off the motor or water until grinding is completed. When grinding is complete, turn off the garbage disposal first. Let water continue to run for at least 15 seconds, flushing out any remaining particles. Then turn off water.
Do not put too many potato peels down the garbage disposal. The starches in the potatoes will turn into a thick paste and may cause blades to stick.
- Do not put large amounts of food down the garbage disposal. Feed food into the garbage disposal a little at a time with the cold water running; this will help the food scraps flow down freely through the drain pipes and plumbing.
Do not put expandable foods into your garbage disposal. Foods like pasta and rice expand when you add water in a pot; they do the same thing once inside your pipes or garbage disposal and are the cause of many jams and clogs.
Do not grind large animal bones (beef, pork etc.).
- Avoid putting coffee grounds down the garbage disposal. They will not harm the garbage disposal and they will actually help eliminate odors. However, they can accumulate in drains and pipes, causing clogs.
- Do not use harsh chemicals like bleach or drain cleaners. They can damage blades and pipes. Borax is a natural sink cleaner and sanitizer that effectively works on odor-causing mold and mildew that accumulates in garbage disposals.