The garbage disposal is probably one of the most abused home appliances, which is why garbage disposal plumbing related problems are so common. Most people don’t realize that disposals are designed to handle a light amount of food residue. By light, we mean the food that has been rinsed off of cooking utensils and plates before you put them in the dishwasher.
Garbage Disposal Plumbing
If your garbage disposal makes an odd noise when you turn it on, or even hums normally, but won’t grind food residue properly, there might be an easy fix. If you want to fix it yourself, try the following.
- The most obvious thing to try first is to press the reset button which is typically found at the bottom of the garbage disposal.
- If resetting the disposal doesn’t work, turn the power switch off, and using a flashlight, look in the drain for a foreign object like a twist tie, utensil, etc. If you find something that shouldn’t be there, use pliers to remove it. Never stick your hand in the garbage disposal.
- If you have a hex key, a handy garbage disposal plumbing tool that comes with most disposals, use it to clear the jam. You’ll need to look for the slot which is typically located at the bottom of the disposer, insert the hex key and turn it back and forth to clear the jam.
How Can I Take Care of My Garbage Disposal?
- Don’t put large amounts of food into the disposal at once. If you do, you’re sure to clog it.
- As you grind waste, run a strong flow of cold water down the drain at the same time. This combination will solidify oils or grease so that they’ll be chopped up before they reach the trap.
- To prevent rust and corrosion, run your garbage disposal frequently. This also keeps all of the parts moving correctly and prevents food debris from accumulating.
- To avoid or get rid of bad odors which can occur because of food debris build up, grind up a few lemon, orange or lime rinds and ice cubes for a few seconds. While the cold water is running, you can also squirt a bit of liquid dish detergent into the disposal, rinsing away any additional debris.
What Not to Do
- Don’t grind hard, fibrous, or expandable foods. The disposal is no place for glass, garden container rocks, corn husks, celery, rice or pasta. Put these in your trash.
- Don’t force huge amounts of food down the garbage disposal. Instead, feed small amounts through at a time, along with cold running water.
- Avoid pouring grease, fat or oil into either your kitchen sink or garbage disposal. Grease accumulation can hamper your garbage disposal’s grinding capacity and clog drains.
- As mentioned earlier, one of the most important things not to do when it comes to your garbage disposal is to stick your hand in it, even if the power is off.
How Can I Tell if I Need Professional Help?
If you’ve tried all of these tips, but your garbage disposal is still not functioning correctly, the cause may be something other than just your disposal. Give us a call and we’ll diagnose the problem and get your disposal up and running in no time.
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