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6 Tips for Getting to know your Garbage Disposal

Friday, March 6, 2015 - 1:06pm

Do you have a garbage disposal? If you do, I’m sure it’s been jammed or clogged at some point. Here’s a few tips to keep your garbage disposal running well. Don’t forget to make sure that your garbage disposal is either unplugged or switched off before trying to service it in any way.

1) It’s NOT a Trash Can! While your disposal is great for grinding up small bits of leftovers, it’s not made for metal, plastic, or anything harder than household foods. Don’t toss any bones in there, and avoid pouring chemicals down the drain.

2) Have the proper tools. Most garbage disposals have a hole underneath that will allow you to handcrank it free if it’s been jammed. If you’ve got an 1/4 inch alan key or a garbage disposal tool, this would be the time to bring it out. If you don’t have one, you can find either of them at a home improvement store, and of course, the alan key will have a million other uses. If you flip the switch of your disposal and it just hums, it probably just needs to be freed up.

3) Sharpen After time and constant wear and tear, the teeth of your disposal begin to dull. If your garbage disposal jams a lot, it might be because of the teeth. Quick tip? Run a filter full of coffee grinds through your disposal. It might sound awful, but it’ll do the job! Rinse it with cold water and make sure to run your disposal until the grinds are completely dissolved. Another idea? fill it up with ice and run a dry cycle once a month to keep the teeth sharp.

4) Don’t forget the water! You need to run water before, during, and after using your garbage disposal. Running water lubricates the teeth to ease the grinding and also helps to push the food down the drain. Cold water is best because the hot water can melt different substances off your food which will coat the lining of your pipes.

5) Don’t Put Expandable Foods Down the Drain. This is a no brainer to most people, but you’d be surprised! I’m sure you know what happens when you put things like spaghetti and rice in water? They expand, which means that they’ll do the same thing inside your pipes and your garbage disposal. You should also avoid putting grease or fats down the drain because they can coat the inside of your pipes.

6) What’s the Rush? Make sure to feed your garbage disposal only little bits of food at a time. Don’t fill it up and then turn it on, like we mentioned before, make sure to have the water running! Another quick tip, don’t leave food sitting in the garbage disposal. Acid from the food we eat can cause corrosion inside your unit – and of course, don’t forget to rinse it out when you’re done!

If you are good to your disposal, it will be good to you. If you take care of it, it should last you at least five years. If you have an issue that’s not covered above, it could be a serious problem that’s best left to your professional plumber.

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