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Tips on How to Keep Your Garbage Disposal Running Flawlessly

Tips on How to Keep Your Garbage Disposal Running Flawlessly

Many of us would agree that we would not want to live without our garbage disposal. This household favorite was invented in 1927 and has made such a difference in how we get rid of our food waste. Your garbage disposal will get clogged. Depending on what has actually caused the clog, you’ll most likely need to call a plumber to fix the problem or even replace your unit.  Thankfully, there are a few ways you can keep your garbage disposal in good running order to avoid this:

Fibrous Foods Do Not Go Down the Garbage Disposal

Food is food, right? Not when it comes to your disposal. Celery, potato peels, banana peels are all full of fibrous material. If you put these down the garbage disposal, they can shut down your system.

Garbage disposal blades are meant to chop, so these fiber filled foods can get tangled up in the blades. This means the blades can stop turning and then the motor starts straining. At that point it might just break entirely and require a new unit. All you have to do to keep this from happening is just throw those fibrous items in the trash.

Glass Sharpen the Blades? That’s a Bad Rumor!

Do not use glass to sharpen the blades of your disposal. This rumor is not a true one and it will lead to all kinds of plumbing woes. Instead of sharpening the blades, the glass will actually dull them. Once the glass has been broken up, where does it go? It goes down your pipes and can cause all kinds of damage – trapping food and waste in your pipes and making clogs that can be almost impossible to remove.

If you want to send something down your garbage disposal that might do some good, try ice cubes and a few chunks of lemon peel. Those two things combined can help clean off the blades and remove some lingering smells.

The Disposal Needs Running Water

We all mistakenly hit the disposal switch instead of the light switch from time to time. Doing this won’t cause any long-term harm, but if you try to run your garbage disposal without running the water, you are eventually going to need a new unit.

A garbage disposal that is run without water doesn’t actually do anything with the food waste. It will just become a mass that seizes up the unit. Please run the water every single time you use your garbage disposal and keep it running for a few moments after you turn the unit off. This will ensure that Without a steady stream of water, the food waste will just sit there and gum up the mechanism. Get in the habit of running the tap over the disposal every time you turn it on. When you turn the disposal off, let the water run for about 10 seconds. This will flush any remaining food particles off the blades and down the drain. 

A simple piece of colored tape put on either the light switch or the garbage disposal switch can help you remember which one to choose!

Drain Cleaners are Not for the Disposal

When you think about how drain cleaners work – caustic chemical working to break down food and other waste products – it should be clear that these chemicals can damage the various electrical and mechanical components in your garbage disposal.

Call a plumber if you have a clog that your garbage disposal is not taking care of. You will have a much better chance of needing just a repair instead of a replacement. 

A Silent Garbage Disposal Isn’t Necessarily a Broken One

You flip the switch and nothing happens. That’s such a bad feeling. Sometimes it’s a clog, but there are other reasons for this to happen.

All modern garbage disposals have a reset button. This button is activated any time your disposal isn’t working properly. The button is normally located on the bottom of the disposal. Push the button and flip the switch again. Hopefully, you’re back in business. If your garbage disposal still won’t run, it’s time to call a plumber.

Garbage Disposals Work Best with Small Items

A garbage disposal is at it’s best when the blades can run at full speed. In order for this to happen, you need to put smaller bits of food down and not an entire steak or large vegetable. Break up large items before you send them down the chute.

For the greatest outcomes, break down the items until they’re roughly the size of an ice cube. Then, send that food waste down the disposal. After a few seconds, add a little more. Try to avoid overfilling the disposal whenever possible since this might slow down the process and result in a jam in the mechanism. And remember to keep that water flowing while you run it!

Professional Service is Key

Regular maintenance of your garbage disposal can keep it in excellent working order. However, this should always be completed by a professional plumber. They will be able to check the condition of the unit and keep it in tip top shape.  Scheduling regular maintenance can keep you from having the headache of a replacement.

If you follow these guidelines, your garbage disposal should last a long time. But if it doesn’t, or the machine makes odd sounds, contact us to schedule an appointment. We’ll make sure your disposal runs smoothly every time you use it.

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