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How-to Use a Garbage Disposal
Using a garbage disposal is pretty simple, although there are a few things you may not know.
- Run a stream of cool water into the sink before turning the disposal on.
Many people think that running hot water will make the disposal more effective, but you are doing the opposite. Any oils and grease need to be hardened using colder water in order to solidify and be broken apart.
- Turn the garbage disposal on before you place any food into it.
Some people only use the garbage disposal when their sink is already clogged. However, this can put excessive stress on the unit’s motor and lead to premature failure, so always be sure to turn the unit on before use.
- Gradually feed waste into the disposal. Putting too much matter into the garbage disposal at once can cause it to seize.
- Once you’ve finished, turn the disposal off and run water for a few seconds in order to flush the drain pipe clean. You’ll know it’s finished breaking up food waste when the sound of the disposal changes and it’s spinning freely.
What Should Never Go Down a Garbage Disposal?
You may think you can throw just about anything down a disposal and it will break it up. However, putting these items into the drain can break your unit and also cause clogs.
- Large Bones
- Excess Grease
- Fruit and Vegetable Skins
- Metals or Plastics
What Can Go Down a Garbage Disposal?
While there are a few things that shouldn’t go down your garbage disposal, there are many items that can. If you’re unsure, simply throw it into the trash so that you don’t risk breaking or damaging your garbage disposal. Here’s what can go down a disposal.
- Small food particles
- Small chicken and fish bones
- Small amounts of coffee grounds
- Select vegetable scraps
Signs You Need a Plumber to Repair or Replace Your Garbage Disposal
There are many do-it-yourselfers out there who try to fix everything in their home on their own. However, attempting to fix or replace a garbage disposal when you don’t know what you’re doing can be dangerous and ineffective. It can also be the cause of more severe plumbing problems. Here are the signs you should call an experienced plumber for garbage disposal repair or replacement.
There are many powerful units that don’t make a whole lot of sound. However, if it’s not making any noise, then you have a problem. You could have a damaged switch, the unit may be seized, or it could be entirely broken.
If water leaks from the disposal, then it’s likely that a seal needs to be replaced. However, it could also mean something more severe. A leak may be a sign that the rings installed around the sink’s drain hole are faulty or that plumber’s putty needs to be applied.
Garbage disposals can also get hole if a foreign object falls into it and cracks the casing. Holes and cracks are common in older units, and this situation requires a completely new system.
Jams occur when something is blocking the garbage disposal’s flywheel, causing it to seize. You will start hearing a low humming sound if you have a block. If you continue to run the unit, your motor could burn out, requiring a full replacement. You never want to stick your fingers or anything else down the disposal to find a blockage, especially if there is still power getting to it. Garbage disposals can be quite powerful and it’s not worth the safety risk.
Sometimes you can hear the motor and believe that your garbage disposal is working properly. However, some jams make the blades stick in one position so that they can’t spin freely, which can lead to stoppages of food trapped in the disposal. This can lead to prolonged, obnoxious odors. If this happens, you will need to have your unit replaced.
If you’re experiencing problems with your garbage disposal or if it’s not functioning properly, contact Alpine Plumbing today for prompt and efficient service. We’ll have your system up and running again as quickly as possible.