When it comes to the disposal of biodegradable garbage, installing a garbage disposal in your kitchen sink might be the best home improvement.
Although they make everyday trash disposal easier, such systems require regular maintenance for optimal functionality. Taking care of them properly reduces plumbing costs and increases their durability. Read on for some do-it-yourself tips regarding maintenance and common garbage disposal issues.
1. Always Run Water
It is advisable run cold water before and during garbage disposal use. It helps the system function smoothly without jams or clogs. Cold water keeps the motor from heating up as it’s running and also solidifies fat, which is easier to grind. You should also flush leftover garbage with cold water for 15-20 seconds after you turn off the motor.
2. Don’t Overfill Garbage
A garbage disposal may have problems if it is stuffed beyond its limits. They can handle pretty large amounts of trash, but it’s best to dispose of smaller batches at a time. This may help lessen the stress put on the blades and prevent unnecessary wear. Never put bones, hard objects, or fibrous substances in the disposal system as they can damage or clog the blades.
3. Watch Your Hands!
Putting your hands in the garbage disposal for cleaning purposes may be risky, as the blades are sharp enough to cause injury even when the motor is off. Before cleaning, make sure you remove the electrical cord to ensure it stays off the whole time.
4. Keep Silverware Out
It is not uncommon for silverware to slip into the garbage disposal, but this can cause the blades to deteriorate and lose durability. It may also jam the system. As such, you should always keep silverware and other small utensils away from the bin. Remember, your garbage disposal is just a kitchen appliance; it is by no means an industrial grinder.
5. Check for Leaks
Examining the disposal for leaks is an important part of regular maintenance. Hard substances and chemical cleaners may reduce the efficacy of the rubber gasket and cause leaks. Over the time, the drain connections may also become weak and lead to leaks. Replacing the gasket or drain connections as needed may help increase the life of your unit.
For odor control, put a whole lemon in the grinder and turn the motor on. The mildly acidic nature of the lemon will remove grease deposits and eliminate odor.
2. Jamming or Clogging
Try a drain-cleaning product that is used to unclog garbage disposals. If this does not work, you may need to call a professional plumber to remove whatever is causing the blockage. As with most common issues, sometimes resetting the unit will help.
If the motor is turned on and making a strange noise, there is probably something blocking its ability to rotate. Turn off the motor and use a broom handle to rotate the blades manually. This should help to unclog the disposal.
You may notice leaks from the bottom of the unit or around the sink flange. If water leaks from the bottom, try replacing flywheel seal. If the leaks are near the flange you may need to replace it, particularly if it is old. Plumber’s putty may also fix the issue depending upon the nature of the leak.
Regular maintenance and upkeep can go a long way towards increasing the durability of your garbage disposal. System maintenance is something you can do yourself without spending money on a plumber. Best of all, it will keep your unit running as smoothly as possible.