Caring for Your Garbage Disposal

If you are like most people, you don’t give much thought to your garbage disposal. You flip on the switch when you finish doing the dishes, let it do its job on the food particles, and then flip it off again. This can go on for years without any problems – or you could flip that switch tomorrow and hear a horrible noise, or worse, no noise at all. Just like any appliance, your garbage disposal does need care and maintenance to keep it working properly.

First, make sure you and all your family are using the garbage disposal correctly. Never put anything down the drain that is not biodegradable; also avoid hard or fibrous food items like egg shells or peelings. Before you use the disposal, run cold water for a few seconds before you flip the switch. Then let it grind the food with the water still running. Once it you hear the chopping stop, flip off the disposal and let the water flush any remains down the drain.

To keep your disposal clean and odor free, run hot, soapy water down the drain once a day. A weekly cleaning can also be done. One method is to freeze vinegar or lemon juice in ice cube trays. Grind these through your disposal to remove any food particles and to disinfect for odor control.

Even with good care, your garbage disposal can jam, become clogged or need replacement. When this happens, call in a plumber to handle the repair. Since your disposal is connected to your plumbing, you want to ensure the job is done right the first time and without any damage to your vital kitchen sink.

Posted on behalf of:
Bynum & Sons Plumbing, Inc.
2120 McDaniels Bridge Rd SW
Lilburn, GA 30047
(770) 736-8283

Garbage Disposal Maintenance Tips

Your garbage disposal is the workhorse of your kitchen sink, grinding food particles down to make them easier to flush through your plumbing. However, they are not meant to be a blender that liquefies everything you put down the drain. To ensure your garbage disposal doesn’t get overloaded, there are a few maintenance tips to follow that will extend the life of your disposal and keep plumbing problems at bay.

  • Clean your disposal. Food can get trapped in your garbage disposal and leave a foul odor after a few days. Clean your disposal weekly by either grinding up a cup of rock salt and ice cubes, or just use ice cubes made from vinegar. Chopped up lemons with warm water can also remove odors.
  • Keep these items out of the disposal. Fiber-heavy fruits and vegetable like banana peels, celery, potato skins and corn husks should not go down the disposal. Also keep other tough items like egg shells and coffee grounds out of the disposal, along with fats, to avoid clogged pipes.
  • Be careful when trying to unclog your disposal. If your disposal become entwined with fibers or clogged, turn the unit off and use pliers or tongs to dislodge items. Never use your fingers or try to unclog the unit with drain cleaner.

Keep in mind that the garbage disposal does not stop food from clogging drains, it only curtails it. Fats can congeal both in the disposal and in your pipes, causing major drain blockages. Also, even food that goes through the disposal can become lodged in your pipes. When you have a garbage disposal or kitchen drain that is clogged beyond your ability, call a professional plumber for assistance.

Posted on behalf of:
Bynum & Sons Plumbing, Inc.
2120 McDaniels Bridge Rd SW
Lilburn, GA 30047
(770) 736-8283

Are You Using Your Garbage Disposal Correctly?

Using a garbage disposal seems pretty straight forward; put food down the drain, turn on the grinder and presto, everything goes down the drain. But is that really all there is to it? Not if you want to keep your plumbing free of clogs and extend the life of your garbage disposal. There are correct ways to use a garbage disposal that will protect your plumbing and help maintain your disposal. Here are a few tips:

  • Keep fibrous items out of the disposal. Most vegetable and fruit peelings should be thrown away or put into your compost, not put down the drain. Not only are they tough on your garbage disposal, they don’t breakdown and can cause large clogs in your plumbing.
  • Coffee grounds shouldn’t be put down the drain. Even though coffee is already ‘ground’ it is still a hard bean that can get stuck in the gears of your disposal and cling to fat in your pipes. Don’t dump coffee grounds in your kitchen sink!
  • Keep your disposal clean. If your garbage disposal gets food trapped in the blades, the rotting smell can stink up your whole kitchen. Carefully wipe the blades clean with a cloth, obviously with the disposal completely off. Chopping up a few small ice cubes can also help remove food particles.

Just because it is called a ‘garbage’ disposal, doesn’t really mean garbage should be put down your drain. This device is just meant for pulverizing soft food into smaller pieces to ensure it can go down the drain without clogging your plumbing. Keep all items like egg shells, nuts, bones and other hard materials out of your disposal to reduce wear and clogs in your plumbing.

Is your garbage disposal not working right or making a strange sound? Call your local plumber to have them inspect your device and see if it is time for a new disposal.

Posted on behalf of:
Seagraves Plumbing Sewer & Septic
4980 Plant Atkinson Rd SE
Smyrna, GA 30080
(494) 792-2221

Caring for Your Garbage Disposal

Anyone who has a garbage disposal knows how handy these little mechanisms can be for homeowners. They make cleaning up after a meal so much easier, grinding up the little pieces of food that get left behind. While they are nifty devices, they also need special care to keep them working properly. Overworking them or not maintaining them will cause garbage disposals to breakdown, something no one wants in the middle of the holiday season.

3 Ways to Care for Your Garbage Disposal

There are a few ways to care for your disposal to keep it working properly. Most of garbage disposal problems are caused by operator error, usually overworking the motor until it gets clogged or burns out. Here are three rules to keep in mind when it comes to keeping your garbage disposal in working order.

  1. Be careful what you put into your disposal. Garbage disposal are not meant to handle all types of garbage. No non-food substances should ever be put into the disposal, and even the acceptable types of food come with some limitations. Keep hard foods like fruit peels, coffee grounds and tough or fibrous vegetables out of your disposal.
  2. Always run water when using the disposal. If the disposal is on, your cold water should be running, also. Always run cold, not hot, water while running your garbage disposal to flush items down the drain.
  3. Keep it clean. You will need to clean out your disposal occasionally. Make sure the device is off and carefully wipe the blades and seals with a thick cloth. You can also run ice cubes through the disposal with tiny pieces of citrus peel to clean the blades and get rid of odors.

Once you are used to living with a disposal, you’ll want a malfunctioning disposal repaired quickly. If your garbage disposal does jam or stop working, call in your local plumber. They may be able to fix the problem or can install a new device.

Posted on behalf of:
Kiddco Plumbing Inc
Sterling, VA
(703) 435-4441

Garbage Disposal Repair

One of the most popular or all household appliances is the garbage disposer, which is found in almost every home in America.  Garbage disposers are designed to grind up scrap food into small pieces, where it then flows into the sewer system.  One of the advantages of the system is the ability to quickly dispose of organic material, without leaving it in the trash, where it can attract bugs, rodents and other pests.  While garbage disposals are very reliable, they can require periodic repair in order for them to perform as designed. 

Typically garbage disposer repairs are related to either a power issue or something stuck inside the unit. In many cases, electrical problems are related to something being stuck in the disposer, which trips either the main breaker supplying power to the appliance or the breaker within the disposal itself.  In cases where the electrical issue is related to a blockage, the blockage must be removed.  If the disposer is not blocked, the cause of the electrical issue must be determined and corrected before attempting to use the disposer. 

When something is stuck in the disposal it is critical that the item be safely removed prior to the disposer being used again.  Methods of removal vary, but do not include placing your hand in the disposal!   While sometimes it is possible to break free the disposal using the disposal wrench, in many cases it is necessary to remove the disposal from the sink and partially disassemble the disposer itself to safely remove the blockage.

Posted on behalf of Find Local Plumber

Troubleshooting Garbage Disposal Problems

You may not realize just how much you depend on your garbage disposal until it stops working. It’s very convenient to be able to scrape leftover food off plates and pans right down your drain, plus it disposes of food waste which can begin to smell or attract pests to your property. The two most common issues which need troubleshooting in disposals are jams and power issues.

Disposal Does Not Turn On

If you flip the switch for your disposal and you hear nothing, you most likely have either a power or motor failure. The first and easiest area to check is the power. It can often be as simple as the mechanism becoming overloaded by a power surge or other electrical issue. Most disposals have a reset button on the bottom of the device; push in the red button, then try the switch again. If nothing happens, you may have a motor failure or other electrical problem. It is time to call in a plumber. 

Disposal Is Jammed

While a garbage disposal can chop up many food scrap items, there are also items which can jam the blades and cause the device to malfunction. Bones, seeds and non-food items are common causes of jammed blades, which can quickly burn up the motor if not fixed. If you turn on the disposal and it makes a loud hum, turn it off immediately. It is most likely jammed or clogged. The sharp blades can be dangerous, so call in an experienced plumber to address the issue. The best solution is prevention; keep bones, seeds, high fiber peels and non-food foreign objects out of your disposal.

Still not sure what the problem is with your garbage disposal? Call your local plumber to inspect and repair any complicated disposal issues.

Posted on behalf of Metro Septic and Plumbing

Garbage Disposal Repairs

Garbage disposals are found in almost home in the United States, as well as most restaurants and other food service establishments.  These appliances, which are usually located just below the main drain of the sink, grind up food into small pieces, which are then allowed to mix with water and flow into the home’s sewer system and eventually into the public sewer system.  In general, the only things that should be placed into a garage disposal are food products, which are intended for human consumption.

While garbage disposals are quite durable, occasionally homeowners and business owners alike will experience periodic problems with the appliance, with the most common problems being the garage disposal seizing up frequently, which trips an internal “kill switch” or not items not intended to be ground up in the disposal, such as a ring, finding their way into the disposal.

When encountering any disposal that is constantly becoming jammed up or needs to frequently have the reset button pushed, the root cause of the problem must be identified and corrected before the garbage disposal returns to service.  In many case the cost to replace the disposal is cheaper than making extensive repairs to the appliance.  When something accidently finds its way into a garbage disposal, it is important that safety measures be taken prior to retrieving the items.  These measures include removing the disposal from the drain and disconnecting the power source.  In both cases it is important to remember not to place your hand into the disposal, as severe personal injury can occur if the disposal were to spontaneously start running!

Posted on behalf of Kiddco Plumbing, Inc.

5 Food Items To Keep Out Of Your Disposal

Your garbage disposal can reduce the strain on your plumbing by breaking down food and debris into smaller pieces, which can then pass safely through your pipes. However, there are certain foods that still shouldn’t go down your drain, even with a garbage disposal. While it may be convenient to scrape food off plates and rinse out coffee filters in your kitchen sink, your disposal can only do so much to prevent these items from eventually clogging your pipes. To avoid clogs and expensive plumbing repairs, try to keep these five food items out of your disposal and sink drains.

  1. Fats – Grease, oil and fat are some of the leading causes of clogged drains. Putting these items through your disposal can gum up your disposal. Plus, the disposal does not break them down any further, so they can still solidify in your pipes and cause clogs.
  2. Coffee grounds – Coffee grounds are too fine and dense to be broken down in your disposal. Avoid putting any excess coffee grounds down your drains, even when you use a garbage disposal.
  3. Vegetables – Some fibrous vegetables are difficult for your garbage disposal to break down. This can include potato peelings, celery and artichokes, all high in fiber. They can become lodged in the mechanism, causing it to jam and malfunction.
  4. Seeds – Fruit seeds and nuts can be too hard for a garbage disposal to grind. These items can get stuck in the blades and cause the motor to become damaged.
  5. Bones – Even small fish or chicken bones can be hard for your garbage disposal to handle. Keep these out of your disposal to avoid damaging the gears and motor.

By keeping these items out of your garbage disposal, you can help the unit last longer and avoid clogs in your pipes. If your disposal is not working properly, it could be due to build-up from previous foods that have done damage to your unit. Call your local plumber to have your disposal serviced or replaced.

Posted on behalf of Kiddco Plumbing, Inc.

Garbage Disposals: What to Know Before You Install One

A garbage disposal can make quick work of most kitchen scraps, flushing unsavory leftovers down the drain. When your kitchen features a garbage disposal unit, you’re able to keep smelly food waste out of the kitchen garbage. That means fewer offensive odors, less volume in landfills and that your family is generating less garbage for pickup. What you may not realize, however, is that installing a garbage disposal is something you should carefully consider before taking the plunge.

First of all, a garbage disposal may not always be the best option for some homes. If you depend upon a septic tank to dispose of water waste on your property, garbage disposals are not typically recommended. Unless your septic tank system and leach field are designed specifically to accommodate the increased load of organic material and water, you could run into bigger problems down the road with your septic system.

If you’re connected to a municipal sewer line and have no contraindications regarding the use of a garbage disposal in your home, you’ll still want to think twice before you tackle the project yourself. A malfunctioning garbage disposal is just no fun, and you’re likely to spend much more money on corrective attention than you would by simply having the device installed by a professional in the first place.

When you’re considering the addition of a garbage disposal to your kitchen appliance array, be sure that you’re working closely with a licensed and experienced plumber in your area. Contact a plumbing professional in your area to discuss your garbage disposal options, and to make an informed choice regarding the installation of a unit in your home.

Posted on behalf of Kiddco Plumbing

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Things to Know When Purchasing a Garbage Disposal

There are basically two types of garbage disposals, with varying features, to choose from. One type is the standard continuous feed disposal that operates with the flip of a switch. It is the cheapest and most convenient, allowing you to continuously feed scraps to the disposal while water runs down the drain. This type also typically comes with a rubber splash guard to cover the drain hole. Another type of disposal is the batch-feed, which costs more but does not require the additional expense of installing a wall switch. The blades on the batch-feed unit are activated when the drain hole is covered; therefore, they are considered safer to operate.

Once you have decided on your preferred type, you need to know what you intend to routinely grind in order to choose adequate horsepower. Higher horsepower (as would be needed for grinding bones) will usually grind faster with less chance of jamming. You should also know what you are considering for longevity when it comes to choosing the quality of the disposal’s parts. For instance, stainless-steel blades will cost more than another disposal of the same horsepower with blades of galvanized steel; however, stainless-steel is superior at resisting corrosion so it will come with an extended warranty. In purchasing your disposal, make sure that you consider the size of your sink area. If space under the sink is limited, your may discover that your only choice is a compact unit.

Don’t be fooled by false advertising for “quieter” units; added insulation has little sound deadening benefit since the grinding noises are escaping through the drain hole, on continuous-feed disposals. Above all, with the installation requirements of plumbing, mechanical and electrical skills, contact your local plumbing professional with any questions or concerns.