With proper use and some routine maintenance, a garbage disposal (or disposer) can last for many years. However, when the device is finally worn out or broken, it can lead to slow or clogged drains and a foul smell from kitchen waste.
How does a garbage disposal work? Garbage disposals allow you to grind up food into small pieces that can easily passes through sewage drain pipes. If you cook a lot or have pets that get into the trash, this handy gadget can make your cleanup faster and easier. Garbage disposals are attached to the bottom of the drain in a kitchen sink. As you feed scraps of food into the drain, a shredder grinds up the food. You have to run cold water while the disposal is operating so it can help push the food down.
Here are a few tips related to maintaining a garbage disposal:
- The disposal will sometimes automatically shut off if an overload occurs. When this happens, it is important to clear the disposal by running some hot water down it and then pressing the reset button on the underside of the unit. If this does not work, there may be a problem with the wiring.
- The unit may jam. The majority of garbage disposals on the market today come with a jam wrench, which is really just an Allen wrench. On the bottom of the unit is a hole where the wrench will fit. Insert the wrench and turn it back and forth until the jam is freed.
- The garbage disposal’s blades will become dull after years of use. Although many people will recommend using materials such as glass and chicken bones to sharpen the blades, we do not recommend any either of these. The safest and easiest option would be to use ice.
- Always exercise extreme caution when cleaning your garbage disposal. Make sure to disconnect the power source before inserting any cleaning tool into the disposal and never, ever put your hand in the unit for any reason.
How can you tell if your garbage disposal is broken or worn out? You may have a stubborn object or fibrous gunk stuck in the system that inhabits the blades from spinning. If, after carefully cleaning your garbage disposal, the blades still do not spin, or make a low humming sound, your garbage disposal system is in need of repair or replacement.
If there has been a smell coming from your kitchen sink’s drain, it may be that there is food waste stuck in the disposal, or it could be a sewer smell problem. Your best bet is to call a plumbing professional to take a look.
And for assistance with all of your home repair needs, Pro-Fix Home Repair stands ready to help. Give us a call at 770-575-2533.
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