There are different models and types of garbage disposals, varying from size to the amount of power they give out. The main categories are batch-feed and continuous-feed disposals.
In a continuous-feed disposal, just as the name suggests, the unit runs continuously and can be used at any time. For batch-feed disposals, you have to accumulate your disposal and grind them collectively at one time. Before installing a garbage disposal, the most crucial factor to consider is the space you have under your sink because they come in different sizes.
Although garbage disposals differ in design, the mode of operation is standard across all preferences. The challenges that come with maintaining your garbage disposal will be similar regardless of your choice of model. Here are ways to ensure your garbage disposal is running properly.
1. Be Careful What You Put Down the Garbage Disposal
Like every other home appliance, it all starts by using your device correctly. Regardless of how trusted your brand model is, they can only handle so much. Therefore, you need to be aware of what you are putting down your garbage disposal. Almost all garbage disposal units can handle vegetable scraps, small bones, fruit scraps, corn cobs, food leftovers, ice, cooked meat, and fruit pits.
However, avoid putting any of the following inside your disposal:
- Large amounts of eggshells
- Oyster shells
- Large amount of vegetable peels
- Oil and grease
- Corn husks
- Non-food items
2. Always Use Plenty of Water
Once you know what you can put down the unit, the next step is to drain it properly. You should use plenty of water to drain your unit regardless of the garbage disposal model you’re using. Keep in mind that if you’re using a continuous-feed disposal – which happens to be the most commonly preferred – you will require significantly higher amounts of running water as compared to the batch-feed disposal.
There is no harm in using hot water for the drain. Do this occasionally because it may help drain out any oil or grease that might have accumulated over time. However, cold water is mostly preferred, especially during the grinding process.
Always run the cold water before you begin operating your appliance and about 20 seconds after the grinding process. This process will thoroughly flush down any food particles that may be left in the drain line. For cleaning the grinding area, you can use small granules of ice.
3. Clean the Inside Properly
Even if you choose to use plenty of water to rinse out your disposal, it is still common for sludge to accumulate over time. Sludge often accumulates on the inside, the sides, and all over the grinding blades. To get rid of the sludge, consider using disposable cleaners to clean and to reduce odors from the appliance.
The best-preferred cleaning method is to use natural methods. Consider pouring baking soda down the drain and some vinegar on top of it. An alternative and reliable way is by putting about a cup of rock salt down the drain while you grind up your ice cubes. This technique not only cleans the blades but also acts as a sharpening technique.
When using other chemical products, go for disposal cleaning tablets, which you can purchase in most local shops or online. It will cost you as little as $3-$5, and it is best done on a monthly basis.
Also, consider having your kitchen line snaked after two years of line installation. Another common way of cleaning your garbage disposal is using hot water and soap. While it may appear simple, it is equally effective if correctly done.
4. Avoid Running Grease, Fat, Pasta, or Fibrous Waste
When you pour grease down your drain, it eventually cools and solidifies before being expelled into the drainage system. It also attracts and retains other debris that find their way into your disposal.
Studies have revealed that grease is related to about 70% of sewer overflows. This is mainly due to sticky foods like peanut butter, dairy products such as cream and cheese, and cooking fats that are commonly used. These culprits stick and easily cause clogging, bad odor, and sewer overflows.
To prevent grease drainage, you can have a grease trap that will hold back grease from getting into the disposal unit. You may also decide to pay attention when you wash the dishes. You can wipe grease that’s around the unit with a cloth. There are also some good cleaning products that help disintegrate grease. Use that to clean your garbage disposal unit.
Pasta, on the other hand, will swell when it absorbs water, increasing the chances of clogging. In such instances, hot water will come in handy. Avoid fibrous foods because they will wrap around the motor of the garbage disposal, causing it to dysfunction. Instead, dispose it of in the trash.
5. Avoid Filling the Disposal
It is easy to let your garbage disposal fill up. Avoid this at any cost. If you have a lot of waste to grind, it is better to do it gradually. Every disposal has its capacity. If this capacity is exceeded, it will be unable to handle the load.
It is also important to note that having a batch-feed garbage disposal only means that your drainage disposal can better handle batch grinding. Yet, even this has a limit. Also, note that your garbage disposal does not need emptying as you would a trash can.
6. Observe Common Safety Precautions
It is not advisable to try and to fix your drainage disposal by opening it. General maintenance practices are enough to keep your appliance in the best-performing state. However, if things should go south, do not insert your hand in the disposal because it may cause injuries. Also, avoid trying to poke or dig inside with sharp and heavy objects.
Only grind food. Avoid paper towels, rags, plastics, or other non-edible materials. Ensure that tiny metals do not drop into your drain. Check and ensure your garbage disposal flash guard is always in the right condition. Keep children away from the unit as well, and give clear instructions to whomever uses it.
7. Understand How Your Product Operates
This may sound straightforward, but most people will not take the time to familiarize themselves with the user manuals. For instance, most garbage disposal users are unaware that their disposals will have a reset button. If at any time your disposal fails to operate, this is the first place you need to check. Press it once, and release it to resume functionality.
Reliable Garbage Disposal Unit Repair
If your drainage disposal malfunctions, call a qualified technician to fix it for you. Immediately you notice any unusual performance, reach out. Common occurrences include failure to power on, the disposal humming without grinding, any leakages, slow drainage, and foul odor.
Our Rite Way plumbers are well-trained and certified to fix plumbing units in Tucson homes and the surrounding neighborhoods. If your garbage disposal unit is faulty, our plumbers will either repair or replace it and ensure that you have a functioning unit. Contact us at Rite Way Heating, Cooling and Plumbing, and we’ll help fix your garbage disposal in no time. We provide heating, cooling, and plumbing services.