A garbage disposal does not require much ongoing maintenance. But you should take good care of it, otherwise problems may occur and shorten the lifespan of the garbage disposer. Here is an overview of basic garbage disposal maintenance.
A garbage disposal is a relatively simple device. Basically, an electric motor spins a turntable which grinds the food waste. This makes it possible to use the sewer system to transport food waste. Despite the simple design, a number of problems may occur. But as long as you take care of your waste disposer, it should function for many years. A good garbage disposal has a life expectancy of more than ten years. Best of all, it is easy to take care of your disposer.
By making sure that you don’t put any foreign object into the garbage disposal, jamming will not be much of a problem. Hard items can damage the blades in the grinding chamber. Note that starchy and fibrous vegetables can jam the disposer. Note that you should always use cold water when the disposer is running. Hot water melts grease and fats which could create problem further down in the plumbing when they solidify. Even better is to avoid putting grease, oil and fats into the disposal in the first place. This may be impossible but try to limit the amount of fat, grease and oil.
If your garbage disposer is not working, you need to work out if it is broken or jammed. This can be done by switching off and then switching on the garbage disposal. If you can hear a humming sound, the disposal is not broken but jammed. If you can’t hear any sound, the garbage disposal is not jammed but probably broken. Check that a fuse has not been blown.
Fixing a jammed waste disposer is seldom a problem. Most garbage disposals have a hole in the bottom, allowing you to move the flywheel. This often dislodges the bit that has caused the jam. If this does not clear the jam, you need to try to clear the jam from above. Obviously, don’t put your fingers into the grinding chamber. Instead use the handle of a wooden spoon and try to get the impellers moving. Once you have managed to get the object that caused the jam unstuck, remove it with long-nose pliers.
Ongoing garbage disposal maintenance includes:
– Keep the garbage disposal clean
– Run the garbage disposal regularly
– Always use cold water when grinding food waste
– Grind orange or lemon peelings regularly
Generally it is not necessary to feed ice cubes into your garbage disposer but many professionals think that is the easiest way to keep the inside of the waste disposer clean. Note that ice cubes will not sharpen the blades of the garbage disposal. But the ice cubes will make your garbage disposal more efficient. Lemon and orange peelings are the best way of getting rid of annoying smells. If the smell persists, you need to try standard cleaning products. Pour it into the garbage disposal, check the instructions for how long you should wait before you flush it away with water. Note that if your disposer is often smelling, you may not use enough water when you are using the waste disposer.
All in all, not much maintenance is required to keep a garbage disposal running for many years. As long as you pay attention to what you put into your disposer. Note also that even if you don’t have any work for your garbage disposer, you should run it regularly. If it is inactive for longer periods of time, rust may start to build up inside the disposer which will shorten the lifespan of the unit.