Garbage Disposals

We use garbage disposals almost every day. They are extremely convenient and necessary to any smooth running kitchen. However, many Americans find their garbage disposals to be extremely temperamental. Actually, clogged garbage disposals are the main reason for emergency calls to plumbers. Here are some techniques for preventing and fixing clogged garbage disposals without calling a plumber.

First of all, you should limit the types of garbage that you pour into your disposal. Avoid putting corn husks, grease, bones, potato skins, eggshells, or metal of any kind down the disposal. If you have grease that is too hot to put in the trash, pour it in a cup and wait until it cools. Then scoop it out with a spoon Also, make sure that there is no silverware or small glasses in the drain before running the disposal—it is easy for forks or shot glasses to slip down the sink and remain unnoticed until you hear that horrible crunching sound when you turn on the disposal. Furthermore, you should avoid putting large amounts of waste down the disposal at once. A good way to prevent guests from putting food down the disposal is to put a trash bag right in front of the sing.

If your disposal does jam the first thing to do is shut it off. Use a flashlight to try and located the source of the jam. Then carefully put your hand down the drain in order to dislodge what ever it is that might be jamming the garbage disposal. You should wear protective gloves, as the disposal blades are very sharp. Often times when the disposal is jammed you can dislodge it by using the Allen wrench located under the sink (an Allen wrench comes standard with most kitchen sink units). There should be directions on how to use the Allen wrench on the underside of your garbage disposal unit.

If your garbage disposal still fails to work then it is probably time to replace it.