Using and Maintaining a Garbage Disposal

Using and Maintaining a Garbage DisposalA garbage disposal is handy to have, but if not maintained properly, it can end up worse than useless. Use and care for your disposal correctly, though, and it will stay in good shape for years.

Using Your Disposal Safely

Certain things should never go into the disposal. This includes fibrous or stringy foods such as banana peels, potato peels, celery and broccoli, and hard materials such as bones and eggshells. Also avoid pouring in starchy products such as coffee grounds and pasta, which can clog the disposal and the pipes. Throw these in the trash or compost instead. Never throw in large amounts of food, which can cause jams.

Use your garbage disposal for most cooked vegetables, cooked meats, and small scraps from meals. Put in only a small amount at a time and let the cold water run as the disposal works.

Keeping Your Disposal Clean

Once every week or two, clean the disposal by adding ice cubes followed by a cup of rock salt and running the disposal for a few seconds. To reduce odors, throw some cut up lemons into the disposal and run it with warm, but not hot, water.

If the disposal jams, don’t continue to turn it on or you could burn out the motor. Turn the power switch to “off” and shut the disposal off at the breaker before attempting to free the blades. You can use pliers to pull out stuck debris, but never use your fingers. Never pour hot water into a clogged disposal. This will only melt any fats there and worsen the clog.

If you can’t reach the stuck item, use a garbage disposal wrench, similar to an Allen wrench, to gently turn the blades counterclockwise to release any stuck debris. Once you free the blades, you might have to reset the disposal using a button on the bottom of the motor housing.

For help with your garbage disposal or any other plumbing issue, get in touch with us at Team Bob’s Heating Cooling Plumbing anywhere around the Grand Traverse County area.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Traverse City, Michigan and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about garbage disposals and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 231-714-6196.

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