Tips for Keeping Your Garbage Disposal Running

garbage disposal unit under sinkThe garbage disposal is one of the mainstays of the kitchen, but it is also one of the most abused appliances. Sure, it’s great to not have to scrape every last bit of food of your plate or repeatedly empty the sink strainer; but abusing your garbage disposal can lead to an even bigger hassle. Read on to find out tips on proper use of the garbage disposal and what to do if calamity does strike.

DONT’S of Your Garbage Disposal

All things in moderation. Your garbage disposal is not meant to dispose of your kid’s entire uneaten dinner of chicken, rice and carrots. Rather, it is meant for just the scraps. Don’t overload your garbage disposal unless you want to deal with clogged drains.

Load it up on fiber. While fiber helps keep your guts flowing, it can do the opposite to your garbage disposal. Avoid putting potatoes, banana peels, green beans or other fibrous foods down your disposal. Also avoid foods such as rice and pasta as well as oils and fats which can clog the disposal.

Keep silverware away. The sound of your garbage disposal eating your silverware is probably familiar to most people; in order to avoid damage, make sure utensils don’t make it into the disposal.

DO’S of Your Garbage Disposal

Keep the water flowing. Disposals are designed to work with wet substances so run COLD water briefly before you turn on the disposal and while it’s running.

Keep it going. Let the disposal, and water, run for a minute after the food is done grinding up to ensure that any small debris have made it out of the system.

Remember to use it. Disposals that are not run every few days can rust, corrode and freeze up. Make certain to run the disposal, even if empty, every few days.

Keep it clean. Things can build up in your garbage disposal, causing odors. This can be eliminated by something as simple as grinding up a lemon to clean and refresh the unit. Alternately, run some water and dish soap through to clean it.

Help For Your Clogged Disposal

The holidays are a prime time for clogged disposals and the last thing you want to do is have a costly repair on your hands. But assuming you have ignored the tips above and the worst has happened, what should you do? Remember, chemical drain cleaners should never be used on your garbage disposal as they can eat away at the plastic parts. Instead, follow the plumbing tips below to see if you can solve the problem.

1) First and foremost, never stick your hand into the disposal! If you suspect there is something lodged in there, turn off the disposal and shine a flashlight into the disposal. If you see the obstruction, attempt to remove it with tongs or another long handled tool. Once you have done that you can press the reset button (located on the bottom of the disposal) and see if it will work.

2) If it is still not working, insert a broom or other long handled wooden object into the disposal. Press back and forth against the blades in an attempt to dislodge it. Once the blades have free movement again you can wait 15 minutes for the motor to cool and begin using the disposal again.

3) When all else fails, it is time for professional help! For professional drain cleaning, unclogging, and garbage disposal repairs, give PSI Plumbing a call at 970.445.1235 to get that water flowing again!

We provide emergency plumbing, heating, cooling, jetting and draining, refrigeration and environmental services like septic pumping, grease trap and sand oil interceptor pumping.