Garbage Disposal – The Beginner’s But Complete Guide

Traditional kitchens didn’t have the garbage disposals, and it made the cleaning hard. Garbage disposal invention made everything a little easier. It cleans your leftovers, making your work easy so you don’t have to sort the food scraps in the dishes.

In all essence, the garbage disposal is convenient for your day to day kitchen operations. Well while the garbage disposal handles the dirty work in the kitchen, you shouldn’t put everything in it. Otherwise, it can create massive plumbing problems for you.

Garbage Disposal

With that said, there are many things you should know before you buy the garbage disposal. This is what the article is about.

How Does Garbage Disposal Work?

We must thank John Hammes for the garbage disposal invention. Almost 100years later, it has become a must-have gadget in the kitchens. The disposer is one unique item that handles unwanted food, expired leftovers, and peels. But have you ever wondered how it works?

For a long time, I classified the garbage disposal in the blender category. I often thought that it has some tiny blades to grind any food waste to small particles. Well, while it’s partially true, you can’t grind just everything in the disposer.

The garbage disposal is the appliance that you have installed under the kitchen sink. It does grind or chew the solid food waste that you push into its chambers. Then it pushes it to the drainage pipes.

Each part of the garbage disposal is vital for some unique role. To begin with, it has the power cords that power it through the wall outlet. It starts to work once you switch it on to begin the grinding.

When you push the food into the disposal, it finds grinding chambers and shredding blunt shredding metal teeth. The essence of the two parts is to grind the food waste to tiniest particles.

When you turn on the disposer, the spinning disc spins fast and forces the food to the grinding chambers.

The grinding chambers will then break down the food waste to tiny particles, and then the impeller arm and the plate take over. Their work is to push the trash that has been liquefied into the drain pipes. With the help of the flowing water, it washes away the ground food waste.

It works in conjunction with your regular dishwasher to break down any large solid particles before pushing the liquid waste into the drainage pipes. The fact that the disposal grinds the food waste to tiniest particles makes it easy to work with the conventional septic system.

How Long Does A Garbage Disposal Last?

There’s no clear-cut rule as to how long the garbage disposal will last. It will mostly depend on varying factors. It’s all a matter of how often you use it, the food you like to discard in it and lastly the care and maintenance.

On average, the garbage disposal should last between 8-15 years. The variance is dependent on the features highlighted above. Consider what you put in the garbage disposal. You should only use it for biodegradable. Don’t put paper and tough bones in.

How to Replace Garbage Disposal?

Replace Garbage Disposal

When the disposer has served you for ages, and now you need to replace it, you shouldn’t worry because you don’t need a plumber for it. If you have the necessary knowledge on how to handle the garbage disposal you can replace it.

The replacement is much easier than the first installation. But always remember to work on the gadget once you are sure you have switched the electric power off.

Removing it: this is the very first step yet crucial. Simply disconnect its drainage pipes and then loosen the dishwasher spring clamps.

Remove the disposal: now that you have loosened everything, remove the disposer. You simply twist it a little to get it off the mounting nut.

Also, remove the mounting ring and begin to install the new hardware. Complete the installation of the garbage disposal by attaching it to the dishwasher and the switch on the wall.

How to Clean the Garbage Disposal?

How to Clean the Garbage Disposal

Of course, while it does the dirty work for you, it also needs cleaning just like any other appliance. Without proper cleaning, the disposal will get slow. It may even clog form the development of the gunk.

Additionally, it has been long since you cleaned the disposer you will begin to smell some lousy odor from the sink. That becomes a clear indication that the disposer is dirty. Well, this is not a cause for alarm as there are many options to use for the cleaning.

If you use the batch feed disposer and you like to keep the food waste in it for days, it will only be a matter of time before bacteria starts to develop. For the regular cleaning, you can DIY. However, you should call your plumber to give it a thorough clean every once in two years.

A clean garbage disposal makes and keeps the kitchen sink fresh smelling. But don’t always go for the chemicals to clean the garbage disposal as they may affect the septic system. You can, however, use the regular home-based cleaning options like:

  • Vinegar
  • Baking soda and apple cider vinegar
  • Boiling water
  • Hot water and dish soap
  • Ice and rock salt
  • Citrus fruits rinds

The worst problem with the disposal is the bad smell. You can use the citrus fruits to kill the bad odor. But remember to never put the fibrous food in the disposer as its one of the foods that cause bad odor.

Remember, if you can’t keep the disposer clean, it will soon begin to attract pests, cockroaches and fruit flies. So, use soapy hot water to maintain it after use. Then you can deep clean every once in two weeks.

Keeping the garbage disposal clean and fresh determines its lifespan remember. Another tip is never to switch off the disposer immediately it finishes grinding the food waste. Let it run a little longer to dislodge the remaining morsels that you haven’t drained yet.

How to Use Garbage Disposal?

Assuming you are new to the garbage disposal, I wish for you to know that it’s a breeze to use this gadget. When using it though you should begin by running the cold water to the disposal. The cold water will make it easy to drain off the oils without it attaching on the walls as grease.

Now, you should run the water down the garbage disposal for at least 15 seconds. That will help to keep the disposal clean before you start working it.

Next, turn on the garbage disposal switch that’s on the wall. Subsequently, feed the waste food to the garbage disposal. Now make sure you put just enough waste in the garbage disposal and even break them down to tinier pieces.

You want it to work efficiently, so don’t overfill it. If it’s overfilled, it will jam and clog easily. Once you confirm that it has ground all the food waste let it run for a few seconds to ensure it breaks down everything.

Meanwhile, you should let the water run on so that it simply washes away the waste. The way you know that it has finished grinding is that it changes the sound. Always watch out for the sound. Also, remember to use it regularly; otherwise, you will damage it sooner.

Troubleshooting Garbage Disposal Problems

There are those of us who will run to the plumber for even the slightest issue. Sadly, you spend hundreds and thousands of dollars on this. The most common problem with the garbage disposal includes jamming, clogging, leaking, and sometimes not draining.

The easiest way to establish the problem is by first observing its operation. If you finally understand its problem, go on to fix it before you start using it again. Otherwise, you will damage it further.

Remember, calling the plumber to repair it will cost you anything from $50-$500 depending on the type. So, if you can crack the code of what’s the problem and fix it, you will have saved a lot of money. Before you go out to buy new garbage disposal confirm that its unrepairable.

Garbage Disposal Do’s and Donts

Although the disposer handles your dirt in the kitchen, it’s quite delicate, and you should handle it with care. Most of us forget to be cautious with the disposer because we are used to depositing all the food waste in it.

Sadly, if you continue to deposit all kinds of waste and mishandle it, with time, it’ll get damaged. Also, when you remember to clean it frequently you will maintain its fresh odor in the kitchen. Therefore, before you even begin using it there are things you should and shouldn’t do.

Understand that the disposer will serve you for ages if you maintain and practice massive care with it. This will keep any plumbing and drain problems at bay.

  • The most important thing to mention here is; know what you can put in the garbage disposal.
  • Use the disposer regularly because this is the only way to keep it free of rusts.
  • Also, remember to use only cold water in the disposer, not hot water. Hot water enhances clogs and gunk formation, especially if you pour oil in it.

Bottom line, don’t forget that the disposer is not a garbage can and should be handled as so. If you do this, its care and maintenance are quite easy, and thus you will have it over a long time.

How to Unjam A Garbage Disposal?

It’s almost inevitable to have the garbage disposal jammed. In fact, of all the problems you will experience with it, jamming may be the most common one. You will know that it has jammed when the humming sound changes.

This mostly happens when the hard objects get between the grinders. Sometimes, though you can have build-up that makes it hard for it to move. It might at first work slowly, but when the motor gets overheated then it shuts off.

It’s easy to unjam it, and you can DIY it. To begin, ensure you check the disposal to see the size of the object that’s causing the jam.

Sometimes, it may be an accidental utensil dropped in that you should get rid of it. In that case, you can remove it by hand, but you should make sure the disposer is switched off.

Alternatively, use the reset button to fix the issue. By switching the button at the bottom of the disposal you reverse the grinding process. It quickly fixes the problem in some instances. But make sure you have gotten rid of the obstruction from the blades if there any.

How to Unclog the Sink Drain?

How to Unclog the Sink Drain

This is another one of the challenges you will experience as long as you have the sink. You will experience clogged sink in different parts of the house. Since you may experience this challenge more often, you should never call the plumber just because of the clog.

The good thing is that mostly with a simple plunging you will have the clogs loosen. But before you begin the process of unclogging, you should investigate the level of the clog.

If for example, you realize that there’s a clog in the bathroom, shower, toilet, and kitchen at the same time, that tells you that it’s a more significant issue in the sewage.

However, if the clog is in one sink, then it’s something you can get rid of. There are various methods you could use for the process, including using boiling water. The most common way though is the use of a plunger. This is the easiest and the cheapest method.

In case you do everything, you can, and still, the clog won’t release then it’s maybe time to call the plumber to find out the real problem.

How to Reset the Garbage Disposal?

While the gadget was meant to take care of the food waste in the kitchen it sometimes is overwhelmed. When this happens, it’s easy to damage it. If you will run it without additional water, put the unacceptable food waste or drop some utensils in it you may cause jams.

Often when this happens, you will find that the motor gets overheated. If the motor is overheated, it will release the red button at the bottom. The essence of the dial is to stop the electricity and thus protect the motor from damage.

You will need to do a few things for the resetting process. Always work on the garbage disposal when you have switched off the power. The process is as simple as locating the reset button then pressing it to reset it again.

The reset button will always work to make it easy for you to take care of any problem the disposer may have. However, in case the reset button doesn’t work you can still troubleshoot the problem without it.