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We may use it every day, but sometimes we forget that our garbage disposal needs regular cleaning and maintenance. Below are some tips to keep your disposal system working correctly
What Not to Use in Your Disposal System
It’s easy to become reliant on the convenience of using a garbage disposal system vs. the awkward process of manually throwing away and straining food. Generally, most food items can be processed but here’s a list of things that should never be thrown in to avoid damage to your system:
- Hard Food Items: Bones, corn, eggshells and similar hard food items are difficult to grind and could cause damage to the blades over time.
- Rice & Pastas: Normally expands with water and can start clogging your pipes.
- Grease or Fats: Just like regular rice and pastas, grease or fats can congeal and build up in your pipes.
- Hot Water: When washing down items in your disposal system, use cold water instead as it allows particles to solidify making it easier to grind.
- Plastics & Metals: Avoid throwing plastic or metal objects (no matter how small it is) in your disposal system. The grinder is manufactured to withstand soft material items and not built for hard materials.
How Do You Maintain Your Garbage Disposal System?
Here are five steps to keeping your disposal system well-maintained:
- Grind Often: Even if you eat-out often, remember to regularly switch on your disposal system to keep the parts working. Without this exercise, rust or corrosion can occur – affecting the performance of your grinder.
- Cut Items Up: Cut items into smaller pieces before disposing, this will alleviate the pressure on the disposal blades.
- Clean Regularly: You can use baking soda and a little vinegar for regular cleaning. If there is a much larger plumbing clog, it may be time to call one of the experts here at Art, Plumbing AC & Electric.
- Grind for Longer: When disposing of items, always grind for a little longer to ensure that all particles gets ground correctly and exits through the pipeline.
- Use Fresh Citrus: Grinding fresh lemon or orange peels can get rid of foul smells and freshen up your disposal system.
Fixing Your Disposal System
You’ve kept to the maintenance guide but you hear a strange noise or the blade just stopped grinding. Due to the risks involved, garbage disposal repairs should always be done by a professional plumber. Some of the most common issues experienced are:
- System Doesn’t Go On: You’ve clicked the on switch and thrown in food items but no grinding is happening. Usually, the reset switch solves this problem but if not, the motor may have failed and need further assessing.
- Strange Sounds: Every strange sound may link to a different problem. A metal rattling sound is an indication of the blades struggling to grind an object. Switching the unit completely off and using a pair of tongs to remove the object should fix the problem. A humming sound is a result of stuck flywheel mechanism which requires the unit to be opened and the obstruction removed. Squealing sounds means the bearing is failing – turn it off immediately and contact a professional plumber.
- Clogged Disposal: This is often a result of a backed-up drain line and will require the removal of the line from the disposal system for cleaning.
- System Doesn’t Switch Off: The unit is done processing the items but does not switch off. This may be an electrical problem and resetting the unit or plugging it into a different socket may resolve the issue.
Disposal units are quite easy to operate and undoubtedly add value to your kitchen. Keeping your disposal system clean with regular maintenance can avoid expensive needs for repairs.