Anyone who spends a lot of time in their kitchen can tell you that the garbage disposal is a cook’s best friend. However, that’s not to say that they are without their problems. These are some common garbage disposal issues that you may experience and how to fix them.
If you flip the switch for your garbage disposal and only hear a humming, that usually means the unit is jammed. Cut the power to the disposal, use an offset wrench to turn the bottom slot of the disposal, and use a broom handle to free the impellers. Once it’s unjammed, turn on the disposal and run the cold water to get rid of anything left behind.
If you toss something that isn’t meant to be in the disposal down the drain, you could clog your unit. First, try opening your drain trap and removing the clog. If you don’t find it there, try using a plunger or drain auger to pull it out. Once the clog is removed, run your hot water for a few minutes to flush everything out.
Disposal Won’t Run
If nothing happens when you turn on the disposal, meaning you hear no noise whatsoever, make sure the unit is plugged in and hit the reset button if it has popped out. If the disposal still won’t turn on, check your circuit breaker to make sure it didn’t trip. If that doesn’t work either, you may need a new switch. If that’s the case, don’t try to fix it yourself. Have an electrician handle the job.
When it comes to clean up, your garbage disposal proves to be a serious MVP. But no players can stay strong if they don’t take care of themselves, just like your disposal won’t be able to do its job if you don’t take care of it properly. Keep these do’s and don’ts in mind so your garbage disposal stays on top of its game.
- Turn It Off: Before you try to remove anything from it, make sure your disposal is powered off.
- Use Warm Water: Warm water will help break up clogs and push stuck food through the rest of your unit.
- Drop Some Ice Cubes In: Every so often, throw a few ice cubes down your disposal to clean it. You can also add some rock salt for a bigger effect.
- Run the Water: When you’re using your garbage disposal, run the cold water as you drop foods down it to prevent anything from getting stuck.
- Cut Up Large Foods: If you have large pieces of food or scraps, make sure to cut food up first to avoid clogging your unit.
- Never pour these foods down your garbage disposal:
Grease/Oil: These will clog your disposal and prevent other food from getting through the unit.
Hard Bones: These can damage the blades.
Fibrous Foods: Items like celery and corn husks can jam the disposal motor.
- Never Use Bleach: Harsh chemicals can damage the disposal’s drain and pipes. Use borax to clean it instead.
- Never add anything non-biodegradable: Non-food items like glass, plastic, or even paper belong in the trash, not your disposal.