Garbage disposals are a modern kitchen convenience. Who doesn’t like the idea getting rid of a smelly pail of garbage in their home? Replacement of the garbage disposal is not only expensive, but also a major inconvenience in time, money and mess. Here are some dos and don’ts for getting the maximum life out of your garbage disposal:
- Make sure the garbage disposal drain has a downward slope. If it doesn’t, water and waste accumulate in the disposal, causing internal components to rust out.
- Use lots of cool water when running the disposal. Hot water can turn some waste into mush, making it harder to break down.
- Turn the water on before you start feeding waste into the disposal.
- Keep the water running for a few seconds after the disposal stops grinding. This flushes the unit completely and helps eliminate clogs farther down the drain piping.
- Keep your disposal clean and smelling fresh by feeding it citrus peels. Grinding up ice also works if you aren’t a citrus eater.
- Always take the time to read and follow the directions in the owner’s manual on the care and use of your disposal. There may be some other instructions specific to your particular disposal.
- Don’t put grease, oil, or fat down your disposal. Grease collects inside the disposal and the drain pipes, causing problems, often at the most inconvenient times.
- Don’t put expandable food waste like rice or pasta into the disposal. Once you add water, expandable food products swell, causing blockage problems.
- Don’t put stringy or fibrous waste into the disposal. These are items such as potato peels, corn husks, onion skin, or carrot peels. Dispose of these items in your garbage or put them in your compost heap.
- Never put your hand into your disposal without unplugging the power cord.
What kind of unit should we buy? We recommend Insinkerator units, which have a strong warranty and the best in-home service warranty. If they malfunction during the unit’s warranty period, which varies by the model type, the manufacturer sends a repair person to your home or business to replace the unit at no charge.
Today’s garbage disposals handle most waste if you feed the waste slowly, with lots of water, into the unit. Forcing too much waste, too fast, will jam even the best units. If despite all these precautions your unit plugs up, call a professional plumber. We can assist you by either replacing or unjamming your malfunctioning disposal.