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Garbage Disposal Maintenance: 8 Tips to Keep Your Unit Running Smoothly

If you're like most homeowners, you probably don't think about your garbage disposal until it's not working. And, unfortunately, that's usually when you realize just how important it is!

A malfunctioning compost can be a real hassle - but with proper maintenance, you can help avoid any problems.

However, like any other appliance, garbage grinders require some maintenance in order to keep them running smoothly. Here are 8 tips for garbage disposal maintenance.

How Does a Garbage Disposal Work?

A garbage disposal is a device installed under the kitchen sink that helps to grind food waste into small pieces that can be flushed down the drain.

Most modern waste disposals are electrically powered, and they typically feature a stainless steel grinding chamber that is activated by a switch or button.

When the chamber is full, the disposal can be turned on and the blades will begin to spin.

As it rotates, they shred up the food waste into smaller and smaller pieces. Once the shredding process is complete, the waste is flushed away with water from the sink.

Garbage disposals are a convenient way to dispose of food waste, and they can also help to prevent obstructs in the drain.

How Long Do Garbage Disposals Last?

With proper care and maintenance, garbage disposals can last for many years. However, like any other appliance, they will eventually need to be replaced.

The average waste disposal will last for about 10 years before it needs to be replaced.

However, there are a few factors that can shorten the lifespan of a garbage disposal.

  • The first is improper use. For example, grinding hard items like bones or fruit pits can damage the blades, while poured grease and oil can obstruct the grinding chamber.
  • If you're still pouring coffee grounds, and eggshells down your drain, listen up: You could be shortening your appliance's life span! It's best to avoid it.
  • Another factor to consider is the quality of the unit. In general, higher-priced models tend to be made of durable materials and feature better components, resulting in a longer lifespan.

With proper care and use, your garbage disposer should provide years of trouble-free operation.

How Much Does Garbage Disposal Repair Cost?

Garbage disposals are an essential kitchen appliance, but they can be costly to fix if they break down.

The average cost to fix garbage disposal is $250, but prices can range from $70 to $400 depending on the severity of the problem.

If your waste disposal is leaking, making strange noises, or has stopped working altogether, it is important to call a professional for help.

With so many different parts to a garbage disposal, it can be difficult to diagnose the problem without the help of an expert.

A qualified technician will be able to quickly identify the issue and make the necessary fixes.

In most cases, the cost of the fix will be much less than the cost of replacing the entire unit.

8 Garbage Disposal Maintenance Tips

Garbage Disposals Maintenance Tips

If you have a waste disposal in your kitchen, it's important to keep it well-maintained.

Otherwise, you may end up with an odor, clogged disposal - or worse, a broken one. Here are eight tips for maintaining your garbage disposal:

1. Use Plenty of Cold Water

One of the most important things you can do is to use plenty of cold water every time you run the disposal. Hot water can actually melt fats and oils, which can then harden and clog the unit.

By contrast, the water helps to solidify these substances so that they can be more easily flushed away.

In addition, it helps to hone the edges of your garbage disposal, making it work more efficiently. So remember: use it every time you turn on the disposal!

2. Perform Routine Maintenance

As the heart of the kitchen, the garbage disposal sees a lot of action. Over time, this appliance can start to smell bad and even back up.

To keep your disposal running smoothly, it's important to perform routine maintenance. Here are 8 tips to help you get started:

  1. Start with a clean unit. Before you do anything, make sure the garbage disposal unit is clean. Remove any debris that may have accumulated on the blades or in the drain. Make sure to turn off the disposal first.
  2. Sharpen the blades. After a lot of use, the blades on your garbage grinder can become dull. You can use a special sharpening tool or simply run a lemon rind through the unit to keep them sharp.
  3. Deodorize as needed. If your garbage grinder starts to smell, there are several ways to deodorize it. You can grind up citrus peels, freeze vinegar ice cubes, or pour baking soda down the pipe and let it sit for a while before rinsing.

Don't forget about the reset button of the unit.

3. Avoid throwing grease into your sink

One of the worst things that cause garbage disposal clog (and your plumbing in general) is to pour grease down the drain.

Grease can quickly solidify and harden, causing serious clogs. So instead of dumping it down the sink, let it cool and throw it in the trash.

4. Run your garbage disposal for a little longer

After you've finished grinding up your garbage, run the disposal for a little while longer - about 30 seconds to a minute.

This will help to flush away any remaining food particles and prevent them from clogging up the unit.

5. Cut larger fruit and vegetables into smaller pieces

Larger fruit and vegetables such as orange, lime, banana skin, and potato peels can sometimes be too much for your garbage disposal to handle.

To avoid problems, cut them into smaller pieces before putting them down the drain.

You should also avert putting fibrous foods like celery or corn husks in the garbage disposal, as they can wrap around the blades and cause serious damage.

6. Run Your Garbage Disposal Regularly

Even if you don't have any garbage to grind up, it's a good idea to run your garbage disposal on a regular basis.

This will help to keep the edges sharp and prevent rust from build-up. Simply turn on the unit and let it run for 30 seconds to a minute with cold water.

7. Flush Your Garbage Disposal

An important part of garbage disposal maintenance tips is flushing your garbage disposal with cold water. By flushing your disposal regularly, you can help clean and revent clogs and keep your sink operating smoothly.

Run cold water through the disposal for at least 30 seconds before and after use. This will help to flush away any food scraps that may be stuck in the edges.

8. Safely Fix Jams and Clogs

If your garbage disposal starts to jam or clog, don't panic! There are several ways to safely fix the problem.

Try using a plunger to dislodge the obstruction. If that doesn't work, you can use a garbage disposal wrench (or an Allen wrench) to remove the stuck object.

Never put your hand down the garbage disposal unit, as this could result in serious injury! If you can't fix the problem yourself, call a professional for help.

Do you have a garbage disposal and need repairs? Check out our garbage disposal services

How to Quickly Clean your Garbage Disposal?

If your garbage disposal starts to smell bad, it's probably time for a cleaning. Luckily, this is a quick and easy process that only requires a few household items.

  1. First, turn off the power to the kitchen at the circuit breaker and clear any dishes or food from the sink. Then, pour ½ cup of baking soda into the disposal and let it sit for a few minutes.
  2. Next, pour a cup of vinegar into the disposal and let it foam for about 5 minutes.
  3. Finally, run hot water down the pipe for 30 seconds to rinse everything away.

Do Call a Plumber About Garbage Disposal Replacement

If your garbage disposal unit is making strange noises, leaking water, or just doesn't seem to be working properly, it may be time for a replacement.

Don't try to fix the problem yourself - this is a job for the expert. They have the tools and experience necessary to safely install a new garbage grinder.

So if you're having problems with your garbage disposal unit, call a plumber today.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who does garbage disposal repair?

If your garbage grinder is broken, you'll need to call a professional plumber for fixes. Our contractors have the tools and experience necessary to safely fix or replace your garbage disposal.

Do garbage disposals need maintenance?

Yes, composts need to be maintained in order to keep them running smoothly. Be sure to run your garbage disposal regularly and flush it with water after each use.

What kind of maintenance does a garbage disposal need?

The best way to maintain your garbage disposal is to run it regularly and flush it with water after each use.

You should also avoid putting fibrous foods or large pieces of fruit and vegetables in the unit, as these can become clogged or damage the edges of your plumbing system.

Should I lubricate my garbage disposal?

No, you should not lubricate your garbage disposer. This can actually cause more problems and damage the unit.

Final Thought

By following these garbage disposal maintenance tips, you can help to keep your unit running smoothly and prevent serious problems.

Remember to run the waste disposal regularly, flush it with water, and avoid putting tough foods or large pieces of fruit in the unit.

If you're having problems using the garbage disposal unit, call a professional for help. They have the tools and experience necessary to safely repair or replace your waste disposal.

Thanks for reading! We hope this guide was helpful. Have a great day!

About The Author:

Scott Reyes, our proficient Managing Editor and a true plumbing aficionado with over 10 years of dedicated expertise. With an in-depth understanding of the plumbing industry, Scott is your go-to source for all things plumbing-related. His wealth of experience ensures that our content is not only informative but also a reliable resource for your plumbing needs. Dive into Scott's articles to tap into his extensive knowledge and insights.
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