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How to Maintain Your Garbage Disposal

Like all mechanical things, garbage disposals don’t last forever.

So, to increase its expected longevity, here are some simple “care and feeding” steps you should know and follow:

  • Feed the disposal a little at a time. Take care to keep your utensils and hands out of the drain.
  • Corn husks and other fibrous items shouldn’t be placed inside the disposal as they may clog the drain. Other such items include onion skins, celery, and most soft vegetables.
  • Deodorize the disposal. Cut a lemon into small pieces and drop the fruit into the disposal. Then add some baking soda or distilled white vinegar. Turn on the cold water faucet first, then the disposal. The unit will clean itself as it grinds up the mixture.
  • Use a strong flow of cold water and keep it running at least 30 seconds after the grinding noise has stopped. This helps to flush food all the way down the drain line.
  • Do not put uncooked meat fat or liquid fats into your disposer.

Still, even with all the “TLC” in the world, sooner or later you’re bound to run into a problem.  Here’s what to look and listen for:

  • If the disposal won’t run, check the circuit breaker or fuse and replace or reset as necessary. Also, check to see if the overload switch has tripped. Locate the reset button at the bottom of the disposal unit and push it.
  • If the motor hums but the disposal doesn’t run, you may have a jammed impeller, and that’s a repairable problem.
  • If the disposal runs intermittently, the switch or stopper may be defective…if so, the disposal probably needs to be replaced.
  • A leaky garbage disposal isn’t necessarily a sign of rust. The cause might be as simple as a loose connection, which can readily be tightened.
  • How about that all-too-familiar racket that garbage disposals are known for? Should you hear it, chances are you’re trying to grind up something your disposal wishes you wouldn’t.  The result could be a damaged blade, impeller or motor.  But don’t be too quick to repair it, since it’s highly likely the cost to replace it would be less.

Having trouble now with your garbage disposal or simply think it’s time to replace it?  Contact the plumbing professionals at P.C. Plumbing, Heating & Air today. We’ll do the job, quickly, professionally, and reliably…just like always.

How to Maintain Your Garbage Disposal

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