Introduction to Garbage Disposal Maintenance
Keeping your garbage disposal unit in prime condition is vital for your plumbing’s health and kitchen efficiency. A clean disposal maintained by you can hasten sanitation, ensuring unobstructed flow through your drain. Regular upkeep prevents odours and leaks, maintaining system efficiency.
Neglecting regular maintenance can result in failing grinding components or blades, impairing the unit’s ability to process waste.
This guide outlines essential steps on how to clean and maintain your garbage disposal. We’ll offer advice on maintenance practices, what to avoid putting in the unit, how to inspect for issues, and when professional help is needed. Following these maintenance tips guarantees your disposal’s smooth operation for the long haul.
Signs Your Disposal Needs Cleaning
There are a few key signs indicating your garbage disposal needs attention. Unpleasant odours usually caused by decaying debris within the unit are the most apparent sign your disposal needs attention. Loud grinding noises may signify that inappropriate items are causing resistance and need cleaning.
Diminished waste management efficiency often suggests the need for a thorough cleaning. If the grinding continues without results, check for debris that might get stuck, as it’s a sign the disposal may require a deep clean.
The sink may back up with wet waste, taking longer to process food scraps, if inappropriate materials are put down. If waste isn’t fully processed, it can sometimes be ejected back through the drain, indicating a potential blockage and the need for immediate cleaning and inspection.
Another sign that something’s gone down garbage disposal incorrectly is leaking from connections near the unit, possibly due to a cracked splashguard. During disposal cleaning, any leaks can get promptly repaired to eliminate smells and prevent further issues.
Sealing even minor gaps to prevent wastewater escape is crucial for maximal efficiency and odour control.
Develop a routine for cleaning your disposal every two months or as needed to ensure peak performance. Should these warning signs arise, promptly running water and conducting a thorough cleanup can prevent maintenance issues and potential damage.
Cleaning Your Garbage Disposal
Regular cleaning of your disposal unit ensures freshness and smooth operation. Carry out these steps every month or two, including the use of disposal ice in your maintenance routine to keep your garbage disposal clean:
- Before you begin cleaning, think about what to place in the disposal and make sure to turn it off at the circuit breaker box and unplug it to avoid accidental activation.
- Once the disposal has cooled, place your stopper, add a mixture of vinegar and baking soda followed by a handful of ice cubes in the kitchen sink drain to sharpen the blades.
- Begin by half-filling the sink with water, adding baking soda, followed by vinegar, and rinsing with cold water to start the cleaning process. Stir to dissolve the baking soda.
- Remove the sink stopper and pour a vinegar and baking soda mix into the drain, then run cold water from the tap for a comprehensive clean. Add one cup of white vinegar to the mixture, and then run the disposal with cold water to allow the fizzing action of the vinegar and baking soda to cleanse the grinding chamber. Allow the mixture to foam for several minutes, then add ice cubes to further clean and break down grease and odours.
- With the water source turned off, seize the moment to remove and wash away grime from the rubber splash guard covering the disposal’s entrance.
- Employ an old toothbrush, acting as a scrub brush, to gently clean the grinding mechanisms and hard-to-reach areas of your garbage disposal unit around the splashguard. Do use this specialised brush to tackle grit and residue that a sponge can’t dislodge.
- Replace the splashguard and insert the sink stopper again.
- Make a thick cleaning solution by adding about cup of baking soda to warm water and some dish soap. About half a cup of baking soda with a squirt of soap should suffice.
- After a good scrub, before turning off the tap, use a salt ice mixture to further cleanse the grinding chamber and splashguard.
- Remove the sink stopper and keep running cold water, turning the tap fully to maximise flow. Let water run with garbage disposal ice to flush clean water down, processing residual waste and sharpening the blades for about 30 seconds.
- Reset and power your system at the breaker box, then test functionality with a blast of cold water. Upon reactivating the unit, use tongs to insert ice cubes and grind some in the operating disposal. The ice cubes sharpen the blades, scrubbing the interior and dislodging food particles.
- Don’t grind starchy items like pasta, rice, or potato peels in your disposal to minimize the chance of future blockages.
Adhering to tips how clean garbage disposal routines keep your unit fresh and efficient for years. However, if clogs or other issues persist, it’s advisable to contact our team for expert plumbing repairs.
Preventing Future Clogs
There are several key strategies to prevent future clogs in your garbage disposalhow you maintain it matters:
- It’s also prudent to refrain from disposing of fibrous foods, egg shells, and other stringy materials down the drain as they can ensnare in the blades of your disposal, leading to jams.
- Don’t pour fat, grease, or oily substances down the drain, as these substances prevent the water from flowing freely. These materials can lead to deposits that harden over time, creating barriers that even a steady flow of water can struggle to displace.
- You can also use cold water consistently from your tap before, during, and after using the disposal, an essential practice to help flush waste through and prevent fats from solidifying.
- Throwing some foods, like citrus peels, into the garbage disposal during routine cleaning adds freshness, though you should avoid grinding harsh substances like coffee grounds.
- Before putting anything down, Ensure you chop bulky waste into manageable pieces to prevent clogging, then turn on the cold water ensuring to turn disposal off first to avoid potential jamming.
- Routinely clean your disposal can enhance operation by flushing it with rock salt and ice; then turn cold water on to enhance the scouring effect on the grinding components.
By implementing these solid prevention tips, routine maintenance can avert numerous future clogs. But if your unit becomes jammed, never stick your hand inside to clear obstructions. Call our team for professional assistance.
Unclogging a Jammed Disposal
Should your garbage disposal become jammed and refuse to turn, follow these crucial steps involving cold water to turn garbage disposal and unclog the mechanism:
- Unplug the disposal under the sink then switch off power at the breaker box to safely run cold water turn garbage maintenance routine.
- Affix a protective glove and use your hands to feel for obstructions at the drain opening. Use your hands to remove any debris that you can safely grab. Don’t reach further than your wrist.
- Use tongs or pliers to try removing debris stuck near the splashguard or in the grinding plate.
- Insert an Allen wrench into disposal where the small red reset button is located underneath the unit and press firmly.
- Use a screwdriver to manually turn the motor shaft in both directions to loosen the jam.
- Try the reset button again after you’ve put into place the necessary steps to free up space inside the grinding chamber.
- Plug into unit and flip power back on once debris is removed. Decant a kettle of hot water directly into drain, activating the disposal, which refreshes kitchen appliance efficiency by flushing out remnant debris.
- Avoid putting starchy foods like pasta or rice into your disposal to prevent future jams. Overloading with too much waste at once also clogs easily.
- Should severe blockages not clear easily, enlist our team’s professional support. Don’t attempt dismantling the unit on your own.
Understanding proper maintenance and waste guidelines can prevent most clogs. But jams do occasionally arise which can make immediate attention necessary to avert permanent damage.
When to Call a Professional
There are a few scenarios where it’s crucial to call our professional plumbing team for garbage disposal repairs or maintenance:
- If you experience any water leaks from unit connections, have exposed wiring or other hazardous electrical issues.
- For severe drain clogs unable to go down after multiple attempts, you may require mechanical assistance.
- If the unit sparks, shorts out or motor fails to engage at all despite reset attempts.
- For persistent bad odours or backed up drains signalling major blockages or damage.
- If the grinding chamber, turntable or interior components appear broken after inspection.
- In case of any accidental foreign object falling into the unit that becomes jammed.
- If the reset button fails to restart the unit after clearing obstructions.
Refrain from attempting electrical repairs or internal access; instead, reach out to our customer service for professional help. Our licensed technicians apply expert analysis and specialised tools to transform complex issues into straightforward solutions. We can troubleshoot persistent problems to determine if garbage disposal replacement is required while preventing further plumbing damages.
Costs of Repairs vs Replacement
In deciding to repair or replace your garbage disposal, consider both short-term and long-term financial outcomes. Frequent repairs for minor issues may seem cheaper in the moment, but can add up rapidly. Learning how to choose a new disposal can ensure replacing an old model brings long-term savings on energy and maintenance expenses.
Typical repairs like unclogging jams or replacing worn splashguards range $80-150. professional installation.
But if the grinding chamber, motor or internal wiring requires work, costs jump to $200 or more. New disposals with advanced sound insulation, jam-sensing technology and energy efficiency run $150-350 incl.
Replacement becomes more cost-effective than continuous repairs for units over 5-7 years old. Newer models increase grinding capacity and decrease noise levels for a similar price. They also carry warranties up to 10 years for peace of mind.
Worn motors in older disposal units consume substantially more electricity during operation. Upgrading saves on energy bills while powering through food waste faster. New stainless steel grinding components also resist corrosion better over time.
Our team provides free evaluations on whether your disposal is worth repairing or requires replacement. We handle professional installation, including managing heating cooling elements, using modern units fine-tuned for smooth performance.