Garbage disposals have revolutionized the way we live our lives and have made cleaning up after enjoying a meal a convenient and efficient process. Garbage disposals operate on a fairly simple principal, but making yourself familiar with the steps to take if you have a problem with yours can save you a lot of trouble in the long run.
Food scraps comprise between 10 and 20% of the total waste a household produces, and reducing them to a liquid form to pass through the sewer system is a hygienic way of getting rid of them. If the food is left to decompose in landfills and garbage dumps, it lets off methane gas, which is one of the greenhouse gases that are harmful to the environment. A garbage disposal reduces your food scraps down to 70% water, which is the same as human waste and much easier to process in the sewer system.
Always consult your operating manual before you attempt a home garbage disposal repair, and always make sure you switch the power off at the mains before you touch it.
The most common problem is a blockage inside the disposal unit. Get a flashlight to look down and see if there is anything obvious that has got stuck inside. If necessary, lift it out with a pair of tongs.
Your unit should have come with a special Allen wrench designed to fit the hole at the bottom of the garbage disposal. Insert it and turn to see if this will release the blockage.
If your drain is clogged with debris, try using a drain cleaner to clear the jam. If this does not work, you will need to loosen the fittings on the P trap and remove it. Once you have removed it clean the trap out. Make sure you put a bucket under the drain to catch any escaping water or debris.
If your disposal is not turning, it could be overloaded. To check this try give it a few minutes for the motor to cool down and push the reset button.
Do not put oil or grease down your drain, as this can cause a blockage when it solidifies and cools down. Your blade may also need to be sharpened once you have been using your unit for a few years. Putting harder materials like chicken bones down the disposal can help with this, or you could try ice to get them sharp again.
Always treat your garbage disposal repair signs with urgency to prevent the problem from worsening quickly and becoming more expensive.
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