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Prevent Damage to your Garbage Disposal by Avoiding these Mistakes

damaged garbage disposal

Holiday disposal use sees the garbage disposal systems constantly crunching an endless supply of peelings, scrapings, and leftovers. This hardworking powerhouse is a staple in more than half of the homes in the United States.

I recently spoke to the owner of a local plumbing service who said that most major holidays give garbage disposals a hard workout. I was also told that their busiest day is the Friday after Thanksgiving.

Not all disposals are high-tech. Many are old, low-grade appliances, and don’t work at full capacity. Inferior and outdated disposals are the reasons technicians and manufacturers give the many different recommendations for safely using garbage disposals.

I also did research on one manufacturer who are known for high quality. This company listed the myths when it comes to what to put in a disposal and what not to put in the disposal. Older units can’t handle bones, eggshells, pasta, coffee grounds, or banana peels stuffed down their throats. However, when it comes to the best garbage disposal today, you will be looking at quieter yet more powerful performance. This means that when you through these tough items into the system, they will grind them up with ease.

InSinkErator, a disposal manufacturer since 1938, offers their Evolution line of disposals with advanced features that grind bones and avocado pits.

While many disposal myths don’t apply to newer systems, there are mistakes you still want to avoid even with the most technically advanced models.

Wrong Sequence for Operating – Even the best garbage disposals need an operation sequence using these steps in order:

  1. Turn on the cold water and let it run.
  2. Start the disposal.
  3. Add food slowly and avoid putting too much food in at one time.
  4. Let disposal run for 30-seconds or until the food is ground up and gone.
  5. Turn off disposal and leave the water running for 15 seconds. The running water flushes any particles from the drain.

Incorrect Cleaning – Add baking soda for cleaning and freshening the disposal system. Lime and lemon slices clean while eliminating odors. Add ice cubes to loosen stuck food. Cleaning with drain openers or bleach may cause the disposal to malfunction.

Using Hot Water – Against popular belief, use cold water when running a garbage disposal. Cold water lets grease and fats stay intact as they flush down the pipes.

Non-Food Items – Besides the forbidden foodstuff, there are other items not meant for this kind of system.

  • Twist Ties
  • Glass
  • Cigarettes and Cigarette Butts
  • Rubber Bands
  • Matches

Fat and Grease – Grease solidifies and hardens in pipes. Put grease in a container and throw in the trash.

Don’t Call for Service Yet– Before calling for repair service; you need to try these tips first.

  • Shut off the unit at the switch and press the red button underneath the garbage disposal. This button resets the unit, much like resetting a circuit breaker, which may restart the system.
  • Using the key furnished with your disposal, insert into the key inside the hole at the unit’s bottom side. If you don’t have the disposal key, you can use an Allen wrench. Rotate the key back then forward to remove the jam.

If these two steps don’t work, call for repair service.