Your Guide To Garbage Disposal Maintenance, Repair, and Replacements

Garbage Disposals are an extremely helpful appliance found in nearly every kitchen! A Garbage Disposal is a small, electrically powered system attached to the underside of your sink and is primarily used to shred food waste from your drain into tiny pieces so that when it passes through your plumbing, it does not clog your pipes.

Since the main purpose of a garbage disposal system is to prevent your pipes from being clogged, it’s essential to make sure it’s in good working order, being used properly, and well maintained.

While Garbage Disposals are handy and convenient tools. they can also cause stressful problems for homeowners if it wreaks havoc on your plumbing system. Luckily, there are quite a few ways to maintain your Garbage Disposal System so it works properly and prevents damage that will lead to requiring repairs or a replacement. Correct installation, regular maintenance, and proper usage are all essential to having a working Garbage Disposal Unit! 

Best Ways To Maintain Your Garbage Disposal

To keep your Garbage Disposal working properly it’s important to clean it regularly, follow guidelines when using it, and only use it for its intended purpose. Your garbage disposal sees a lot of usage, typically every day, so it’s of the utmost importance you’re doing your part to ensure it’ll last for years to come!

Did you know that it’s recommended to clean your garbage disposal weekly to keep it clear of buildup? Even if you do not use it frequently or have anything to grind, it’s a good idea to turn it on every couple of days with the water running. This will prevent any leftover food from hardening in order to prevent rotten odors or clogs and will also prevent rust and corrosion from forming in the unit.

A simple, but effective, way to clean your Garbage Disposal regularly is by putting half a cup of baking soda into the opening of the drain, followed by a cup of white vinegar. You want to allow the mixture to sit and fizz for about 10 minutes, and then flush the garbage disposal with cold water with the system turned on. In order to leave your sink smelling fresh after you’ve cleaned it, you can run half of a sliced lemon or other citrus peel through the garbage disposal.

What Can I Safely Put Down a Garbage Disposal?

Following the recommended and intended use of a Garbage Disposal is essential. One of the main reasons garbage disposals get clogged or broken is by misusing them. 

Remember, your Garbage Disposal is not a trash can, it is for food scraps only! If you put food down that it can not shred or grind, it can lead to your drain being clogged or breaking the Garbage Disposal Unit, which will require it to be repaired or replaced.

A good rule of thumb is if the food is biodegradable, it should be okay to put down the Garbage Disposal. Food that is approved and safe to shred in a Garbage Disposal includes:

  • Fruit Peels
  • Vegetable Scraps
  • Ice
  • Small Portions of Leftovers
  • Cooked Meat Scraps

However, there are some food items that are not intended to be put down in the garbage disposal and could break the system or clog the drains. Do not put these items in your Garbage Disposal under any circumstance: 

  • Grease and Oils
  • Shells and Bones
  • Large Portions of Food
  • Oatmeal or Grits
  • Non-Food Items

How To Fix a Garbage Disposal

In order to fix or repair a garbage disposal system, you must first know what is wrong with it. If the drain is clogged or severely damaged or the unit is making loud noises or even not turning on at all, your best option would be to hire an affordable and experienced plumber to assess the situation and perform the necessary repairs.

However, if a problem is minor enough you may be able to fix it yourself. A common problem is getting food stuck in the garbage disposal. If you turn the entire system off, you can gently use pliers to reach down into the blades to dislodge any food that may be stuck. This should only be done when the system is turned off for safety reasons, and you do not want to use force as this could severely damage the system. 

One of the most common reasons a garbage disposal system will stop working is due to overloading. This can cause it to overwork and eventually give out. Different parts can burn out over heavy use. Whatever the issue may be, a professional plumber will be able to assess the situation and perform any repairs it needs in order to get it working again. Plumbers are able to assist with:

  • Broken engines, blown fuses, and tripped circuits
  • Loud and noisy garbage disposals that have issues with screw bearings
  • Broken or jammed blades
  • Drainage problems due to stuck food
  • Clogged drains

When Is It Time To Replace a Garbage Disposal? 

Replacing your garbage disposal could be necessary for a variety of reasons. If the unit was damaged beyond repair or if it has reached the end of its lifespan, it may be necessary to install a new garbage disposal unit under the sink. Before replacing the garbage disposal, make sure you have a plumber examine it to make sure there isn’t an alternative and reliable solution before determining whether a replacement is necessary. 

There’s a lot that can be done to save a garbage disposal unit. However, if the unit is leaking water – not only can this be a plumbing headache but it can indicate larger problems within the walls and pipes of your home. Replacing your garbage disposal can help ensure that your home’s plumbing system remains intact and functioning efficiently.

Professional Plumber Near Me

At Rootin Tootin Rooter we pride ourselves on being garbage disposal repair and installation specialists in Tucson, AZ!

You never realize how important your garbage disposal is until it’s not working anymore. If your disposal is not turning on, making strange noises, or having drainage problems give us a call today! With over 40 years of experience, you can count on our team to get the job done correctly. We use only the highest quality parts and installation practices to ensure your garbage disposal will last for years to come! 

Give us a call today and a trained professional will track down the cause and get it back in working condition as soon as possible. 

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