How to Maintain Your Garbage Disposal

You already know your garbage disposal won’t last forever, but what’s wrong with it lasting “longer than expected”?

Absolutely nothing! And because of that, Messmer Mechanical is here to explain how you can accomplish that money-saving goal:

  • Feed your disposal a little at a time. While you’re at it, take care to keep utensils and your hands out of the drain.
  • Keep all fibrous foods out since they’re likely to clog your drain – the disposal can’t properly grind them. That goes for food scraps like corn husks, onion skins, celery, and most soft vegetables.

  • Deodorize the disposal. Cut a lemon into small pieces and drop the fruit into the disposal along with some baking soda or distilled white vinegar. Turn on the cold- water faucet and 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.  In fact, you probably have one if you hear or see any of the following signs:

  • If the disposal won’t run, check the circuit breaker or fuse and replace or reset/replace as necessary. Also check to see if the disposal’s 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 – that can be fixed.
  • If the disposal runs intermittently, the switch or stopper may be defective. If so, it’s probably time for a replacement unit.
  • A leaky garbage disposal isn’t necessarily a sign of rust. The cause might be as simple as a loose connection, which easily can be tightened.
  • If your disposal starts making a racket, turn it off immediately; chances are, something was being ground up that didn’t belong in there in the first place, like a meat bone. If you stop it in time, no harm.  If not, you could be facing a damaged blade, impeller or motor.

Like all other plumbing fixtures and systems, treat your garbage disposal with care, and it will give you more years of uninterrupted service.  But when the time comes that it requires professional attention, we’ll be here to lend a helping hand, just as we are right now.  Messmer Mechanical:  your friend in the plumbing business. Contact us for service any time.

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