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Garbage Disposal Care & Maintenance

Garbage Disposals can make kitchen cleanup easier by allowing food scraps, from dishes, down the drain to be ground up before going down the pipes. There are some items that should NEVER go down the disposal:

  • Non-Food items Some non-food items that we have found in disposals include bottle caps, small rocks, pennies and bread bag clips. These are all items that can jam your disposal blades and cause the breaker to trip.

  • Grease should never be put down the sink drain, including the garbage disposal. As grease cools, it solidifies and creates clogs.

  • Fibrous or Stringy Foods celery, asparagus, potato and onion skins should all be kept out of the disposal. These food scraps will jam the blades and could cause your circuit breaker on the disposal to trip.

  • Pasta, Rice and Coffee Grounds can get caught in drain pipes and cause clogs and you'll have a backed up drain in no time.

If you have put something down the drain and caused the blades to jam and even trip the breaker, there are steps you can take to get your disposal working without calling a repair person.

  1. First, turn the switch off that powers the garbage disposal unit and unplug under the sink.

  2. Loosen the jam. Find the hex socket on the center of the the bottom of the disposal unit. It's inside a small, round hole in the motor housing. Using an Allen wench or garbage disposal specialty Allen wrench tool, insert into this socket and move the wrench back and forth to free the jam.

  3. Now using pliers, if your uncomfortable using your hands, find the obstruction in the disposal drain that caused the blades to jam. Remove the obstruction or foreign object.

  4. Restore power to the disposal.

  5. Reset the disposal. Press the small reset button located on the side or bottom of disposal.

6. Test the disposal. Run cold water down the disposal side of sink, turn on the disposal. If it spins freely, you're done. If the motor hums but doesn't spin, it is still jammed. Repeat steps 1-5 until the jam is cleared.

If the disposal still doesn't work after using the steps above or shows any signs of leaking, it is time to replace the disposal.

Remember, the simplest way to avoid a clog is to make sure you flush the disposal with plenty of water when it is grinding and keep out foreign objects and any of the list that we mentioned above. You can also clean your garbage disposal to keep it smelling fresh and clean by putting a couple of lemon slices and vinegar down the disposal, run water, turn on and run for up to a minute. The citric acid from the lemon will break down any grease and the vinegar will remove any unwanted smells.

One Call Property Solutions is just a phone call away for any garbage disposal maintenance assistance. (208) 490-6713 We Make It Better.

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