Your garbage disposal plays an important role in your kitchen, but you probably don’t think about it much as long as it’s working according to plan. If your disposal is on the fritz, you’re going to notice – not only is it extremely inconvenient and malodorous but can also damage your pipes. There are several ways you can help keep your garbage disposal running in tiptop shape. If you do get a basic clog, you may even be able to remedy it yourself by following several simple steps. If, however, your own ministrations don’t take care of the problem, you’ll need an experienced St. Cloud plumber.
A Recent Clog
If your garbage disposal clogs suddenly, and you think you know what the culprit is, you may be able to take care of the issue on your own. A deeper problem or a clog that has built up over time, however, means that you need to call in a plumbing professional. If you think you may have accidentally dropped something into the disposal, if you inadvertently pushed through more than the unit can handle at one go, or if you failed to keep water flowing and flushing things through your disposal, there are some steps you can take to attempt to put things right:
Turn Off the Power
Don’t attempt to do anything to your garbage disposal until you’ve shut down its power at the breaker. Always put safety first.
Shine a Light
Shining a flashlight into the disposal’s opening should allow you to see if a clog or an errant fork (or other item) is the problem.
Grab a Tool
Use a pair of plyers or another tool – never your hands – to grab the offending item or clog and pull it free.
Cool Your Engines
Allow the disposal’s motor to rest and cool for about 15 to 20 minutes before reconnecting the power.
Run the Water
Finally, allow the faucet to run on high while you turn the garbage disposal back on.
If these steps don’t remedy the problem, contact a plumbing professional asap.
Tips and Tricks
- A garbage disposal is a convenient kitchen appliance, and as long as it’s in good working order, you’re going to be happy with the results. To help keep your disposal running smoothly, there are some tips and tricks you can implement:
- If your garbage disposal is running, your faucet’s cold water should also be running. This running water helps flush debris from the disposal and helps keep things chugging along without a hitch.
- Throwing a few small ice cubes in with the flow of water when your garbage disposal is running can help knock debris loose from the unit’s blades – without causing them to be damaged.
- To keep your disposal smelling fresh and clean, add lemon juice to the running water when your disposal is in action.
- Adding a squirt of dish soap to the water that’s running through your disposal when it’s operating will help clean your unit and keep it smelling fresh.
These preventative measures can help keep your garbage disposal clean and in good repair.
What Not to Do
Just as there are tips for keeping your disposal running smoothly, there are also certain things that you should never do:
- Don’t ever pour fat in any form down your disposal. As the grease cools, it will harden and adhere to your disposal and pipes. Not only does this clog your disposal but also acts as a magnet for future debris that enters your drain.
- Fibrous foods – including onion skins, lettuce, potatoes, celery, and asparagus – belong in your compost and not in your garbage disposal. The fibrous strips can become entangled with your disposal’s blades and lead to significant problems.
- Rice and pastas shouldn’t go down your garbage disposal because they continue to absorb water and can quickly amass into a blockage.
- Keep eggshells out of your disposal. These delicate shells have a nearly magnetic quality that allows them to stick to your unit’s blades and contribute to a messy blockage over time.
By avoiding these basic no-no’s, you can help keep your garbage disposal working for you.
If Your Garbage Disposal Is Kaput, Contact a Skilled St. Cloud Plumber Today
The experienced plumbing professionals at Neighborhood Plumbing, Heating, Air Conditioning, and Electrical in St. Cloud have the skill, knowledge, and commitment to get to the bottom of your garbage disposal problem. You need a garbage disposal that works for you, and whether repairs or a new unit are in order, we’ll effectively and efficiently get you back up and running. We’re here to help, so please contact or call us at 800-570-4328 today.