Garbage disposals often gets jammed or clogged when not used properly. You’ll know this when your disposal is overly noisy, stops before turning it on or when the motor hums but doesn’t grind. This typically happens when objects other than food goes through the disposal motor, and damages the impeller blade and the drain hole.
If you want to keep your garbage disposal working smoothly for many years, consider the following do’s and don’ts:
- Do run your garbage disposal regularly.
- Do run water before and after you use the disposal.
- Do cut large items into smaller pieces and put them one a time instead of shoving a large amount of materials in at once.
- Do use cold water when grinding food.
- Do use ice cubes and cup of rock salts and run it for 5 seconds. This will sharpen the blades between uses.
- Do use a quartered lemon or any other citrus fruits to deodorize your disposals.
- Do keep your garbage disposal clean.
- Don’t ever put your hand in the disposal!
- Don’t turn off the motor or water until grinding is complete.
- Don’t use hot water as it can melt fats and affect the mechanism and pipes.
- Don’t grind overly objects such as bones, coffee grounds, glass, fruit pits, rubber and metals.
- Don’t pour grease, oil or fat. It will accumulate over time and affect garbage disposal ability.
- Don’t overfill or put large amount of food.
- Don’t put large quantities of STARCH products such as bread, potatoes, rice etc.
- Don’t use harsh chemicals like bleach or drain cleaners.
Now if your garbage disposal is already jammed, unplug the unit and check the manual for instructions. Be sure to turn off the electrical circuit before making any repairs. Remove any materials with tongs or pliers to check for waste that shouldn’t have been there. Use a hex wrench that fits the hex-shaped hole under the sink, and force it back and forth in both directions to free the impellers.