Common Garbage Disposal Problems and Solutions
Most kitchens you assume have the normal appliances like a stove and a fridge and cabinets and a sink. But one thing that seems so obvious that you don’t even check to see if it’s there is a garbage disposal. You would have to be living in a very old house or apartment to find one without a garbage disposal, even then it’s possible that the sink as been replaced or a garbage disposal added. As with most necessities, garbage disposals require care and attention too. So here are a few points to be aware of about your garbage disposal.
Egg shells and coffee grounds can be put in the same category of problem. When you put either of these down the garbage disposal the little pieces will stick to any bit of sludge that might be found in the pipe. You can see how this would rapidly form a clog in the pipes. It would add onto itself until there was no way for anything to get through.
Potato peels aren’t quite the same as egg shells or garbage disposal but can clog your pipes just as easily and quickly. When you grind up potato peels you create this mashed potato-like, starchy paste that will make a nicely messy clog. Banana peels are like the potato peels, just add to stringy fiber goodness to the mess.
Before you turn on your garbage disposal make sure the water is running at a fairly good flow so nothing gets stuck on the spin cycle inside the disposal and wreak havoc. That should be easy enough if you run it after doing the dishes. Also, after you’ve run the disposal and turned it back off, keep the water running another 30 seconds or so to make sure it all is really flushed out.
When you don’t have enough water flow through the garbage disposals the waste and mushed up food doesn’t make it all the way through the pipes and out. Without enough water to shuffle it along, the food stops in the pipes and makes a little home for itself. This can build up to the point where your pipes clog and you have a problem.
Metal silverware won’t create a clog or get stuck in the pipes, in fact it would never get past the disposal. Generally, it is the metal silverware that disappears down into the disposal without you realizing it and you don’t stop to check and just flip on the disposal. Then you hear that awful clanging sound and jump to turn it back off. While it won’t clog, it causes other problems such as damaged spoons, dented garbage disposal parts, or mangled blades. This is an easy fix. All you have to do is check with another piece of silverware, not your hand, if there is anything down there that shouldn’t.
It may be surprising to see this among a list of common garbage disposal problems but it still made it on the list. There are two basic types of garbage disposals. One is called the continuous feed garbage disposal. Don’t get this disposal if you have little kids. It would so easy for a lot of dangerous things to happen. A continuous feed disposal doesn’t wait to be turned on. Once anything goes down the drain the grinder turns on and grinds away; hands, toys, rings, silverware. Don’t let your garbage disposal eat what you still want.
Another interesting problem to be noted is how often people use their hands to check if there is anything in the disposal that isn’t supposed to be. Don’t use your hand! There are blades in there designed to cut things up small enough to make it through the pipe system without problems. That disposal won’t know the difference between food and your finger. It doesn’t think, it only cuts and disposes.