Admit it: your garbage disposal does a lot of stuff you don’t want to do. So get to know it and treat it right. Fixer Noah shares tips for how to optimize its performance, prolong its life and avoid breakdowns.
1. Clean It
Remember these tips to clean, freshen, and keep your disposal in tip-top shape:
Run it every day so small stuff doesn’t lurk in there.
Run cold water when you use it, so fat and grease solidify and get gone.
Squirt dish soap (to clean).
Chop up lemon rinds (to freshen).
Put a half-cup of baking soda and THEN a half cup of vinegar down it (to scour)
Run a handful of ice cubes through it (to keep it sharp).
2. Don’t Stress It
When it comes to food, very small bones are okay; big ones, no way. Vegetable peels (potato, carrot, etc.) like to slip through and THEN clog your pipe downstream. Starchy stuff like pasta expands in the plumbing, leaves gunk and promotes clogs.
3. Listen for Clunking
Random chunking sounds probably mean something is getting kicked around. It could be a piece of tough food, a bottle cap, or a piece of glass. TURN IT OFF before you carefully fish around with a gloved hand or tongs. Shine a light and squint – you’ll probably see it.
4. Listen for Humming
A steady humming sound can mean it’s downright stuck. TURN IT OFF. Grab the ¼” hex wrench that came with your unit and insert it into the hex-shaped hole smack in the middle of the bottom of the unit. Turn it clockwise several full rotations and see if it gets easier to turn. Then try running it. Still hums? TURN IT OFF and use the wrench in the opposite direction. Keep at it.
5. Listen for Silence
No sound at all? It probably needs resetting. TURN IT OFF. Find the little button on the underside. Press it. Now turn it on. Nothing? Check nearby GFCI outlets to see if one needs resetting. It might be part of the branch circuit the disposal is on.
6. Call Fixer!
If you’re still having problems, we can visit, diagnose, troubleshoot or replace. And we’ll make sure all the plumbing under your sink is sturdy, strong and watertight while we’re down there.
Now Introducing: Personal Video Consultations with a Skilled Fixer
Book a one-on-one Zoom video call with one of our home repair experts. We’ll help you troubleshoot your disposal in real-time, from the comfort of your home.