Roto-Rooter Gives Answers to Five FAQ about Kitchen Disposals

Roto-Rooter Gives Answers to Five FAQ about Kitchen Disposals

It is imperative that kitchen plumbing works well. What follows are five questions that our plumbers are often asked when they make service calls. Answers to these questions should help you keep your kitchen working well all of the time. If you have questions that aren't answered here, go to the Roto-Rooter website. This website contains hundreds of instructions, tips and videos designed to help you with all your plumbing needs.

What makes my kitchen sink smell?

Any sink can emit odors from time to time. However, if you use a garbage disposal, your sink is more likely to produce smells. When you grind the food, small fragments can remain in the grooves of the appliance. As the food decays it will cause your disposal and sink to smell.

How can I eliminate the odors?

There are several different methods you can use to clean your disposal. These include the following methods:

  • Grind up lemon, lime or orange peels. The peels are tough enough that they act like an abrasive cleanser and scrape away the food particles. Be sure, though, to run plenty of cold water to wash the peels through the line.
  • Grind up ice cubes. Ice cubes work the same way the citrus peels work (though they don’t smell quite as good).
  • Pour baking soda and vinegar down the drain. The chemical reaction will break up the food. After the reaction has finished, flush the remnants down the drain with hot water.

How come I get a strange sound when my appliance is turned on?

Generally a strange sound means that something is in the disposal that shouldn't be there. The blades are having a difficult time breaking the object into small pieces so that it can go down the drain. Common items that cause problems are twist-ties from bread sacks, small pieces of broken glass, popcorn kernels, small bones or other hard objects.

Why do the disposal blades get jammed?

Most of the time blades get jammed when too much food is in the appliance at one time. The volume overwhelms the blades and doesn't give them enough room to work. Only push small amounts at a time into the opening.

Can I unjam the disposal blades myself?

It is very easy to dislodge the blades with the following steps:

  1. Disconnect the power to the disposal.
  2. Locate the hex-shaped notch on the underside of the appliance (usually it is in the center).
  3. Insert an Allen wrench into the notch and twist it back and forth.
  4. When the blades are moving freely, reconnect the power and push the reset button.
  5. Turn on the water first and then the appliance to test it.

This should fix the disposal. If it doesn't work, repeat the process one or two more times. If that still doesn't work call Roto-Rooter for help.

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