Three Tips from Roto-Rooter for a Kitchen Disposal

Three Tips from Roto-Rooter for a Kitchen Disposal

An in-sink disposal is one of the most useful appliances in the kitchen if you know how to operate it correctly. If not, you can spend a lot of money calling a plumber to unjam disposal blades. Unjamming a disposal and operating one correctly is not difficult. Following are three suggestions to help keep your disposal working at all times. For more information about kitchen disposals, visit us at Roto-Rooter.com.

Steps to Operate the Appliance Correctly

A kitchen disposal will function well if you take care of it. The following are steps you should follow to correctly operate your appliance:

  1. Turn on the water before you turn on the appliance or put food into it.
  2. Turn on the appliance.
  3. With both the water and the appliance running, gently push the food into the opening.
  4. Do not push all the food in at once. This can cause the blades to jam. It is better to steadily push small portions into the appliance.
  5. Leave the appliance running until you hear the grinding noise completely stop.
  6. Leave the water running 10 to 15 seconds longer. This will flush the small particles past the p-trap and down the pipes.

Steps to Unjam the Disposal Blades

Dislodging garbage disposal blades is not difficult. Even those with very little plumbing experience can get the blades moving again by completing the following steps:

  1. Disconnect the power from the appliance.
  2. Locate the hex-shaped notch in the bottom or the appliance. It is usually in the center.
  3. Find an Allen wrench or the tool that came with the disposal.
  4. Insert the wrench into the notch and move the tool back and forth.
  5. Keep rotating the wrench until the blades move freely.
  6. Reconnect power.
  7. Push the reset button
  8. Turn on the water and then the appliance.

If the disposal doesn't work after completing these steps, repeat the steps again one or two more times. If you still can't get it to work and the blades are rotating freely, you may need to replace the appliance. Feel free to call Roto-Rooter to install a new disposal if you need one.

Items to Avoid Putting in the Disposal

There are a few foods and items that should never be put into a disposal. The following items are either hard on the disposal blades or can cause a clog further down the line:

  • Onion skins, celery stalks, grape stems, or anything that is fibrous
  • Small bones
  • Nuts, seeds, or popcorn kernels
  • Potato peelings, rice, pasta, or other starchy foods that can swell
  • Grease, either liquid or solid
  • Plastic, glass, or metal
 
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