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Tips to Help You Avoid Clogs in Your Disposal

The kitchen garbage disposal is one of the most useful appliances in the kitchen. However, it is also one of the most abused appliances in the kitchen. Following are three suggestions from Roto-Rooter  to help you take care of your kitchen disposal.

How to Operate the Disposal Correctly

A very common way to operate a disposal is to push all the food into the small opening until no more will fit. Once the appliance is full the operator flips the switch to turn the appliance on. This method is very hard on a disposal. It can cause the blades to jam and make the disposal stop working. The following steps should be taken whenever you use the disposal:

  1. Turn on the cold water with the food still in the sink.
  2. Turn on the disposal.
  3. Gently push the food into the opening. Be sure to keep your fingers out of the opening. The food should drop into the appliance with just a little push.
  4. Leave the appliance running until you don't hear grinding noise anymore.
  5. Turn off the appliance.
  6. Leave the water running for five to ten more seconds.

How to Use the Disposal Correctly

In addition to operating the appliance correctly, there are other things you should do in order to use it correctly. These include the following suggestions:

  • Put large amounts of food scraps into the garbage can rather than the disposal.
  • Avoid grinding up items such as potato peelings, egg shells, onion skins, nuts, seeds, popcorn kernels, metal, plastic, glass, etc.
  • Never put grease down any drains in the house, including the garbage disposal.
  • Clean blades with ice cubes or orange peels cut into small pieces.

Unjamming the Blades

Most of the time when you get a jammed garbage disposal you can dislodge the blades yourself. Follow the simple steps outlined below:

  1. Unplug the appliance from the power source.
  2. Find the hex-shaped notch located on the bottom middle of the appliance.
  3. Insert an Allen wrench or the disposal key into the notch and turn it back and forth until the blades loosen and rotate freely.
  4. Plug in the appliance and hit the reset button.
  5. Turn on the cold water first and then the disposal to test it and see if it is working.

If the disposal doesn't work after you have done these five things you may need to repeat the process a couple of times. If you still can't get it to work call Roto-Rooter to come and help.