Garbage Disposals: The Most Common Source of Plumbing Questions

Garbage Disposals: The Most Common Source of Plumbing Questions

Some of the most frequently asked questions regarding plumbing in Fresno have to do with garbage disposals. Garbage disposals are very handy to have in a home. Without a disposal, you would have to be very careful about what you wash down your kitchen sink. With a disposal, you can clean out all sorts of dishes, and simply wash their contents down the drain. The disposal uses blades to chop up anything you send down, keeping your pipes clean and functional. Unfortunately, while garbage disposals do solve many problems, they can also create new problems.

How to Fix a Jammed Disposal

Sometimes you go to turn on the disposal, and it won’t turn on. Or you have the disposal running, and it suddenly stops. It may seem like a nightmare, especially if you have lots of dishes to wash, but you may be able to fix it yourself. If, when you flip on the disposal switch, you hear a brief sound from the disposal, but it never actually turns on, it may be jammed. Almost all disposals have a key slot beneath them, and by inserting a disposal key and turning it a few times, the blades may become un-jammed. If you try this and the disposal still doesn’t work, you may need to call a plumber.

Eliminating Foul Orders

It isn’t unusual for a garbage disposal to develop a foul odor. When you send food down into the disposal, most of it gets chopped up and continues down the pipes, but pieces of the food may remain in the disposal. Over time, these pieces of food begin to rot, and that is the cause of the odor. Pouring some ice cubes down the drain and running the disposal can help remove any big chunks of food. If this is the first time an odor has developed, you can try throwing in some citrus peels (lemon, orange, lime) and running the disposal, and then using some dish soap to mask the smell. If this is a frequent occurrence, you can purchase enzyme-based cleaners that can be used about once a month to break down any disgusting smells.

Preventative Measures

In either of these scenarios, there are practices that can be used to prevent these problems from happening again, or from happening in the first place. When using the disposal, be sure to run water for a few seconds before and after sending food down the disposal, and continue running water for a few seconds after the disposal is turned off. Also, you need to be careful of which types of food you send down the disposal. Potato peels, bones, and corn husks have all been known to cause disposal problems, and all of these are just as easily thrown in the garbage. As long as you use the disposal correctly and avoid putting unnecessary food items down the drain, your plumbing in Fresno should have one less problem.

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