Garbage disposals are useful for more than just destroying food; their forceful suction and pulverizing abilities can reduce the number of pipe clogs in your home while reducing the number of household chores you need to deal with. Unfortunately, the sturdy systems can be thwarted by incorrect usage or even the passage of time. Consider a few repair and maintenance techniques for keeping your garbage disposal ready to pulverize for your convenience.
How Do Garbage Disposals Get Clogged?
If garbage disposals exist to pulverize and flush difficult materials, how can they be clogged? You can't put everything down the garbage disposal, but any seasoned plumber can tell you that people have tried.
Whether on purpose or by accident, hard materials such as dense bones, forks, spoons or even jewelry can be dropped into the garbage disposal. The metal impellers (often called blades) can be dulled if these hard materials are dropped in. At the wrong angle, they may even clog the system.
Hard objects aren't the only difficult materials. Tough, stringy meats, cloth or other stringy materials may be thin enough to avoid shredding, allowing their strands to wrap around the spinning portion of the garbage disposal. As they wrap, the impellers can slow to a stop.
It's vital to get rid of as much of the material as possible, but you need to keep in mind that the garbage disposal may be immediately weakened afterwards.
Removing Difficult Clogs
It's time to get your hands dirt! When working with the garbage disposal, make sure to always turn off the power at the circuit breaker. This stops accidental switch flipping from causing severe harm to your body as you work.
You may be lucky enough to pull the clogged materials out of the disposal unit directly. Objects such as forks or some jewelry can be salvaged with a few scratches if the disposal unit is stopped quickly enough.
If you have mangled metal or clogged meats and mush in the unit, you'll need to remove the garbage disposal. Take a few precautions to make the process easier:
- Place a bucket under the disposal unit and the pipes to catch excess water and waste.
- Hold onto the garbage disposal as you remove the pipes. If possible, do this step with a second person.
- Place the garbage disposal unit in a pan or wide working area separate from your floor to avoid making a mess.
- Consult your garbage disposal manual to find the easiest way to open the disposal unit. There may be a faster way than opening all the screws. Once open, the waste materials can be unwound or sprayed out.
If you need help with more difficult clogs or would rather have a professional's help, contact a plumbing repair expert, like those at Vincent J Cestaro & Son Plumbing, Heating, & Air Conditioning.