Simple Things You Should Know About Garbage Disposals

So you’re thinking about making the leap and upgrading your sink to include a disposal or maybe your current disposal is giving you fits. Here are a few things you should know about disposals from the people who install and service garbage disposals.

Here at Speed Services we see a full range of disposals.  From $5 rummage sale specials to $5,000 units in bio labs.  We’ve seen the good bad and the ugly and want to pass on some food for thought.

If you’ve never had a disposal before and are thinking of adding one to your kitchen sink here are some things to look at.  First, will it fit?  Ordinary sink base cabinets and ordinary sinks will usually work fine with a disposal but there are some special circumstances that could prohibit installing one, such as a super deep sink or the drain line is roughed in the wall really high.  Second, is power available?  Of course new power lines can be ran to your new disposal but that adds cost.  If there is power already under the sink that really facilitates the process.  Third, how’s the plumbing?  If your home was built post 1970 you shouldn’t have a problem.  Earlier than that you’ll want to take a good look at the condition and quality of the kitchen sink piping.  Old cast iron or galvanized steel lines tend to build rust and mineral scale which can cause chronic backups once you start adding the waste from a disposal.  It doesn’t make much sense to install a disposal if your plumbing is just going to constantly be backing up.

Maybe you have a disposal but you’re having some issues.  Let’s start with some basic issues that we see a lot.  The disposal isn’t taking scraps very well and the water is draining slow.  This one is common and is usually due to the disposal being dirty or corroded.  We recommend running a couple cups of ice through the unit along with cold water.  The ice really helps scour the metal blades and remove corrosion or gunk that builds up inside.  Another common issue is the smell.  We’ve come across some strange odors and garbage disposals never disappoint.  We recommend an ice cleaning and some vinegar or lemon juice.  When your disposal is starting to make a lot of loud growling noises, unfortunately that usually means the top bearings are going out.  This is usually caused by a small leak in the shaft seal and there isn’t much to do except replace the unit.  If your disposal is jammed and humming first shut it off.  On the bottom of the disposal in the center is a hole that will accept an allen wrench or a disposal wrench.  We leave the disposal wrench hanging on top of the disposal.  Using one of these wrenches you can turn the disposal by hand forward or backward until you dislodge whatever is jamming it.  Be sure to remove the wrench before turning the unit back on.

Those are some simple things that everyone should know about garbage disposals.  If the problem is a little more complex or the unit is starting to growl louder and louder, please don’t hesitate to give us a call and one of our experienced techs will give a proper diagnosis with options for repair or replacement.

Author: jonporter


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