Proper use of a garbage disposal can stave off future leaks. So remember to grind only soft foods; hard items such as bones, apple cores, or raw potatoes can dislodge or damage the internal seals. Run cold water through the sink drain before and after food disposal to keep solid fats from congealing into gunk (which can deteriorate the sink flange and cause leaks). Finally, inspect your disposal for leaks—at least twice a year using the dyed-water test—to catch and repair minor leaks before they lead to water-damaged sink cabinets or kitchen floors.
As I have mentioned, garbage disposers for most people are just another kitchen appliance that we tend to take for granted, and this is one of the reasons I decided to bring this website to the internet. I have come across many customers over the years that only seem to notice this “gadget” when it goes wrong, and believe it or not, most of the time they go wrong is because they’re not cared for properly.
There you have it. If you have questions about this or any other home improvement project, be sure to read our list of Frequently Asked Questions for this video. And be sure to print out our Project Instructions, which includes a Tools and Materials checklist, before visiting your local independent home improvement retailer. That’s where you’ll find all the products and helpful advice to complete your project. If you’re not sure where to find your local store, check out our Store Locator.

• Run water before and after you use the disposal If something has been put in the disposal that should not have been, use tongs or pliers to pull the material out. Never use your hand. To clean a garbage disposal of built-up sludge and debris, fill it with ice cubes and a cup of rock salt and then run it for about five seconds. If your garbage disposal smells bad, you can deodorize it by running warm water down it while you grind a quartered lemon.
STEP 4 – If you must use your hands (again, not advised) to pull out all that funky goo, see STEP 2. The disposal must be powered off and unplugged. No exceptions. Not even on a double-dog dare. Also, make sure your hand will actually fit into the opening so that you can eventually remove your hand from the opening. You may need your hand later. If you think it is going to be a tight fit, I’d suggest that you not try it all. You’ve been warned.

Horsepower Ratings – Even garbage disposals that have a basic ½ HP motor are more than capable of handling softer waste and bones; however, if your kitchen’s food waste routinely includes bones, cores, and harder vegetables, like carrots or avocados, then you need to look for a garbage disposal with a 1 HP (or higher) motor. A more powerful motor will be able to grind hard waste finer and faster, which reduces your chances of developing clogged pipes.
If the disposal’s still leaking, loosen the mounting bolts and push the sink flange up until it’s slightly higher than the surface of the sink. Apply fresh plumber’s putty to the threshold between the flange and the sink. When you’ve applied enough, re-attach the unit by putting the bolts back and tightening. Wipe away excess putty that squeezed out. Finish re-installing by replacing the disposal unit on the mount. Turn the disposal back on and look for leaks.
Reattach the electrical wires. Unscrew the faceplate on the underside of the new unit. Match the colored wires on the power supply to those in the disposal’s electric housing and connect them using plastic wire nuts. Slip the copper grounding wire over the green screw at the far edge of the compartment. Replace the cover and tighten the screws.[16]
If not enough wire is exposed, you may need to strip some more of the wire’s insulation off the ends using a wire stripper. Connect the black wires to each other, then the white wires to each other, twisting the ends together in a clockwise direction with a pair of pliers. After twisting the ends together, cover the twisted wire with a wire nut, twisting clockwise until it is snug. Remember, “Righty Tighty, Lefty loosey.”
The General Electric 1/3 Horsepower Continuous Feed is a relatively small unit. One of the most important measurements with garbage disposals is the size of the grind chamber. In this case, it’s 26.5 ounces. Power, at 1/3 horsepower, is at the lower end of the scale, but this is a light-duty machine. The owners we surveyed were very happy with the General Electric’s performance.
The InSinkErator Badger 5 1/2 HP Continuous Feed Garbage Disposal features a quick-mounting system that allows for easy installation or replacement of most disposers. This garbage disposal also features a 1/2 HP motor that rapidly grinds food waste for easy rinsing down the drain. The garbage Disposal also features galvanized steel construction for durability.
Some higher-end units have an automatic reversing jam clearing feature. By using a slightly more-complicated centrifugal starting switch, the split-phase motor rotates in the opposite direction from the previous run each time it is started. This can clear minor jams, but is claimed to be unnecessary by some manufacturers: Since the early sixties, many disposal units have utilized swivel impellers which make reversing unnecessary.[26]

Update: As an aside, I also learned from my research that the best way to clean my disposal is to use citric acid. Having previously had no idea what citric acid was used for, I decided to order some from Amazon, going with the brand my sister uses: Citric Acid Powder - Ultra Fine Pure Powdered Crystals - Natural Preservative Food Grade Quality (16 oz) and gave it a whirl after 3 months of using my disposal. I let the citric acid sit with some water in the disposal for about ten minutes, and then I let it run for a solid 2 minutes. I repeated the procedure a few times and after about 30 minutes—wow, all the leftover gunk and food was flushed out of the disposal, leaving it clean with a very mild citrus scent. I feel like I’m becoming a real DIY at home kind of guy.
The garbage disposal in your kitchen sink is a convenient way to get rid of scraps and leftovers, but when a foreign object like a glass gets caught in it, it can jam the mechanism and stop it from working. Removing a glass from a garbage disposal involves removing any large pieces of glass; dislodging the glass by inserting a wrench or broom handle into the bottom or top of the disposal; vacuuming the disposal; resetting it; or if none of the other steps work, removing the disposal and shaking out all of the glass. Read the following steps to find out how to remove a glass from a garbage disposal.
After watching this video, I decided I could replace my garbage disposer myself. Honestly, I think your site completely misrepresents how VERY difficult it is to hold up a 20+ pound disposal unit firmly up against the mounting hardware as you are literally crammed under your kitchen sink and then try and somehow get all three tabs to slide into place. I was very disappointed and, after 4 nights of trying and retrying, finally just called a plumber. Please don’t show anyone lifting something that is big and heavy and make it seems as light as a feather. Shame. Shame.
Turn off the switch, unplug it, clear any debris inside the disposal, and rinse with warm water. Many times there is something stuck in the blades that they can't handle (citrus peels, meats, stringy vegetables, etc.). You may need to turn the blades manually to find a lodged object, and it may even be under the blade. Find the reset button (usually red) and hold it for 1 minute. Plug it in, try again. Some newer models do not have the reset button, there is an opening on the bottom of the disposal to insert an allen wrench. If not, look up your model by manufacturer or Google for further instructions.
Run your garbage disposal for longer each time you use it. A mistake many people make is turning off their garbage disposal as soon as the grinding noises stop. It is better to leave the garbage disposal on (with the water running) for several seconds after the grinding noises subside, as there may still be small particles in the disposal unit which have not yet been cleared away.

Trim the discharge tube as needed. If you’ve upgraded to a larger disposal or one of a different model, there’s a good chance that the discharge tube won’t be the right length to connect to the ground plumbing valve. Fortunately, this is a simple fix—mark the spot on the tube where it should line up with the drain pipe, then cut it to size with a hacksaw. It should be a perfect fit.[19]


Did exactly what I expected to. We bought a house with an older disposal and the gasket/rubber that blocks things from falling down into the disposal was cut away. I replaced and is like new. It makes the disposal sound much better too. A couple things about removing disposal and installing gasket...1) use a large Allen key (short end) to stick in the eyelet to unlock the disposal. 2) the gasket fits over the mouth of the disposal and locks into place. Don't just stick the new gasket in up from the bottom hole like I did. 3) use channel locks to tighten the last bit of the disposal/sink collar by pinching the eyelet and collar screw mount. Enjoy!
Run your garbage disposal for longer each time you use it. A mistake many people make is turning off their garbage disposal as soon as the grinding noises stop. It is better to leave the garbage disposal on (with the water running) for several seconds after the grinding noises subside, as there may still be small particles in the disposal unit which have not yet been cleared away.
In 2004 and 2005 the Di Lauro clan and the so-called Scissionisti di Secondigliano fought a bloody feud which came to be known in the Italian press as the Scampia feud. The result was over 100 street killings. At the end of October 2006 a new series of murders took place in Naples between 20 competing clans, that cost 12 lives in 10 days. The Interior Minister Giuliano Amato decided to send more than 1,000 extra police and carabinieri to Naples to fight crime and protect tourists.[31] Despite this, in the following year there were over 120 murders.[citation needed]
The origins of the Camorra are not entirely clear. It may date back to the 17th century as a direct Italian descendant of a Spanish secret society, the Garduña, founded in 1417. Officials of the Kingdom of Naples may have introduced the organization to the area, or it may have grown gradually out of small criminal gangs operating in Neapolitan society near the end of the 18th century.[3] However, recent historical research in Spain suggests that the Garduña never really existed and was based on a fictional 19th century book.[4]
Inspect each of these locations while gliding a light-colored rag over the unit; the dyed water will readily show on the rag and reveal the location of the leak. If a leak isn’t immediately apparent, remove the sink stopper and pour a few more cups of dyed water down the sink drain, then check for leaks again. Leaks near the top of the unit are more likely to show themselves while the sink is plugged, while side and bottom leaks are more noticeable while the sink is unplugged.
A clogged garbage disposal unit can leak when you try to operate it without removing the clogging. What clogs up garbage disposals? Normally this would be expandable food like rice and pasta. Even large animal bones can also result in clogging and possible leak. Although coffee grounds help eliminate odors, allowing it to accumulate in the drain of the disposer will result in clogging and potential leak.

If the water is leaking at the mounting assembly, make sure it is mounted as designed and not cocked. If the water is leaking at the dishwasher inlet, tighten the hose connector. If the water is leaking through the wall of the container body, your disposer probably need to be replaced. If the water is leaking from adjacent plumbing, tighten the connections as necessary.
Flange: The flange is the uppermost portion of the garbage disposal, where the disposal and the sink drain meet. The flange can develop a leak for a variety of reasons. Check that all the mounting bolts, typically there are three, are tight enough. Snug the bolts up with a wrench if you see water dripping from any of the bolts, being careful not to overtighten the bolts.A second reason the flange may leak is if the seal, made of “plumber’s putty,” has failed. You will need to loosen the retaining bolts until you can see a gap around the flange. Force enough new putty in the gap, between the flange and the drain pipe, to fill in all the space. Tighten the retaining bolts.
So I know next to nothing about buying a garbage disposal, for the past ten years I’ve lived in huge cities and haven’t had any room (or necessity for that matter) to purchase one. Having recently bought a house, all that has changed. From dishwasher to washer to dryer to garbage disposal, I’m having to educate myself about them and purchase them with informed decision making skills. Yikes.

This may result in higher costs for energy needed to supply oxygen in secondary operations. However, if the waste water treatment is finely controlled, the organic carbon in the food may help to keep the bacterial decomposition running, as carbon may be deficient in that process. This increased carbon serves as an inexpensive and continuous source of carbon necessary for biologic nutrient removal.[31]
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