Plug the disposal and fill up the sink with hot water and detergent. Unplug and run the disposal. The spinning disk forces the water down the drain like a pump. This should clear the disposal and the drain line. If not, you'll need to inspect the plumbing. Old pipes made of iron clog easily due to internal corrosion and should be replaced with copper.
If your garbage disposal is making a clicking or rattling sound, there may be some food particles that will not grind up inside. Remove power from disposer, reach into the sink hole with a pair of tongs and remove anything that is still down in the disposer. Test your disposer to be sure the noise is gone. If not continue troubleshooting your disposer issue (see below).
Energy usage is not high; typically 500–1,500 W of power is used, comparable to an electric iron, but only for a very short time, totaling approximately 3–4 kWh of electricity per household per year. Daily water usage varies, but is typically 1 US gallon (3.8 l) of water per person per day, comparable to an additional toilet flush. One survey of these food processing units found a slight increase in household water use.
Safety and vigilance are paramount with these disposals. If you have small children in your home, then you must be on your guard to ensure that they do not stick their hands or other small objects down the disposal. You must also be careful to ensure that you do not accidentally drop any foreign objects down the disposal. For example, if a spoon were to fall into the disposal, and the disposal was turned on, it could cause quite a bit of damage to the unit before you are able to fish it out.
In 2008, Italian police arrested three members of the Camorra crime syndicate on September 30, 2008. According to Gianfrancesco Siazzu, commander of the Carabinieri police, the three were captured in small villas on the coast of Naples. All three had been on Italy's 100 top most wanted list. Police seized assets valued at over 100 million euros and also weapons, including two AK-47 assault rifles that may have been used in the shooting of six Africans on September 18, 2008. Police found pistols, Carabinieri uniforms and other outfits that were used to disguise members of the operation. During the same week, a separate operation netted 26 additional suspects in Caserta. All were believed to belong to the powerful Camorra crime syndicate that operates in and around Naples. The suspects were charged with extortion and weapons possession. In some cases, the charges also included murder and robbery. Giuseppina Nappa, the 48-year-old wife of a jailed crime boss, was among those arrested. She is believed to be the Camorra's local paymaster.
Disposers range between $45 and $250, and most hold up fairly well under normal use. It's common for a $50, 1/3-hp disposer with a 1-year warranty to last 10 to 12 years. So what does more money buy? Increased longevity, longer warranties, more power and less aggravation. The better units have stainless steel components, auto-reversing starts and bigger motors. Units that reverse direction with each start greatly reduce stoppages, while larger motors can chew through larger and more varied food loads.
We won’t sugar-coat it. This one is the doozy. If the leak is located at the bottom of the unit that means at least one internal seal has slipped, chipped, or flat-out deteriorated. The catch is, there are lots of these seals inside the disposal, and if one has failed it means the others are on their way. You can replace these seals with expensive, original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts – or you can just get a new garbage disposal.
Locate the leak. Wipe off the disposal unit with a dry rag. Run water into the unit and turn it on. There are four places where the disposal unit may leak. At the top main seal, at the drain pipe, at the optional dishwasher inlet or along the garbage disposal body. Notice where the water is coming from. If the unit is wet at the very top, the main seal is leaking. If the area beneath the drain pipe is wet, the gasket is leaking. If the hose from the dishwasher feed drips, the hose or clamp may be faulty. If water is running out the bottom of the unit but the inlets and outlet are dry, the unit itself has developed a leak and must be replaced.
With the garbage disposal shopping, I quickly learned that the big brands are Waste King and Sinkerator and that those were the two best places to start. After going over several models and two trips to two separate best buys (who, by the way, really need to amp up their customer service model) I cheated and had my mom choose one for me. Sue me. So she chose this particular brand, and wow—it works really well, I can’t believe how easy it makes my life. I can put bones, and tough food products down the disposal, and it makes cooking really simple. Go figure.
Garbage disposal units have standard hook-ups that are present on all models from every manufacturer. They all have an inlet and an outlet and a dishwasher inlet on the side, and a disposal unit can leak in those areas. If the body of the unit is leaking, the unit must be replaced, but other leaks in a disposal unit can be repaired by a do-it-yourselfer who has basic skills.
Your electrical supply wires should include a black (or hot) wire, a white (or neutral) wire and either a green or a bare wire, which is the ground wire. First remove the electrical cover plate on the bottom of the new disposer. Then move the new disposer into the cabinet. Screw the threaded end of the cable connector into the round hole on the bottom of the disposer. You’ll run your electrical supply wires through the cable connector and up through the access hole.
If the unit is hardwired to the house then you have to use a screwdriver to remove the plate covering the wire connections on the disposal. Disconnect the exposed wires and then remove the plate covering the junction box on the wall. Untwist the wire caps securing the disposal wires to your home wires and set the disposal’s wires on the side. Twist the wire capes over the exposed wires in the junction box, put the wires into the junction box and reattach the junction box plate.
You should first find out whether only the disposal is broken, or if the power has gone out completely in the areas near your kitchen sink. Try resetting the circuit breaker that leads to the kitchen, or replacing a fuse if you have an older electrical box. If the garbage disposal makes no noises at all when you flip the switch, you might also want to check under the sink to see that it’s plugged in.