Watch the video below for tips on fixing your garbage disposal unit, including instructions for how to take it apart. If your unit still won't work, then you probably have a burned out motor or an electrical problem, which requires the expertise of a professional. This is when you'll want to call a plumber to replace your garbage disposal unit. It's a fairly difficult DIY project to replace your garbage disposal unit, but if you're up to it, here is a DIY guide for garbage disposal replacement.
Most garbage disposal manufacturers provide a range of models to choose from with ever-increasing power ratings. If you do a ton of cooking and use your disposal frequently, then spending a little extra on a 3/4 or 1 horsepower disposal will absolutely be worth the money. Not only do the more powerful units shred through food scraps much easier, but they can also handle harder objects such as bones or meat scraps that might jam a smaller, weaker disposal. As mentioned before, powerful disposals are less noisy and they tend to have only occasional damages. However, one downside of having larger, more powerful disposal is that they will require more space. No matter what your habits, likes, and dislikes are, it’s always best to consult with a John Moore tech before buying a new disposal to make sure it will fit under your sink and perform how you need it to.
We live in a recently completed townhouse that was built with double-wall construction. That construction method was touted by the builder as what would keep sound from penetrating between the units. But we can hear the next door neighbors' TV and stereo, and sometimes voices and even snoring, through the wall. While sometimes it's the volume, mostly it's the bass sounds coming through the wall. They say they don't hear us, but we keep our bass turned down. They crank up the bass, and they are not going to change that. They also are not going to do anything construction-wise to help from their side. What is the best way for us to try to block the low frequency/bass sounds from penetrating the existing wall into our side?
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.
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Only put biodegradable food items in your garbage disposal. The number one rule when it comes to garbage disposals is to avoid putting anything down there which is not biodegradable. The garbage disposal is not a trash can, and using to get rid of unsuitable items is a recipe for disaster. You can minimize damage and cut down on cleaning time by only using the garbage disposal for biodegradable food items. Things you should avoid putting down there include:
STEP 5 – If you are one of those rebellious types that never listens to wise instruction, then take off any rings and make sure that your hand is lubricated with liquid dish soap or cooking oil to reduce the risk of it getting stuck in the drain opening. Also, have a phone nearby. If your hand does get stuck, you can then call someone (using your other hand, presumably) to call a friend or 911 for rescue. If at all possible, don’t call a friend with a video camera phone, because they’ll probably embarass you by broadcasting your plight on YouTube.
Turn off the garbage disposal at the breaker box. Remove the drain pipe if it is leaking there. Most attachment clamps are wire clamps with two protruding wires that are pushed together to release the drain pipe. Push the wires together and remove the clamp. Pull the pipe off and inspect the seal for any debris that may have lodged between the seal and the pipe. Wipe the seal with a damp rag to remove any dirt, debris or food particles. Sometimes the wire clamp loses tension. In that case, tighten the hose clamp down in its place, which may secure the pipe leak-free.
A continuous feed model features a switch that is generally mounted on the wall nearby. In rarer cases, an air pressure switch may be mounted on the countertop. These air pressure switches are considered safer than traditional flip switches because they guard against shock by isolating the electrical system away from the sink’s source of water. Batch feed garbage disposals do not require the installation or use of a switch. Safety codes in your community will dictate how far away from the sink the electrical switch must be located.
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.
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.
Another method for cleaning and deodorizing your disposal unit is to sprinkle some baking soda in your unit and rinse it with about a cup of vinegar. This will create the bubbling “volcano effect” that kids love to watch so invite them in on this cleaning project. After allowing your mixture to sit for about 5 minutes, run hot water down the disposal until everything is thoroughly rinsed.
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.
If the garbage disposal won't turn on but the motor makes a humming sound when you flip the switch, it indicates that the inner flywheel is jammed. Usually, this causes the appliance's reset button to pop or the circuit breaker to trip very quickly. This is not a situation you want to continue for very long, as it can burn out the disposer's motor unless the reset button or circuit breaker shuts things off.
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Sometimes plumbing problems are better left to the professionals, which is why Sansone is proud to offer quality plumbing products and plumbing services at economical pricing. Whether you’re in need of garbage disposal repair or replacement, hot water heater service or more, we have got you covered. Contact us today to learn more about our great services or schedule your appointment online.
Garbage disposers address the often disparate demands of convenience and conservation by grinding up kitchen scraps, especially non-compostable leftovers like meat and poultry or fat, and sending them down the drain to a sewage-treatment plant or septic system for handling, rather than to the landfill for slow decomposition. Our tests show that some disposers grind more quickly and finely, and are better at resisting jams.
I believe if you always run your water first, turn on disposer, then discard food waste down disposer, you will get more longevity from your disposer and less likely have drain stoppage problems. It's also a good practice to run plenty of water (maybe even cleanser) after using the disposer to rinse out the small chamber between the blades and drain pipe. I've found that some disposer stoppages are caused by this chamber being clogged which also causes it to rust and deteriorate prematurely.
Food scraps range from 10% to 20% of household waste, and are a problematic component of municipal waste, creating public health, sanitation and environmental problems at each step, beginning with internal storage and followed by truck-based collection. Burned in waste-to-energy facilities, the high water-content of food scraps means that their heating and burning consumes more energy than it generates; buried in landfills, food scraps decompose and generate methane gas; a greenhouse gas which contributes to climate change.