Has this ever happened to you? It’s the end of the day and you are dutifully washing your evening dishes. Your sink isn’t draining quickly, so you flip on the switch of your waste disposer expecting to hear the satisfying sound of your meal remnants being ground into a pulp. Instead – to your shock and dismay – the disposal only hums, or even worse, does nothing at all. Frustrating, right?
When well-intentioned citizens confront unaccountable officials, their activities can become more political. I interviewed a municipal civic group leader from St. Petersburg who works on urban ecology and waste. He commented that it has become clear that government officials are responsive not to citizens, but to those “from above” who put them in their offices.
Waste disposal units may jam, but can usually be cleared either by forcing the turntable round from above or by turning the motor using a hex-key wrench inserted into the motor shaft from below. Especially hard objects accidentally or deliberately introduced, such as metal cutlery, can damage the waste disposal unit and become damaged themselves, although recent advances, such as swivel impellers, have been made to minimize such damage. More problematic are drain blockages caused by shredded waste that is fibrous, e.g., artichoke leaves, or starchy, e.g., potato peelings.
Another common cause for a leaking garbage disposal is the disposal flange. A leak at the very most upper area of the garbage disposal could be the garbage disposal flange which goes through the sink. A garbage disposal flange should be sealed with Plumber’s putty and then tightened from underneath the sink. If this is not tight enough or if it has managed to come loose (which can happen) then the garbage disposal will have to be taken down so the flange can be resealed and then the garbage disposal can be rehung.