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.
Garbage disposals with stainless steel grinding blades and turntables make easy work of leftover meatloaf and biscuits. These blades will stay strong and last for years. High-power grinding motors hit maximum speeds quickly. This means jams and clogs are less likely to happen. Make sure to keep the faucet running for about 60 seconds after you turn off the disposal. Doing this ensures that all of the food particles make it down the hose.
A garbage disposal unit (also known as a garbage disposal, waste disposal unit, garbage disposer, or in Canadian English a garburator) is a device, usually electrically powered, installed under a kitchen sink between the sink's drain and the trap. The disposal unit shreds food waste into pieces small enough—generally less than 2 mm (0.079 in)—to pass through plumbing.
If you can hear your disposal’s motor humming, but the disposal won’t grind, sounds loud, or starts and stops, it’s probably because something jammed it. Disposals jam when something gets lodged in the “flywheel,” which is what the disposal’s rotating plate is called. You can fix it yourself, but remember: NEVER stick your hand down the garbage disposal. Ever. Seriously.
There is a contradiction among some of the brands. InSinkErator’s disposal instruction manual states, “Don’t grind large amounts of egg shells or fibrous materials like corn husks, artichokes, etc, to avoid possible drain blockage.” Whirlpool’s disposal instruction manual states, “designed to dispose of food wastes including bones, fruit and vegetable wastes, pits, egg shells and coffee grounds.”
Garbage disposals are fairly straightforward machines. When something goes wrong with your garbage disposal, there are aren’t very many things you can do to troubleshoot your unit. This makes repairing your broken garbage disposal a relatively simple task. If your garbage disposal has broken, you can follow these tips to attempt to repair your unit.
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.
After you install the new sink flange, you don’t want it shifting around when you’re assembling the parts underneath. Movement of the flange could break the seal between the flange and the sink, inviting a leak. Your best bet is to ask a helper to press down on the sink flange, or if you’re working alone, find something to weigh it down, such as the old disposal. Place an old towel under the weight so you don’t scratch the sink. If the bottom of your sink is quite concave, the old disposal might not contact the flange. In that case, place a can on the flange, then weigh down the can.
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.
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