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.
Throw some ice down once in a while. While ice will not sharpen the shredders (as is commonly believed) it does knock off any debris buildup on the sharp edges that keeps them from grinding food properly. For better results, make special ice cubes from pure lemon juice or vinegar, or alternate with biodegradable cleanser (label them in your freezer!) Cover and seal ice trays used in your freezer for cleanser, and do not reuse trays for food or drink after having been used for cleanser. While using the disposal, be sure to run cold water at the same time.
If the leak occurred in either of the two connections (smaller = dishwasher, larger = sewer) exiting the side of your disposal unit, it’s a pretty straightforward fix. Loosen the metal clamps on these hoses and make sure the rubber gaskets inside are not falling apart. If needed, replace these gaskets. Reattach the hoses and re-clamp the connections with new metal clamps.
To fix this problem, turn off the disposal, fill the sink halfway full with soapy water, and use a cup plunger to plunge the kitchen sink for 30 seconds to one minute. If you cleared the clog, the water in the sink should start draining at a normal pace again. If you’re still have issues, you might have to remove the P-trap under the sink to get at the clog with a snake.
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.
A foul or foreign odor emanating from the garbage disposal that won’t go away no matter how thoroughly you have rinsed it, may also be a sign that it’s time to replace it. As the components in the grinding chamber wear out and the blades get duller and duller, food can easily get trapped inside and start to decompose. You may never have noticed the smell or have chosen to adapt and wait it out, but it may be a sign of a deeper problem. Visiting family members and dinner guests probably wouldn’t appreciate it very much, either.
This part of the installation starts by removing the old mounting ring by loosening the mounting screws and then removing the snap ring, which holds the mounting assembly on the sink flange. You’ll need to use a flathead screwdriver to remove the snap ring. Next, remove the mounting ring by inserting the screwdriver into the tabs and turning the mounting ring assembly until it is free from the tabs. Be sure to support the bottom of the disposer as you do this. After this comes off, the entire mounting assembly will come free from the sink flange. Once free, pull the sink flange out from the top of the sink and scrape or wipe any old putty off the sink before wiping it clean with a towel.
While you were testing the red switch at the bottom of the unit, you may have noticed a small opening in the center. If the unit is clogged or humming, you can try to free up the unit by using the wrenchette (Hex-Torx key) that came with your unit or a 1/4 inch allen wrench. Simply place the wrench into the center hole and move it back and forth until the whatever is clogging your unit is dislodged. Once your unit is moving freely, turn it back on to test. If the unit still won't turn on, it may be necessary to take the unit apart.
Knowing the difference between what can go down the disposal and what should go into the trash can save you an emergency call to the plumber. This is especially pertinent during the holidays when the kitchen is filled with people and the sink with dirty dishes. Practice these three everyday maintenance tips to help you maximize the lifespan of your garbage disposal.