Garbage Disposal: How to Maintain it and Prevent Problems
Feed the disposal a little at a time. Take care to keep utensils and your hands out of the drain.
Corn husks and other high-fiber items shouldn't be put into the disposal as they may clog the drain.
Deodorize the disposal. Cut a lemon in half and drop the fruit and a handful of baking soda into the disposal. Turn on the cold water faucet and then the disposal. The unit will clean itself as it grinds up the mixture.
Use a strong flow of cold water and keep it running at least 30 seconds after noise of grinding has stopped to flush all food particles through the drainline.
Do not be afraid to put small bones through; they help to scour the sides of the grinding chamber.
With fibrous foods (celery, chard, asparagus ends, etc.) put through only a small amount at a time with a full flow of water. If drain line is long and quite horizontal, fibrous foods or too much garbage at one time can clog the line.
Do not put uncooked meat fat into disposer as it may clog. Do not pour liquid fats down line; solidify in empty tin can in refrigerator, and dispose in trash.
An unusual noise while disposer is operating may mean a foreign object. Turn off disposer immediately and retrieve the object.
Run the disposer each time you put food waste in it. This is particularly advisable in the less expensive models which are more subject to corrosion from the acids formed by food waste left for a long time.
Clogged Garbage Disposal
Instructions for how to unclog a garbage disposal:
1. Get tongs and have a 1/4 inch Allen wrench handy.
2. Turn water and garbage disposer off.
3. On the underside of the disposer, insert the wrench into the center hole.
4. Wiggle the wrench back and forth until it can move freely.
5. Use the tongs to extract the impediments inside the disposer.
6. Allow the motor to cool off from the jam for approximately 5 minutes.
7. Reactivate the disposer by pushing the red reset button. Try not to hire cheap plumbers based on price alone, you may end up having to replace more than an o-ring.