Garbage disposals are convenient - until they malfunction. Then they can get blocked up, leak, and cause foul odors in the sink. When you need kitchen plumbing services, call A & W Plumbing and Heating, Inc. for appointments in the Southern Illinois area.
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When to Repair or Replace Your Garbage Disposal
We’ve all been there. You run water, scrape leftover food down the drain and then flip on the switch to turn on the garbage disposal, and nothing happens. Now you have food sitting in the drain and a malfunctioning appliance. Before you’re stuck in this situation, learn what signs to watch for that can indicate you need to repair or replace your unit.
- If a pipe is clogged or if simple wiring needs to be fixed, a plumber should be able to repair your unit.
- If there is damage to the motor or another large problem, then it can be more cost-effective to replace the system.
- If you have an older unit, it can be difficult to find parts -- such as bearings or blades -- for the system. In this case, it can make more sense to replace the unit.
- If you are encountering frequent issues with your unit, it can be more cost-effective to replace it.
- If your system shakes or vibrates constantly, it can indicate you need a new system installed.
Common Garbage Disposal Issues
Occasionally, you might run into issues with your garbage disposal. While these problems can be annoying to deal with, these can typically be repaired by a plumber. Some of these issues can include:
- Jams: These tend to occur when inappropriate items enter the disposal, such as high-fiber vegetables, or silverware that accidentally falls down the drain. A contractor can resolve the issue by loosening the disposal and manually moving the plate to free the objects.
- Clogs: Major clogs can be repaired by plumbers by taking apart the disposal to remove the blockage.
- Loss of power: A faulty or disrupted connection can cause your disposal to lose power.
- Noise: Unusual or loud noises can indicate there are metallic or hard plastic objects in the disposal.
- Leaking disposal: A loose screw or gasket can cause the garbage disposal to leak. This can be resolved by an expert by tightening the necessary parts.
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Maintenance Tips for Garbage Disposals
To keep your garbage disposal functioning as expected, it’s important to keep the system well maintained. Some upkeep tips can include:
- Avoid putting hard food items in the system.
- Don’t put stringy items like pasta down the disposal.
- Avoid putting starchy items like potatoes in the unit.
- When using the system, run water during use and for a while after you’ve turned the unit off.
- To keep the blades sharp, grind up ice in your disposal once a week.
- Clean the system with baking soda, vinegar, and water.
- Use lemons to freshen the system and remove foul odors.