A staple of any modern kitchen is the garbage disposal. Over time this appliance can jam, leak, clog, rattle, or start to smell. These red flags indicate your garbage disposal is in need of maintenance or repair. Steve’s Plumbing and Heating in Central Wisconsin can help you recognize and address these warning signs to keep your disposal running optimally. Let’s take a deeper look into this forgotten plumbing component.


How Your Garbage Disposal Works

Located under your sink drain, the garbage disposal stores waste food in a hopper chamber. The motor spins upon application of power, and the flywheel with attached impellers grinds the garbage with a shredder ring. The resulting waste material is flushed into the sewer system out of a waste line discharge outlet. At the bottom of the unit, under the encased motor, you will find the reset button on most models. Check with your local municipality for restrictions if you are on a septic system before you buy a garbage disposal.


Drain Maintenance and Repair

Regular drain maintenance improves the longevity and capacity of your unit. Professional plumbing companies use specialized products that eliminate organic buildup and replenish friendly bacteria in the environment. The formulations remedy sluggish systems by working in tandem with garbage disposal system maintenance. Unlike store-bought drain chemicals, they are safe for humans and the environment. Eliminate greasy buildup and odor-producing residue while maintaining a free-flowing system.


DIY Upkeep Of Your System

There are many things you can do to keep your disposal running properly and decrease the likelihood of damage. Clean your garbage disposal once per week by pouring half a cup of baking soda into the unit followed by a cup of white vinegar. After a few minutes of fizzing, pour about a gallon of boiling water down the drain. Avoid putting any of the following down your garbage disposal:

●        Eggshells

●        Potato and banana peels

●        Bones

●        Grease

●        Paint

●        Coffee grounds

●        Seafood shells


How To Perform Garbage Disposal Troubleshooting

The best way to analyze and resolve problems with your system is to contact a professional drain maintenance technician or plumber. It is a good idea to have some basic troubleshooting knowledge for common problems that you can perform yourself. Use appropriate safety precautions whenever undertaking these tasks. Here are three common issues with associated troubleshooting steps:


1.      Disposal Is Not Turning On

Check the power to the unit by locating the power cord connected from the unit to an outlet under your sink. Ensure the outlet has power running to it. Next, locate the power switch on the disposal base and reset the power by switching it off, then back on. Try the wall switch again to see if the problem has been resolved


2.      Item Is Lodged In Disposal

Never put your hand in a garbage disposal! If you hear a loud or low humming when you power on the unit, you may have a foreign item stuck in the reservoir. Unplug the unit from the wall power, switch it off and make sure the wall switch is also in the off position. Open the rubber flaps and look for the object with a flashlight. If you discover the item, use a pair of tongs to remove it. Reconnect the power, turn on the cold water and fire up the disposal. If it continues to make noise, call an expert for help.


3.      Clogged Drain With Garbage Disposal

Fixing a clogged garbage disposal can be a painful process. It’s best to prevent them from occurring in the first place. The easiest way to prevent a clog is to avoid overloading the system. Only dispose of small batches of food at a time and always use cold water. Wait for the waste to completely pulverize before turning off the power, then turn off the cold water. If you find yourself with a clogged garbage disposal, call a professional plumber as soon as possible.


Looking for Drain Maintenance Services in Central Wisconsin?

If you suspect your garbage disposal is in need of service, or you have an emergency plumbing problem, call Steve’s Plumbing and Heating. We are experts with 85 years experience and four locations in Wisconsin Rapids, Stevens Point, Marshfield, and Wausau, Wisconsin. We offer a wide range of services in addition to plumbing including drain maintenance, HVAC, appliances, and more. With the best guarantees in the business, we have fully trained technicians available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week! For all your plumbing needs, call us at 715-421-1800, or you can message us on our contact page.