With proper garbage disposal maintenance, the average disposal unit should last from 10 to 12 years. You may not be able to substantially extend the usable service life beyond that figure, but you can definitely shorten it by neglecting basic operating and upkeep recommendations. If a malfunction such as a jam occurs, remember that garbage disposals are powerful devices specifically designed to chop and shred. That makes troubleshooting and repair a job for a qualified plumber. Above all, never stick your hand down into a disposal, even when it’s turned off.
To avoid issues that require calling in professional service, follow these garbage disposal maintenance suggestions:
- Run the unit on a regular basis. Disposals that are infrequently used are more likely to clog and incur internal rust and corrosion.
- Keep oil and grease out of the disposal. Although it pours down the drain as a liquid, grease solidifies and promotes clogging inside the disposal and associated drain pipes. Collect grease in a container and toss it into the household trash.
- Clean disposal blades with ice cubes. They help to maintain the disposal’s effectiveness. Making cubes out of frozen vinegar is an even better idea as a plumbing cleaner and deodorant.
- Run orange or lemon peels through the disposal regularly. The rough texture and citrus oils keep the internal components clean and remove odors.
- Use cold water (not hot) while the disposal is operating. In order to ensure that no residual food particles remain inside the disposal, keep both the disposal and water running for about a minute after the grinding process is completed.
- Wait until after the disposal is finished before turning on the dishwasher. Because the two units share the same drain pipe, the drain water from the dishwasher will help flush the pipe of residue that originates in the garbage disposal.
- Never pour liquid drain cleaners or other caustic chemicals down a garbage disposal. If you have a drain clog, call a plumbing professional.
For more tips on garbage disposal maintenance or qualified service if something goes wrong, contact Mowery Heating, Cooling and Plumbing.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Brownsburg, Indiana and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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