Garbage Disposal Maintenance and Troubleshooting

There are few appliances in your home that are as used and at the same time misused as your garbage disposal. While they are made to reduce smallish sized semi-rigid food particles into tiny bits that will easily flow down your drain, they are often called on to do such things as crush ice, rip up course vegetables and even chop up glass that has accidentally ended up in the disposal. It’s no wonder they end up having problems from time to time. Here are some maintenance tips (shared by folks from for your garbage disposal and a troubleshooting tip too (also check Plumbers Edmonton).

Garbage Disposal Maintenance

There is really not a lot of maintenance (also see Plumbers Edmonton) that you can do on your garbage disposal with the exception being preventative maintenance. You should thoroughly read your garbage disposalsowner’s manual to know what you can and can’t safely chop up with it. As a general rule it should never be used to chop up anything other than semi-rigid or softer organic matter; everything else will have to be put in the trash or composted.

  • Smells

Like all drains your garbage disposal may start to emit bad odors from time to time. If this happens to you then pour a baking soda and vinegar solution into the drain to deodorize it. After it sits in there for about 15 minutes spray some water into the disposal to flush it good.

  • Periodic Cleaning

Every 3 to 6 months it is also a good idea to stick a wet/dry vac hose into the disposal drain to clear out any debris that may not be flushing down the drain. NEVER stick your hand into the disposal and never use the shop vac in there when it is running.

Garbage Disposal Troubleshooting

If you own a garbage disposal long enough it is inevitable that it will get seized up from something that should not have gone into it and it can’t handle grinding it up. If that does happen to you then use the following steps to free it up:

1.    Find the Allen wrench that came with the disposal (any set of Allen wrenches will work if you do not have this)
2.    Unplug or turn of the breaker off to the disposal.
3.    Lower a wet/dry vac hose into the drain and try to suck out anything that is in the bottom of the disposal.
4.    Next Insert the Allen key into the Allen slot located on the bottom of the disposal in the center and rotate the disposal blade back and forth and in both directions by hand. Do this until the blade spins free.
5.    Rinse the disposal thoroughly with water
6.    Turn the disposal back on. Hit the reset button on the disposal just in case it tripped.
7.    Test the garbage disposal unit to make sure there is no grinding noise and that the blade is now spinning smoothly.

If all else fails then give your local Edmonton plumbing professional a call. They are experts at dealing with garbage disposal problems.