If operated correctly, an in-sink disposal can be one of the most useful appliances in your kitchen. It’s important to understand how to operate your disposal correctly to avoid jams and costly calls to the plumber.
Operating the Disposal
- Turn water on before you turn the appliance on or put food into it.
- Turn on the disposal.
- With water and the appliance running, gently push food into opening. Only push small amounts of food at a time to avoid jamming.
- Leave the appliance -and water- running until the grinding noise completely stops. Turn off the disposal once the noise stops.
- Leave the water running 10-15 seconds longer to flush small particles past the p-trap and down the pipes.
Unjamming Disposal Blades
While garbage disposal blades can easily be jammed, they can usually just as easily be unjammed. Get your blades moving again by following these steps:
- Disconnect power from the appliance.
- Locate the hex-shaped notch in the bottom of the appliance (towards the center).
- Find an Allen wrench or the tool that came with the disposal.
- Insert the wrench or tool into the notch and move it back and forth.
- Rotate the wrench or tool until the blades move freely.
- Reconnect power and push the reset button.
- Turn on the water first, then the appliance.
These steps may need to be repeated multiple times. If the blades are still jammed, you may need to call a professional plumber, like Rapid-Rooter, to replace the appliance.
Items to Avoid
Some items should never be put in a disposal due to their clogging abilities or potential to damage disposal blades. These items include:
- Onion skins, celery stalks, grape stems, or anything fibrous
- Small bones
- Nuts, seeds, or popcorn kernels
- Potato peelings, rice, pasta, or other starchy foods that can swell
- Grease, either liquid or solid
- Plastic, glass, or metal
By following these instructions your garbage disposal should run correctly and smoothly. If you are having further problems with your appliance, don’t hesitate to contact Rapid-Rooter for your plumbing needs.