Tips & Advice
What is the safest way to unclog a garbage disposal?
The safest way to unclog a garbage disposal is to shut off the power to it, look into the drain using a light, and, if you see a loose object clogging the grinder, remove it with tongs or pliers. Some people also try turning the blades with a wrench to gauge whether they are caught up in some sort of food waste. You can use a plunger to suck up fibrous debris or other material clogging the unit—always do this with the tap running. Never put your hand down the hopper of a garbage disposal. Below the sink, there is a “P-Trap” pipe, which might need to be cleaned in order to unclog a disposal if no visible signs of a clog are in the upper unit.
How long does it take to install a new garbage disposal?
It takes two to three 3 hours on average to install a new garbage disposal--not counting the time to get rid of the old one. If you hire a contractor, the removal of the old unit will be included in the job.
Should the blades of a garbage disposal need to be replaced periodically?
Garbage disposals do not actually have blades, and thus there is no need to periodically replace blades. Disposals have a shredder ring, and it is recommended to keep the ring clean of residue and debris. Only the most expensive garbage disposals are worth the labor and cost of replacing if the shredder ring gets broken. Most people simply replace the unit.
How can a garbage disposal be made to operate more quietly?
It is very difficult to make a garbage disposal operate more quietly if it’s running normally. Thus, many people look specifically for a “quiet” garbage disposal when shopping for a new unit. If your garbage disposal is being louder than usual, it may have a hard object or fibrous waste stuck in the grinder, and will get quieter once the culprit is removed.
What type of food stuff can a garbage disposal process?
A garbage disposal can process most types of digestible food, as well as ice – but not bones, shells, or pits. You should also avoid throwing very fibrous foods into the disposal, though the specifics of that change according to how tough the unit is. Some people will go as far as to throw in banana peels, while others will not even put asparagus in their disposal. It’s also not good to throw bacon grease or any sort of melted fat down the disposal, since cold water causes grease and fat to solidify in the drain, causing future clogs.
What can be done to eliminate garbage disposal odor?
The best-known rule for eliminating garbage disposal order is to run cold water while it’s on--this also helps in easing the food-grinding process, and cooling off the disposal to stop it from overheating, Common household deodorizing methods include pouring baking soda and vinegar into the disposal, or grinding up ice cubes and vinegar if your disposal is powerful enough to break ice without overheating. After either step, it’s recommended to fill the sink with 3-4 inches of water, thus “soaking’ the disposal, and then activate it while the water drains--this clears away the dislodged debris. Many people also recommend grinding up citrus fruit slices or peels in the disposal.
Some experts also recommend washing or soaking the disposal and sink with dish soap or another biodegradable cleaning solution – always mixed with cold water.
If simply washing the blades of the unit and deodorizing the upper portion doesn’t work, you could have debris clogged in the unit or the pipes, and might need to clean them separately.
How long does a garbage disposal usually last?
Experts say the lifespan of a garbage disposal is right around 12 years, and that 8 years is the low end. However, warranties typically don’t last more than three years, and some are only for one year.
How much does it cost to repair a garbage disposal?
Repairing a garbage disposal might cost anywhere from $0 (if under warranty) to more than $200. If the repair cost will be near the cost of the unit itself--especially if the unit is more than 5 years old--it often makes sense to get a new garbage disposal.
How much does a new garbage disposal cost?
A new garbage disposal costs the amount of the appliance plus the labor cost if you decide to have it professionally installed. You can expect to pay between $100-$150 for the disposal if it’s made of aluminum, or $150-$200 for a stainless steel one. Expect the installation to take around two to three hours, with the charge dependent whether you hire a contractor or have a handyman do the job.
What is the process for resetting a garbage disposal?
There are a few simple steps to the process of resetting a garbage disposal. You can tell that the disposal needs to be reset because a red button on the underside of the appliance will pop out. This is the overload protector, which is triggered when the disposal is blocked or near overheating. Cut the power to the disposal and simply press the red “Reset” button. You might need to wait 10-15 minutes if the disposal is, in fact, overheated, or if it’s blocked, clear the blockage.
Once the button is successfully pressed indicating a reset, plug back in the disposal, turn on the tap and run cold water in the sink a few seconds--then try switching the disposal ON again.