Garbage Disposal Tips and Tricks For The Homeowner

How Does a Garbage Disposal Work?

Garbage disposals are a common kitchen appliance that many of us use daily without much thought about how they operate. They’re like a hidden superhero in our kitchen, quietly and efficiently disposing of food scraps. But have you ever wondered how a garbage disposal actually works?

At SOS Drain and Sewer, we not only provide expert drain and sewer services, but we also believe in educating our customers about their plumbing systems. So, let’s dive into the inner workings of your garbage disposal.

A garbage disposal is typically installed beneath your kitchen sink and is connected to the drainpipe. When you turn it on, it uses powerful rotating blades or impellers to shred food waste into tiny pieces. These pieces are then washed away with water down the drain, preventing clogs and keeping your kitchen smelling fresh.

How Long Does a Garbage Disposal Last?

Now that you have a better understanding of how a garbage disposal functions, you might be wondering how long you can expect it to last. Like any other appliance, the lifespan of a garbage disposal can vary based on several factors.

Factors That Impact the Lifespan of Your Garbage Disposal

  1. Quality: The quality of your garbage disposal plays a significant role in its lifespan. High-quality models tend to last longer than cheaper ones. Investing in a well-made disposal unit can save you money in the long run.
  2. Usage: How often you use your garbage disposal matters. If you use it sparingly and follow proper maintenance guidelines, it can last for many years. However, frequent overuse or misuse can lead to premature breakdowns.
  3. Maintenance: Regular maintenance is key to extending the life of your garbage disposal. This includes cleaning it, avoiding putting certain items down the disposal, and having it serviced when needed.
  4. Installation: Proper installation by a professional, like our team at SOS Drain and Sewer, ensures that your garbage disposal functions optimally from day one. Improper installation can lead to issues down the line.
  5. Type of Waste: While modern garbage disposals can handle a wide range of food waste, some items should never go down the disposal, such as bones, fruit pits, and non-food items.

Garbage Disposals Have Blades That You Can Sharpen

One common misconception about garbage disposals is that they have blades like a blender or a food processor. In reality, they have impellers or lugs that use centrifugal force to force food waste against a grind ring. Over time, these impellers can become dull, leading to decreased performance.

Fortunately, some garbage disposals have self-sharpening features, and others can be manually sharpened. If you notice a decrease in performance, consider having a professional inspect and, if necessary, sharpen the impellers to keep your disposal working efficiently.

You Must Run Hot Water When Using the Garbage Disposal

When you’re using your garbage disposal, it’s essential to run hot water along with it. Hot water helps to liquefy grease and oils in the food waste, making it easier for the disposal to grind them up. It also helps prevent clogs by keeping the waste moving through the pipes instead of solidifying.

So, remember to turn on the hot water tap before and during the operation of your garbage disposal to keep it running smoothly and maintain the health of your plumbing system.

You Can Put Any Food Waste Through Your Garbage Disposal

While garbage disposals are incredibly convenient, it’s essential to know that they are not a catch-all for every type of food waste. Some items should never be put down the disposal, as they can damage the unit or cause clogs in your plumbing.

Items to avoid include bones, fruit pits, fibrous vegetables (like celery and corn husks), coffee grounds, and non-food items like plastic, glass, or metal. By being mindful of what you put down your disposal, you can help prolong its lifespan and prevent costly repairs.

In conclusion, understanding how your garbage disposal works and knowing how to care for it can help you get the most out of this essential kitchen appliance. If you ever have questions or need maintenance or repairs for your garbage disposal, don’t hesitate to reach out to SOS Drain and Sewer. We’re here to ensure your plumbing systems, including your garbage disposal, function smoothly for years to come.

SOS Drain & Sewer Minneapolis
Average rating:  
 0 reviews