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Maintaining a Garbage Disposer


Garbage Disposal Problems

To avoid maintenance problems, be sure you have cold water running before you turn on your disposer.  Gradually feed in food waste and don’t stick a spatula or spoon past the splash guard.  With the cold water continuing to flow, run the disposer for a few seconds after the food has been ground.

A clanking sound usually means a utensil or some other item is caught in the disposer.  Switch off or unplug the disposer and remove the object that has caused the problem.

Solve jams with a special turning tool:  Your disposer may come with an Allen wrench that fits into a hole at the bottom of the disposer.  If not, you can use a wooden broomstick handle that has been cut to a length of 12 to 18 – inches.

Use the tool to turn the disposer back and forth.  Once it rotates freely, make sure it is switched off, remove the obstruction, replace the splash guard, turn on the cold water, and test the disposer.

WHAT THE PROS KNOW:  If any solid object gets past the splash guard, it can cause the disposer to jam.  If this happens, turn off the power (it may have shut itself off).  Remove the splash guard and look into the disposer with a flashlight.  If you can’t free the object, rotate the grinder with a broom handle or turning tool.