Garbage Disposal Repair and Installation
Garbage disposal brings unmatched convenience to modern kitchens. When used correctly, it grinds food scraps into small particles and releases them into the drain pipes. It helps keep debris from the toxic landfills. Unfortunately, similar to other machines, garbage disposals also break down and need replacement or repair occasionally.
Although there are standard approaches that can apply to repair your garbage disposal, sometimes they don’t work, making replacement a viable option. Read on to find out more about garbage disposal repair, installation, and when you should consider replacing it.
What Are the Benefits of Garbage Disposals?
A garbage disposal installation is in the kitchen is an eco-friendly way of getting rid of the common kitchen waste like food remains by grinding them for easy passage through the plumbing. Disposers are more efficient than trash cans due to the absence of food rots that cause unpleasant odors in the kitchen.
Installing a disposer in your home helps promote a safe and clean environment by reducing waste. Studies show that 20% of environmental waste consists of food waste. Disposing food through disposers sends it to a water treatment plant for conversion into methane gas. Even better, garbage disposal consumes very minimal costs and water to run.
Sometimes food remains will end up in the kitchen sink and eventually clog the plumbing. It will cost you money to engage a plumber’s services to unclog the drain in such instances. Having a garbage disposal installation saves you money year in, year out.
Clogging garbage disposal issues don’t need professional attention; adding water and running it successfully unclogs the drain.
What Are the Common Garbage Disposal Problems?
Unlike trash cans, garbage disposals can only handle a limited range of light food cramps. Avoid using it to grind food waste such as:
- Butter, grease, cooking oil
- Starchy food remains, such as pasta, beans, and rice
- Foods containing fiber like carrots, celery, banana, and potato peels
- Hard remains such as eggshells, large bones, and seafood shells
- Solids like plastic, paint, glass, or solvents
While operating the garbage disposal, ensure you always turn on the cold water and let it run while the disposer is in operation. The cold water helps remove any traces of grease in the garbage that may lead to clogs if not addressed.
Common Garbage Disposal Issues
There are several likely issues you will encounter in the cause of operating a garbage disposal unit. Timely fixing of these issues will eliminate larger plumbing problems later on.
Leaks provide fertile grounds for mold growth, pest infestations, bad odors and also cause warped cabinetry. Prompt repair will help to avert further damage. Areas you should routinely check for any leakages include the unit’s outer casing, drainage hose, and plumbing connections to rule out loose connections.
Leaks around plumbing connections only require minor repairs. Purchasing a new unit is usually a better option if leaks occur internally, perhaps due to cracks or corrosion, or if the disposer unit has seen better days after 10-15 years of service.
Grinding a large amount of food, the wrong type of food, or using less water during the process can lead to clogging. Clogs may also form gradually as food waste coats the drain trap and the waste line. If you notice the disposal draining slowly, consider removing the trap and draining the clog manually.
Avoid chemical drain cleaners when dealing with clogging due to their corrosive properties that may damage the garbage disposal, causing leaks. To prevent clogs, only grind the recommended types of foods. Also, keep cold water running for a few minutes after switching off the garbage disposal.
When the garbage disposal’s inner flywheel jams, the motor produces a humming sound without grinding. Feeding it with too much food or the wrong food is a common cause of jams. The garbage disposal usually comes fitted with a circuit breaker that trips when the unit jams, preventing burnout in a motor.
You can use the wrench that comes with the manual to repair the jammed flywheel. Ensure you follow to instructions in the user’s manual to the letter to repair the jam effectively.
Food particles trapped in the drain trap are the leading causes of odors that emanate from a garbage disposal. This is a result of not running sufficient water during the grinding process of the food debris.
There are some readily available items that you can use for a DIY repair.
- Dishwashing soap: With the sink stopper in place, fill the sink halfway with cold water and add a little liquid soap. After forming a soapy mixture, remove the sink stopper and let the water rush rapidly through the drain pipe. This simple procedure should remove all the food residue trapped in the drainpipe, eliminating odors in the disposal unit.
- Vinegar and baking soda: Put a mixture of vinegar and baking soda into the garbage disposal and leave it for some time. Running the disposal as cold water flows will drain all the trapped food particles, doing away with the odor.
When Should You Replace A Garbage Disposal?
While a garbage disposal repair is possible for minor issues, it’s best to replace the entire unit if vital parts get worn out or when cracks develop. The lifespan of a properly maintained garbage disposal is around 15 years, after which you can consider a replacement if normal functioning stops.
If there are abnormal noises from the unit that won’t go away, it’s time to acquire a new piece. A loud humming noise is prevalent when the garbage won’t turn on due to a dead motor. It results from the electric power reaching the unit, but the motor can’t turn on to grind food. The repair cost is almost equivalent to getting a new unit, so purchasing a new model is a better option.
Pressing the reset button should restore the garbage disposal’s normal functioning. This, however, is not necessary when the unit is in excellent shape. If resetting the garbage disposal has become too frequent every time you turn the disposer on, it’s a clear indication that the unit has aged and needs replacement. Loose wires can also cause frequent resets; talk to a plumber to help you safely resolve it.
Perhaps your garbage disposal shuts off by itself when running or fails to turn on altogether. In such instances, you should check the circuit to confirm if it has blown. If the electrical system is not faulty but such issues persist, you should call in an expert to inspect it. Typically, power issues usually point to a failing motor that is aged or has blown out.
An easy method of eliminating foul odors is by thoroughly cleaning the garbage disposal with baking soda or vinegar or dishwashing soap. If that does not resolve it, a plumber may dissect the issue further and remove all food residues trapped in the drainage pipe that may be the odor’s source. However, if the unit has clocked over 15 years, consider swapping it up with a new model.
Tips for Buying the Right Garbage Disposal
If you are replacing your disposer after 15 years, it essential that you understand the changes that have happened over time. Technology now plays a significant role in determining a disposer’s performance, durability and functionality. Here a few pointers to consider when purchasing a new model in New Port Richey.
Type of Motor
Disposers run on two kinds of motors:
- Induction motors
- Permanent magnet motors
A permanent magnet motor is light, varies in speed, found in smaller appliances such as blenders or dryers. They produce a high RPM and run faster when fed with small grind loads.
Most disposers in most homes are the loud type. With the advanced technology, there is an emergence of units with reduced noise levels by 30-60%. Choose one fitted with noise reduction features such as anti-vibration tail types, noise-reducing sink baffles, etc.
The horsepower in garbage disposal motors ranges between 1/3 to 1 horsepower. If the disposer has a higher horsepower, it will grind a heavier load, prolonging the motor’s life. High horsepower is ideal for frequent cooking or large families.
The construction material for grind components and chambers is galvanized steel, plastic, or stainless steel. Most disposers are rust and corrosion resistant due to construction using the thermoplastic polymer grind chambers. Stainless steel, however, has higher corrosion resistance that lengthens the disposer’s life. Though durable, galvanized steel is susceptible to rust and corrosion over time.
Disposers offer three different main stages.
- Stage 1: Most disposers have a single grinding stage. After grinding, its then released into the drain pipes with cold water.
- Stage 2: Food is ground twice for a finer grind. It is liquified, reducing chances of jams or clogs
- Stage 3: Delivers the finest grind and handles all types of food materials, including the hard, fibrous, rib bones, and even rice grains. Cases of jams or clogs are unheard of in this stage.
Now you understand why you need a garbage disposal installation in your home, the common issues you will encounter while running one, and a buying guide if you want to replace an old unit. If New Port Richey is your location, R.J. Kielty Plumbing, Heating & Cooling is your trusted partner in all your garbage disposal repair and installation. Whatever you need is, we will get the job done professionally and affordably.