One of the scariest jobs to see a non-plumber carry out on their own is garbage disposal troubleshooting. Let’s face it. The garbage disposal is a really cool invention—a definite staple of modern convenience. However, garbage disposals are inherently dangerous. If you know what you’re doing, you can certainly minimize any danger in working with them. The garbage disposal is combining water, electricity, and grinding gears made to crush and rend. It can be pretty scary.
We here at Crystal Lake Plumber service clients from residential, commercial, and industrial areas. Our main service areas are based around Chicago and northern Illinois, which include Lake County, Kane County, Northern Cook County, McHenry County, Lake in the Hills, Huntley, McHenry, Algonquin, and Crystal Lake.
We want to make sure all our friends, neighbors, and customers are safe. We would be happy to help you with any garbage disposal repairs you might need including installation and replacement. If you’re determined to try and fix it on your own, however, we urge you to be safe. That’s why we’ve put together this little primer on garbage disposal troubleshooting.
First off, before you try any garbage disposal troubleshooting or repairs, be sure you have disconnected the garbage disposal from the power supply. This is not the same as turning the garbage disposal off at the switch. Instead, make sure it is fully unplugged. Let it sit for a few minutes unplugged, too, making sure any residual energy is discharged.
Next, never ever stick your hands or fingers down into the garbage disposal. If the gears are stuck, you can try freeing them with the wooden handle of a plunger or broom.
This keeps your hands out of harms way. If you’re trying to fix a leak, be sure to turn off water to the sink too, so it doesn’t come running down while you’re trying to work on the garbage disposal.
Here are some other important things to keep in mind, if you have a garbage disposal.
First, don’t put the wrong things down there. The garbage disposal is a great device that can help you rid your kitchen sink of all sorts of debris. It is not a trash compactor, though. You shouldn’t put stringy items down into the disposal, which includes strings, corn husks, plastic ties, etc. Also, you don’t want to put anything too hard into a garbage disposal such as silverware, dishes, etc. Don’t overload the garbage disposal either; this is a great way to burn out the motor.
If you’re noticing your garbage disposal is starting to smell, you can toss down some orange or lemon peels. This will help clean the blades and provide a pleasant scent. They also have some tablets for dropping into the garbage disposal these days, which are meant to clean up the blade, get rid of odor, and even sharpen the blades.
Finally, keep in mind the warranty for your garbage disposal. A number of them have extended warranties that go well beyond a year. Some cover parts, some labor, some entire replacement. Even if you don’t still have your receipt, if the manufacture date is within that allotted warranty timeframe, most manufacturers will work to honor the agreement.
For assistance with garbage disposal repairs, feel free to give us a call at Crystal Lake Plumber.