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Garbage Disposals: DIY Fix-it Tips

Garbage Disposal DIY Cincinnati

No one wants to have to call a plumbing company if they don’t need to.

In this article, we’re going to show you when you don’t need to call us, and hopefully help keep your home operating smoothly!

Garbage Disposal Not Working

If you are running the disposal and you can hear the hum that means it’s on, but the blades aren’t moving, or the matter isn’t grinding, there are a few things you can check on your own.

  • First, is the water running? If you forgot to turn the water on, the disposal 1) won’t work, and 2) is likely to burn out. So first things first, turn that cold water tap on, and try it again.
  • Is there matter in there that shouldn’t have gotten in? Did a lid or a piece of silverware fall in by accident? Did one of the kids drop a rubber toy or some other foreign object in there? If there is something blocking the blades, you can retrieve it with a pair of kitchen tongs, or pliers. (Don’t reach in with your hands.)
  • If you can hear something stuck in there, or suspect that it’s jammed, that can be quite a messy project to fix for a DIY-er, but if you’re up for the challenge, check out this article for a full how-to.

If you’ve checked each of the above points and still haven’t found what’s wrong, then it’s a different story. If the unit runs, but the blades don’t spin, then it’s likely that the blades are broken, in which case it’s easiest and cheapest to just replace the whole disposal.

If it’s still being unnecessarily noisy but you didn’t find any foreign objects in there, that could also mean there’s irreparable damage to the unit. Again, in this case, it’s usually fastest and cheapest to just replace the disposal.

Still nothing seems to be fixed? Give us a call to get a diagnostic check from a licensed plumber.

Garbage Disposal Maintenance

There are a few simple things you can do on a regular basis to keep your disposal running smoothly, like:

  • Always use cold water when using your disposal (warm/hot water can melt grease and fat and cause the disposal or its pipes to get gunked up and clogged).
  • Don’t ever overfill your disposal, wait for the food to grind & disappear before adding in more waste.
  • Never use drain cleaners or bleach or any similar chemicals to clean your garbage disposal.
  • To keep it clean & the blades sharp, you can put a large handful of ice into your disposal (along with a cup of rock salt, if you have it) and run it for about five seconds.
  • Throw chunks of citrus, like lemons or limes, into your disposal after you’re done cleaning up dinner to keep it smelling fresh. (This is the one time where you CAN use warm water while running the disposal.)

If you need further help with your garbage disposal, don’t hesitate to call BEST Plumbing Service of Cincinnati today! Our licensed plumbers will be able to give you options to let you make the BEST choice.

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