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What is a garbage disposal?
Garbage disposal is a piece of electrically powered equipment that is installed under a kitchen sink to collect the leftovers. The disposal unit shreds leftover food wastes into pieces that are small enough to pass through plumbing.
Food scraps constitute 10% to 20 % of the household wastes and are a problematic component of municipal waste. The heating and burning of the food scraps consume more energy than it generates.
When buried in landfills, the food scraps decompose and produce methane, which contributes to climate change. A garbage disposer makes proper use of the food scraps as liquids and makes use of the existing infrastructure for its management.
How does garbage disposal work?
The garbage disposal is installed on the underside of your kitchen sink and is specially designed to collect solid food waste in a grinding chamber. On turning the disposal on, a spinning disk or impeller plate turns rapidly and forces the food waste against the outer wall of the grinding chamber. The food gets pulverised into tiny bits which in turn get washed by water through holes in the chamber wall.
Things you should avoid putting in a garbage disposal
A cleaning waste disposal is completely different from a garbage can. Not all food scraps and liquids are meant to be put at your disposal, in order to prevent clogs and disposal jams, you should know what garbage disposal is meant to be used for. Do not put in tough or fibrous food scraps, peels of vegetables, grease, pits and hard objects.
How to repair clogged garbage disposal?
Clogs in the best garbage disposal are caused by improper foods like grease, potato peels or hard to grind foods. Clogs mostly occur in the drainpipe downstream of the disposal. You can prevent clogs by keeping problem scrap out of the disposal and putting them in the trash instead. Also, keep the garbage disposal clean.
How to select the right garbage disposal for you?
Choosing waste disposal can be as simple or as detailed as you would like to make it. You can head out to your local home or appliance store and pick up a standard model that will serve all of your needs. On the other hand, you can also research the latest additional features that some garbage disposals have such as fancy stainless steel grinding chambers or insulation for reduced sound.
How to install a garbage disposal?
Installing a cleaning garbage disposal is pretty straight forward but required some basic plumbing and electrical wiring skills. You can easily get it installed by a local plumber.
What to do if the waste disposal is not grinding?
Majority of the best garbage disposals that appear not to be working just need to be reset. In case the garbage disposal is plugged into a wall outlet, make sure that the outlet has power. First, you need to check for a blown fuse or tripped circuit breaker or give it a push start. Most waste disposals have a hole below it that lets you hand-crank it free once it’s been jammed, you can either use an Alan wrench or a garbage disposal tool to crank it. This frees up the most non-serious jams.
How to remove garbage disposal?
If you are thinking of replacing a sink or a failed garbage disposal, the. Removing waste disposal is necessary. You can quickly release the motor unit, I.e the heavy part with many disposal modes, from the sink assembly and set it aside to simplify the rest of the disassembly and removal.
Things to keep in mind
Garbage disposals work best for getting rid of unwanted leftovers, expired food and discarded peels. But most of the time we take our waste disposal for granted till it becomes clogged and stops working. However, you should always remember a certain point while using the garbage disposal;
Don’t forget to run your disposal regularly
Always run your waste disposal regularly. Even if you don’t have anything to grind up, just turn on the water and dun the disposal. Repeat this procedure every few days to move the parts around. Otherwise, the disposal can freeze, corrode or rust and the leftover food can harden leading to clogs and doors. Regular running of garbage disposal is equal to exercising your body regularly to keep it in perfect shape.
Use cold water
Do not run hot water when using the waste disposal. Yes, it’s true that hot water is best for most things, but it’s not applicable in the case of cleaning the garbage disposal. Hot water can melt the food which your disposal is trying to grind up, thus allowing the waste to cling on the sides. However cold water hardens the food residue. So it becomes much easier for the garbage disposal to grind the simplified leftovers and push them out the drain pipe.
Try running disposal longer
After your garbage disposal has finished grinding up the waste, make sure to keep the water running for a minute or two to ensure that all the leftover food has been flushed out of the drainpipe to avoid clogs. Coldwater, along with a little dishwasher can also be run down the drain after you have finished grinding up the waste. This helps to keep the disposal clean and make sure that nothing remains behind or is clinging to the sides.
Cut waste into small pieces
Your waste disposal is not too big and powerful to bear large chunks of food. So don’t expect miracles from it! Always remember to cut waste into small chunks and only put in a few pieces at a time. Otherwise, you will end up overworking the disposal and clog or jam it or break it altogether.
Grind a few citrus fruits
Soap and cold water help to keep your garbage disposal clean. Apart from this, toss a peel from an orange, lemon or lime into your garbage disposal. The peels of the citrus fruits help clear excess wastes and eliminate unpleasant odors.
Benefits of having a garbage disposal
Installing a garbage disposal unit under the sink of your kitchen is an alternative to sending food scraps to the landfill or composting them on your own. There are various benefits of owning one. Let’s look into them;
Disposing of kitchen waste becomes easier, the garbage disposal breaks the leftover food items, so you don’t need to make up the garbage and take it out, thus you get more time to relax after finishing a meal.
There is much less food waste to throw out. This reduces the amount of work, reducing the use of plastics and papers every day.
Reduces kitchen odor
The food wastes get disposed of and are not left in a garbage can to rot. Kitchen odors get eliminated. Leftover food gets grounded up by a motor so you don’t need to call on local plumbers to find the source of bad smells if they are not coming from the trash.
There are fewer pipe leaks
Food scraps are ground up. This reduces the pressure on the drainage pipes. Thus, you don’t need to call a plumber to clog, leak or burst pipe every month.
Waste disposals are long-lasting
Although the garbage disposal unit differs from one another, they last a few years, some of the garbage disposals even last a decade or more.
Protect the environment
Disposal of the leftover food wastes cut down on greenhouse gases emitted by the garbage trucks. This reduces the amount of methane produced at the landfills, wastewater treatment plants can make use of it as a source of nervy and fertilizer.
Pros and cons of using a garbage disposal
- Using garbage disposal cut down on odors in garbage cans as the food is not left to rot in the trash can. For homeowners with monthly garbage pickup, this can lead to excessive foul odors as the food is left to rot in the garbage for a long time, this odor can attract stray animals that may tear through the garbage to find the discarded food. The disadvantage of using a garbage disposal is that it itself can develop a foul odor if homeowners put forbidden food items down the drain and clog up the disposal. However, adding citrus peels and juice and baking soda deodorizes the disposal.
- You need to run water to flush food down the drain after grinding. Sinks consume an average of 2 gallons of water per minute. So a huge amount of water gets wasted.
- Disposing of the kitchen wastes in the drains led to extra waste in the septic systems and water treatment facilities.
Having a cleaning garbage disposal unit in the kitchen is a great idea. Any plumber would recommend doing so because it is an effective way to deal with kitchen wastes by shredding them into small pieces. Thus, they can easily pass through plumbing. Installing them is both affordable and easy. Waste disposals also help to maintain the health and hygiene of your kitchen.