How does garbage disposal work?

Maybe you always wonder, what is a garbage disposal?

How does garbage disposal work? What can it handle?

If you have these questions in your head and unanswered, this article will be of great help to you. It will give you an idea of why you should have a garbage disposal in your kitchen. It’ll also tell you what you should and should not include in the garbage.

You do not need to be plumber or know a lot about plumbing to learn how a garbage disposal works and how to troubleshoot it if needed.

All you need is to read through the whole text, and you’ll love what you learn from us.

What is a garbage disposal?

Garbage disposal refers to a machine used in shredding kitchen waste into small portions that will hardly clog the drainage pipes.

It’s one way of increasing the cleanliness in your kitchen. One thing is that you run the disposal with cold water and not hot water.

That allows you to condense the fats in the water, helping to make sure that the fats get ground as well. Every garbage disposal brand comes with the same rule. That is, do not grind if the waste is non-biodegradable.

This home appliance increase waste disposal more effective than trash can, as it reduce plastic bags usage. Also, you will drastically reduce bad kitchen odors.

How does garbage disposal work?

A garbage disposal works by chewing kitchen scraps with the help of heavy water flow. Statistics from a survey of Business Wire shows that more than 50% of the US citizens have garbage disposals installed in their homes. The system consists of many parts that work together for a clean kitchen which include;

Under Sink Disposal: The disposal under the sink has an attached electric motor. The motor can be hardwired, or you can choose to plug it into the 120V box.

The box is usually at the back of the sink cabinet.

Grinding Chamber: The chamber is usually inside the disposal. It has shredding blades that slice the kitchen waste into small pieces.

The chamber has an impeller arm plate that forces the sliced food materials and liquid down the pipes.

To ensure that all the large particles turn ground before they get to the drainpipe, you can also consider running the dishwater drain water.

Types of Garbage Disposal

There are two primary categories of garbage disposal. These include;

  • Continuous-Feed garbage disposal: For this type, you activate it with a switch while running the water.
  • Batch-feed Garbage disposal: for this one, you must first load the garbage. After this, you can turn on the disposal using a stopper.

More than 90% of the garbage disposals in the two categories will fit entirely with the standard drain pipes. Note that you have to read through the instruction manuals to determine the position of switch installation.

Please don’t install it close to the sink for safety purposes. A good brand should last for a period of 8 to 15 years.

Which Items is Safe?

garbage disposal 101 do and don't
FH Furr / Flickr

Most of the kitchen waste is suitable for your garbage disposal. The items on this list do also help in improving the status of your disposal.

  • Citrus food waste: small pieces, citrus fruits help to keep your garbage disposal clean and with a fresh smell. Among then, you should consider oranges, lemon, grapes, and berries.
  • Small pieces of cooked meat: Note that, here, we use the word SMALL. Such parts are less likely to cause any complications for your disposal. Avoid large chunks as they can stop your machine from functioning.
  • Vegetable scraps: Apart from those that contain many fibers, all vegetables are suitable for your disposal. They help to maintain the sharpness of the slicing blades.
  • Only Small Pieces of Bones: Make sure that if there are to bone are of small sizes. Large bones are not suitable for the slicing blades. They make the razors dull, and therefore, they slow down the functionality of the whole system.

Things you should NOT put into the disposal

There is a lot of stuff you should consider not putting into your garbage disposal to avoid clogs. These include:

  • Bones: Large pieces of bones are not suitable for your garbage disposal. It’ll be hard to get them past the blades causing jams, and even if they do, getting down the drain will be near impossible. As such, they cause clogging of the pipes. So keep your chicken bones to a minimum size!
  • Coffee Grounds: They may appear as if they will run down the disposal smoothly, but in the pipes, that is not the case. They’ll pile inside the pipes, and cause clogging.
  • Egg Shells: There are claims that eggshells do help to sharpen the blades. That, however, is not the case. At some time, these shells will stick on the edges. If they pile up, they reduce the efficiency of the garbage disposal.
  • Grease: Oil and fat is something that you should avoid. It will not go anywhere, and instead, it will only clog the pipes. That lowers the functionality of the garbage disposal.
  • Celery: Celery contains so much fiber that it will be hard to drain. The fiber threads might also rap the blades, and that reduces their functionality, making the machine less effective. This also includes other fibrous foods.
  • Other stuff: Also, it is better if you consider not putting in the disposal anything that is not a foodstuff. These include broken glasses, cigarette burns, and shells. Also, avoid any uncooked cereals such as wheat, rice, and maize beans.

These are stuff that will drain through the disposal but end up clogging the drain pipes.

Also, avoid loading it with potato peels, banana, and onion pills. We also advise that you keep off-putting in nuts as they will make the razors dull.

That reduces the efficiency of the whole system. Anything soapy should also not find its way through the disposal.

When will the disposal not Work?

When will the disposal not Work
Kung Pao Cowboy / Flickr

At times the garbage disposal will not work. At this point, you need to check out what is causing the problem. It can be that you have the disposal clogged, jammed, or stuck.

One sign is that the disposal will give a humming noise. You can use the wrench as crank through the hole at the bottom of your garbage disposal to identify the source of the problem.

As always, you must read the user manual if you just a new garbage disposal. Not all garbage disposal work the same way.

Have you been having problems with your drainage system blocking from time to time?

Installing garbage disposal will be an excellent decision. It’ll help you reduce the chances of your kitchen waste clogging your pipes.

It is highly recommended to use a plumbing services before installing a brand new garbage disposal. You need to make sure you have a healthy plumbing pipes before risking your big investment.

Also, make sure all you electrical outlet and connection in safe space away from the waste fluids.

When the trash is in small pieces, it’s easy to flash them smoothly down the drain pipes. That reduces chances of clogging, and therefore, reduced cases of drain blockage.

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