Garbage disposals are an essential component of modern kitchens, providing an efficient way to dispose of food waste while reducing the potential for clogged pipes. However, improper use and poor maintenance can lead to decreased efficiency, breakdowns, and costly repairs. As a renowned HVAC and plumbing company based out of Long Beach, California, Power Pro Plumbing Heating & Air is dedicated to helping you get the most out of your garbage disposal by providing practical care tips to ensure its longevity and peak performance.

We’ll guide you through the dos and don’ts of garbage disposal operation, offer insight on routine maintenance, and discuss when it’s time to call our professional technicians for assistance. By adopting these best practices for garbage disposal care, you can maintain a smooth-functioning kitchen while safeguarding your plumbing system for years to come.

I. Tips for Proper Garbage Disposal Operation

Operating your garbage disposal correctly can significantly reduce the risk of damage, clogs, and potential malfunction. Follow these dos and don’ts for proper disposal use:

1. DO run cold water when using the disposal – Cold water helps solidify grease and oil, allowing for easier disposal and preventing buildup in your pipes.

2. DON’T overload the disposal – Overloading can cause the motor to overheat, resulting in damage or breakdown. Feed waste in gradually to avoid overworking the appliance.

3. DO cut large items into smaller pieces – Cutting food waste into manageable pieces can prevent clogs and minimize stress on the disposal’s blades and motor.

4. DON’T dispose of non-food items – Trash, plastic, paper, or other non-food items can damage the disposal’s blades and create clogs in your plumbing.

II. Things to Avoid Putting in the Garbage Disposal

Some items are best kept out of your garbage disposal, as they can cause clogs, dull the blades, or create unpleasant odors. Be cautious of disposing of the following:

1. Fibrous and stringy foods – Foods like celery, corn husks, and onion skins can wrap around the blades, causing the motor to jam and potentially overheat.

2. Starchy or expandable foods – Pasta, rice, and oatmeal can expand when wet, causing clogs in your plumbing.

3. Hard items – Bones, fruit pits, and other hard objects can damage the blades and overtax the motor.

4. Grease, oil, and fat – These substances can solidify and accumulate in your pipes, leading to clogs and decreased disposal efficiency.

III. Routine Garbage Disposal Maintenance

Regular maintenance is crucial in ensuring your garbage disposal’s longevity and efficiency. Adopt these maintenance practices to keep your disposal in tip-top condition:

1. Clean the disposal regularly – Cleaning your garbage disposal can prevent buildup and odors. Turn off and unplug the unit, then use a long-handled brush or sponge to clean the interior of the grinding chamber. For a deeper clean, pour a mix of warm water and mild dish soap into the drain and run the disposal for a few seconds with the water running.

2. Sharpen the blades – Ice cubes can be an effective way to keep the blades sharp. Drop a few cubes into the disposal and run it for a few seconds to help sharpen and remove any clinging debris.

3. Deodorize the disposal – Unpleasant odors can develop in your garbage disposal over time. To combat this, periodically grind citrus peels, such as lemon or orange, as the natural oils help neutralize foul smells.

IV. Signs Your Garbage Disposal Needs Professional Attention

While regular maintenance and proper operation can help prolong your garbage disposal’s life, there are instances when our professional technicians may be required. Keep an eye out for the following signs that indicate it’s time to call for professional help:

1. Persistent clogs – Repeated clogs can signal an underlying issue with your disposal or plumbing system. Our technicians can inspect and address the root cause, preventing recurrent problems.

2. Unusual noises – If your disposal is making loud or strange noises, it could be an indication of a worn-out motor or damaged internal parts. Our professionals can diagnose the issue and recommend the appropriate repair or replacement.

3. Frequent resets – Constantly needing to reset the disposal can indicate a worn-out motor or an electrical problem. Our technicians can find the source of the problem and take proper action to resolve it.

4. Leaks – Garbage disposal leaks can be caused by various reasons, from a loose mounting flange to damaged seals or pipes. Our professionals can pinpoint the cause and fix the issue to prevent further damage.

V. Knowing When to Replace Your Garbage Disposal

Though well-maintained garbage disposals can last for years, they may eventually need to be replaced. Signs that it may be time for a new disposal include:

1. Frequent problems – If you’re experiencing ongoing issues with your disposal, a replacement appliance can save you time and money in the long run.

2. Lack of power – If the motor seems weak or struggles to grind even small food items, the disposal may be nearing the end of its lifespan.

3. Older unit – Generally, garbage disposals have a life expectancy of around 8-15 years. If your disposal is over 12 years old, consider upgrading to a new, more efficient model.

Regardless of whether garbage disposal repair or replacement is needed, our professionals are here to help. We can assess your unit, provide expert advice, and perform any necessary services to keep your kitchen running smoothly.

In Conclusion: Preserving Your Garbage Disposal with Expert Care

Taking proper care of your garbage disposal, from mindful operation to routine maintenance, is fundamental in prolonging its lifespan and maintaining its efficiency. However, for those instances where professional intervention is necessary, our skilled technicians at Power Pro Plumbing Heating & Air have you covered. Whether it’s a recurring clog, an unusual noise, or an aging unit that needs replacement, our team is ready to tackle any garbage disposal challenge and ensure your Long Beach kitchen runs smoothly. Don’t hesitate to contact us for all your garbage disposal needs, including expert repair, replacement, or maintenance services. We’re here to help keep your disposal functioning at its best and protect your plumbing system for years to come.

Scroll to Top