5 Things You Should Know About Garbage Disposals

Written by Jim Dhamer Plumbing on . Posted in Blog

5 Things You Should Know About Garbage Disposals

If your kitchen does not have a garbage disposal, you may seriously want to consider installing one. These handy appliances, mounted underneath the sink, collect and grind food waste. The garbage disposal uses electricity, which is why it needs to be near an outlet.

Once everything is connected, you simply flip the switch and turn on the garbage disposal. An impeller plate inside the garbage disposal turns rapidly and pulverizes the food into bits. This is how a garbage disposal works. Before installing one, learn about some more things you should know.

Discover five things you should know about garbage disposals.

1. Know the Benefits of a Garbage Disposal

Besides offering a convenient way to get rid of food scraps, having a garbage disposal offers other benefits. Some of these benefits include:

  • Since the waste does not have a chance to rot, you will have no bad odors from your drains and pipes.
  • As you wash your dishes, you can simply scrape the excess food into the disposal, which makes it faster and easier to wash them.
  • You will reduce the chances of your pipes clogging with large chunks of food.

One more benefit of a garbage disposal is that it is good for the environment. When you throw your foods scraps into the garbage, they pile up at the landfill.

2. Know the Different Types of Garbage Disposals and Their Features

You might think that all garbage disposals are the same. However, this is not true. Garbage disposals have different features from which to choose. First, however, you will need to decide which type of garbage disposal to get. The two main types of garbage disposals include:

  • Continuous feed. Considered the most common and easiest to use, this type of garbage disposal has an open-mouth disposal and turns on and off via a switch.
  • Batch feed. Less common and more expensive, this type of garbage disposal uses a stopper lid to activate it.

Besides knowing what kind you want, you should know what certain features to look for. Garbage disposals have different motor sizes rated in horsepower (HP). The higher the number, the more powerful the motor. Most households can get by with a 1/2 HP garbage disposal. Some homeowners prefer a more powerful garbage disposal, such as a ¾ or 1 HP.

The more power it has, the less chance it has of getting jammed. Some garbage disposals also have an auto reverse feature. This is handy in case a chunk of food gets stuck in the disposal. Instead of continuing to grind in one direction, it will go into reverse mode instead.

Some brands of garbage disposals are quieter than others. If you prefer a quieter one, you will want to look for a model that contains insulation around the grinding chamber.

3. Know What Not to Put Down a Garbage Disposal

Just because your garbage disposal conveniently gets rid of food waste does not mean you can treat it like a garbage can. Never put certain kinds of food down your garbage disposal.

The following foods will increase the chance of clogged drains and pipes:

  • Coffee grounds
  • Oatmeal
  • Pasta
  • Onion skins
  • Fibrous and stringy vegetables
  • Corn husks
  • Potato peels

Also, some hard foods could damage your garbage disposal. These include eggshells, bones, nuts, and fruit pits. You should also avoid putting paint and cleaning chemicals down your garbage disposal. Remember, just because it is called a garbage disposal does not mean you can use it for all of your trash.

4. Know When to Replace Your Garbage Disposal

Your garbage disposal contains blades and a small motor. These parts will experience wear and tear over the years. On average, a garbage disposal lasts around a decade.

Besides age, discover some other signs that it might be time to replace your garbage disposal:

  • It runs too slowly, or it does not run at all.
  • It is noisier than usual, or it makes a humming noise.
  • It does not make any noise.
  • It clogs or jams more frequently.

If your garbage disposal does not work like it used to, you should contact a plumber. A plumber will know if your garbage disposal needs replacing.

5. Know Who to Call for Garbage Disposal Installation

You might be tempted to install your garbage disposal yourself. Since electricity is involved, however, this is not a good idea. To be on the safe side, and to make sure it is installed properly, you will want to hire a professional plumber for the job.

The licensed plumbers at Jim Dhamer Plumbing and Sewer, Inc., have plenty of experience with kitchen fixture installations, including garbage disposals. Contact us today to schedule your installation at (630) 964-2222. We look forward to speaking with you.


Jim Dhamer
Plumbing and Sewer, Inc.


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