Garbage disposals units are built for abuse. That is how they are able to last long even despite the heavy duty work they do every day. But your unit should be taken care of to make it last longer. Here are some tips.

Basic operating tips

There is a right way for doing everything and that applies to garbage disposal units. The correct way to operate it is to first turn the faucet on for about 15 seconds. Keep the water running and slowly feed food waste into the unit before running it. You will know that all the waste have been flushed down the drain when the grinding stops. Turn the disposal off but keep the water running for 15 more seconds. This is to make sure that all the waste has been flushed down the drain and not stuck inside the chamber where they may decompose and give off that stinky odor.

What not to put inside the disposal

Your waste disposal system is only for food scraps. If it is not food (even if it is biodegradable), it should not go down there. Paper and cigarette butts are often thrown into the disposal and are the cause of most clogs in the pipes.

Fibrous food and tough-skinned vegetables should also not be fed into the unit. Their fibers can get wrapped around the rotating mechanisms and cause it to jam. Examples of these are potato peels, onion skin, corn husks, and celery stalks.

Avoid F-O-G

FOG stands for fat, oil, and grease. While they may seem to go down the sink quite easily, they can accumulate down the plumbing and cause it to clog. They should not be thrown into the sink, whether you have a garbage disposal unit or not.

Your garbage disposal unit cannot be entirely free of fat, oil, and grease. To help scour the disposal’s walls of these, feed some fish and chicken bones into it.

Getting a jammed disposal to grind again

Avoid feeding your unit when it makes a humming or whirring sound when you turn it on. It is an indication that the blades are not rotating. You may be able to fix this yourself, but be sure to put safety first before you attempt any repair. Make sure that the unit is off and has been disconnected from any electrical source.

Shine a flashlight and look down the disposal to see what’s causing it to clog. Then pull it out with a pair of pliers. If you cannot see anything, try to manually turn the disposal’s blade with a wooden spoon (or any similar object). Make sure that the unit is unplugged while you are doing this.

If the blades are now able to move freely, try turning the disposal on again. Some units have a reset button on them. Using the reset button can also free up a clogged unit. If none of these works, contact a professional to help you.