Garbage disposals are motorized units that grind down food waste and properly dispose of it in the drains. Also known as waste disposal or garbage disposal, they help manage food waste and are usually installed underneath your sinks.
Read this article to know how garbage disposals work and how to properly use them at home. Get a plumbing service in San Antonio, TX, if you’re ready to install one. Our plumbers are experienced in installing all types of garbage disposals. Contact us anytime and we will quickly dispatch a licensed plumber to your location.
How a Garbage Disposal Works
Homeowners can install either the Batch Feed or the Continuous Feed garbage disposal. If you can’t decide which one to install, feel free to get a plumbing service. Our plumbers can walk you through the process of choosing the garbage disposal suitable for your home.
Continuous Feed Garbage Disposals
Most homeowners prefer continuous feed garbage disposals — you simply flip the switch, toss the food waste, and the motor starts grinding the food scraps. The continuous feed grinds the food without stopping, hence the name.
With the continuous feed, there’s no need to pile the food in batches, saving you time. So long as the device is on, it keeps grinding until all the food scraps are sent to the drain.
The continuous feed might be an ideal choice if you often have a lot of food waste at home. However, you’ll need to be careful because the drain is open when the motor is running. Avoid going near the garbage disposal and keep things away from the unit so they don’t fall off. However, this might not be a good option if you want to save more energy. Unless you turn it off, the continuous batch garbage disposal still runs even when it’s empty. Also, it uses a lot of water so not ideal when you’re trying to conserve more water.
Get a plumbing service in San Antonio, TX, if you need more information or when you’re ready to install a new garbage disposal unit.
Batch Feed Garbage Disposal
With the batch feed garbage disposal, you put the food waste in batches — about 3 to 5 cups at a time, depending on the unit’s model. There’s no need for a wall switch, saving you more money on electricity.
Safety is one of its biggest benefits. Batch feed garbage disposals only operate when the stopper is placed, so there’s no risk of injury. It’s completely closed, so food debris can’t come out and no utensils or objects can fall into the unit.
Compared to the continuous feed disposal, the batch feed is quieter. Because it’s covered, you hear less noise from the unit. Some models also come with sound insulation, making them an ideal choice for those that prefer a quiet operation. However, batch feed garbage disposals are more expensive than continuous feed. Also, it can be time-consuming as you have to grind the food in batches. Not an ideal choice if you prefer a more convenient option.
If you’re ready to purchase a garbage disposal, get a plumbing service to help you decide which is suitable for your home.
We also offer plumbing service installation for all types of garbage disposals. Let us know when you plan to install your unit so we can dispatch a plumber to your location.
What happens when you turn on the garbage disposal:
The grinding chamber found at the bottom rotates at a high velocity, grinding the food into tiny particles and are sent down the drain. Unlike blenders, they don’t have blades, just impellers that grind the food waste.
If you have been having trouble disposing of your food waste, we highly suggest you consider installing a garbage disposal for your home. Get a plumbing service for more information. Our plumbers are more than happy to discuss the pros and cons of each type of garbage disposal, including their cost. We can also help with plumbing service installation. Contact us today for assistance.
What Size Should I Get?
If you don’t know anything about garbage disposals, get a plumbing service in San Antonio, TX, so our team can assist you with choosing the right disposal for your home.
The size mainly depends on the number of people that live in your home, the kind of food you prepare, and how often you might be using the unit.
If you live alone, consider getting a garbage disposal with 1/3 horsepower. Get a bigger disposal if you have a large family and you often cook your meals at home.
You can get a garbage disposal at your local store or contact a plumber for assistance.
Using the Garbage Disposal
Read the manual if you haven’t used a garbage disposal in the past. Or you can get a plumbing service so we can assist you upon installing your new unit.
How to use the unit:
To ensure the garbage disposal stays in excellent shape, make sure you know how to properly use the unit. Below are some tips in using the garbage disposal without damaging the unit.
- To avoid damage, never overload your garbage disposal. The unit is designed to grind a certain amount of waste at a time. You can’t just load a huge amount of food scraps as you might damage the motor. Break down large food scraps first before putting them in the garbage disposal.
- Use the disposal with running water on every cycle as that helps move the waste from the unit to your drain. Without running the water, the disposal can clog. If you need further assistance in using the garbage disposal, get a plumbing service in San Antonio, TX.
- Run the disposal for another 30 seconds up to a minute to ensure that all food waste is sent down the drain. This also avoids the unpleasant smell from the garbage disposal.
- You can’t grind certain food in the garbage disposal as that might damage or clog the unit. Avoid grease, potato peels, and large animal bones. Read the entire manual if you have questions about using your garbage disposal, or get a plumbing service so that our plumbers can help.
- Your garbage disposal is only designed to grind food waste and nothing more. Be careful not to accidentally put objects at your disposal to avoid damaging the motor.
- Regularly clean your garbage disposal to keep it running efficiently and smelling fresh. You can combat unpleasant smells by running little amount of dish soap and water into the garbage disposal. Try grinding lemon or orange peels to keep your unit smelling clean.
- When the garbage disposal clogs, make sure not to use chemical-based drain cleaners to get rid of the clog. Instead, get a plumbing service so that a plumber can help you eliminate the clog.
- If an object fell, be careful in retrieving it from the disposal. Make sure that the unit is turned off to avoid accidents. Better yet, get a plumbing service so that a licensed plumber can help retrieve the object for you.
- When the unit acts up, try pressing the reset button to remedy the problem. Otherwise, get a plumbing service in San Antonio, TX, for assistance.
How to Install a Garbage Disposal
We recommend getting a plumber to help you install a new unit. Several steps are involved including removing the old disposal (if you have a previous unit). You also will need some tools and materials for the installation.
After removing the old garbage disposal, you will need to install the drain fitting and mountain ring and connect the garbage disposal cord. The unit has to be properly installed for it to work efficiently and to avoid issues associated with poor installation. Unless you have plumbing experience, we never recommend DIY installation of your garbage disposal. Always get a plumbing service for the proper installation of your new unit.
Common Garbage Disposal Problems
You may encounter problems with your unit after months or years of use. Below are the common garbage disposal problems; contact a plumber if you can’t fix the issue.
When you hear humming sounds coming from the unit and the water suddenly backs up or drains slowly, something could be blocking the blades. Some of the common culprits include eggshells, bones, non-food items, or stringy vegetables. Turn off the unit and remove the clog. You may want to contact a plumber if you need help with retrieving the object from the garbage disposal.
When water comes out of your garbage disposal or into your dishwasher, the issue could be the O-ring which either needs to be tightened or completely replaced. Check the connection from the drain pipes or dishwasher to the garbage disposal as it may be loose. If the problem is from the sink flange, you will need to get a plumbing service so that a professional plumber can repair the leak.
Check the switch first if it’s damaged or not. The motor or the circuit breaker may also be overloaded. Contact a plumber if you think the issue is in the unit’s motor or an electrician if the electrical components are the main issue.
Smelly Garbage Disposal
You can avoid unpleasant smells from your garbage disposal by properly cleaning your unit. Food particles are probably stuck in the blades, emitting nasty smells. Use a vinegar and baking soda solution in cleaning your garbage disposal. If the problem persists, contact a plumber for a unit inspection.
When the unit just hums and doesn’t grind the food waste. The motor could be jammed or it’s not powerful enough to grind the food scraps. The problem could also be due to an electrical problem. We suggest calling the right professionals so they can help you properly diagnose the problem and permanently resolve the issue.
Noisy Garbage Disposal
If you hear metal sounds coming from the garbage disposal, an object might have fallen or some components are loose. Do not attempt to repair the unit, get a plumbing service instead. A licensed plumber is equipped with the right tools to fix the problem and make sure it doesn’t recur.
When Is It Time to Replace the Garbage Disposal?
A plumber can resolve common garbage disposal problems. But if your unit is old and you keep having issues with your unit, it may be time to get it replaced. You may also need to buy a new garbage disposal when you keep having the same issues below:
You can use the reset button from time to time, but if you keep pressing it to fix a problem, it may be time to get a new replacement. Contact a plumbing company in San Antonio, TX, so that a professional plumber can help you install your new unit.
When the disposal keeps jamming even on a smaller load, you may need to purchase a unit with a bigger motor. Consult a plumber to help you decide what size you should purchase next time.
When the electrical components are in good condition but the unit still won’t run, get a plumbing service for assistance. Our plumbers can try to resolve the issue but if it’s beyond repair, you will need to get a new garbage disposal.
Contact bluefrog Plumbing + Drain + HVAC of San Antonio
Get a plumbing service at bluefrog Plumbing + Drain + HVAC of San Antonio if you need garbage disposal repair or installation. Our plumbers in San Antonio, TX, have years of experience tackling all types of garbage disposal problems. We are also available 24/7 — call us anytime if you have emergencies and we will be there at your location asap. Contact us today for an appointment.