When a person has a garbage disposal for the first time, they may not know all the proper methods for running it and keeping it working effectively. If you buy a new disposal, you get a manual with instructions. However, people often move into a house or apartment that already has a disposal -- and no instruction manual.
One important strategy involves running water every time you use the disposal. If you haven't been doing this, you may have already developed a problem with the equipment.
Running Water While Grinding Food
Adding a stream of water while grinding up food prevents the particles from getting stuck in the device and flushes them down the sewer pipe. Start running water before you add the food and continue running it for several seconds after the grinding sounds stop.
If food particles do get lodged in the disposal, the motor automatically shuts off.
Hot vs. Cold Water
People who haven't read a disposal instruction manual sometimes bicker about whether hot or cold water is better for grinding up food. Manufacturers recommend cold water while running the disposal and while cleaning the flaps with dish soap -- with the device turned off, of course. This might seem counter-intuitive since people generally think of hot water as more effective for cleaning dishes.
Cold water solidifies grease and cooking oil that has gone into the drain. In that form, the disposal can chop them into little pieces and they will travel to the sewer pipe without clogging up the plumbing.
Keep in mind that you should never pour grease or oil down a drain. However, some may occasionally get into the pipes during dish washing. It's best to wipe oily substances away with a paper towel before washing pots, pans, plates and bowls.
Grinding up some ice cubes every two or three weeks is good for the disposal. Ice sharpens the blades as they cut the cubes, and the resulting ice shards cut through any grease that has become stuck in the disposal.
Get the Manual
Many additional strategies keep the disposal in good working order. Find the manual for your particular model online and learn how to properly care for this device.
If you've run the disposal too many times without water and it has stopped working, try pressing the reset button, which is located on the motor under the sink. If that doesn't work, call a plumber for help.
Talk to experts like Absolute Plumbing & Drain Cleaning Services Inc for more information.