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Garbage Disposal Maintenance

It’s vital to run your disposal periodically even if you haven’t needed to use it. Running the disposal keeps it clean and free of built up food. Built up food will turn into sludge and muck inside your disposal and end up rusting and decomposing the metal gears. Before you know it, the water is running straight thru the disposal on to the floor. In my time in maintenance I have seen what can happen to a perfectly good disposal not running it for 2-3 months. Many times ,believe it or not, people have called me to look at their disposals complaining that it was jammed only to find out that the day before they called me was the first time they used it in 6 months; and it did not turn on. YOU DID WHAT? Some people have innocently thought that the little bit of food they throw down the garbage disposal will just float down the drain. NOPE it does not. The water will go down the drain but the little bits of food like rice, mashed potatoes, salsa, (yum salsa),lettuce, bread will just sit in there and build up. Eventually rusting and ruining the disposal. I have seen disposals just fall right out of the sink onto the floor from neglect, tisk tisk. Ok that was worst case scenarios here’s a few tips to keep your disposal in good shape.

· A good way to keep your disposal clean a smelling nice is to fill the whole disposal with ice while its off and then while the disposal is running poor in about a half a bottle of white vinegar. This keeps the gears cleaned and neutralizes odors. There are products you can buy at your local grocery in the same isle where you purchase dish soap that are made for cleaning and neutralizing disposal odors, if you would like something like that.

· If your disposal ever jams there are two ways to un-jam it. One is the proper way by purchasing a “disposal wrench” it cost like 2-3 bucks or ¼ inch Allen wrench will work. After unplugging the disposal under the sink; look under the disposal, right in the center you will see the spot where you will place the disposal wrench. Turning the wrench left and right will manually move the gears, breaking them free from being jammed up. After freeing up the jam, there is a very small red breaker button also on the bottom of the disposal, about the size of a pencil eraser. This may have “popped” make sure it is pressed all the way back in. Plug the disposal back in. Cover the disposal sink hole up. Turn on the disposal. Yess! IT WORKS!It works right? Ok good.

· The second way to unjam it is the same as the first except you can use the stick from your broom handle or a toilet plunger (wood type)instead of a “disposal wrench” or “Allen wrench”. After unplugging the disposal,put the broom handle inside the disposal and manually turn it in one direction until you feel it break free.

Basic garbage disposal

Basic garbage disposal

The center is the place to insert your wrench. The red button is the breaker. UNPLUG FIRST.

The center is the place to insert your wrench. The red button is the breaker. UNPLUG FIRST.

What is your experience


Saulo on December 29, 2014:

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Charles Webb-it (author) from Edmonds,WA on October 20, 2011:

Thank you Rosemay for getting back to me thats what i needed to know.

Rosemary Sadler from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand on October 20, 2011:

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You asked me about the profile scores going down in the fanmail. This is affected by many things, some being the amount of your activity i.e visiting other hubs, reading and leaving comments, taking part in the forums, answering questions. Also publishing hubs and the activity that they create with other hubbers reading and leaving comments. Many other reasons too. The content of your hub also makes a difference.

Mine usually varies between 87 and 90 but I went down to 84 today because I haven't been very active and have not published anything fow a while. Poets rarely seem to get above 90, I think because of the fewer amount of words. so try to make your hubs more than 500 words like you have here. You will gradually see your score increase

Good luck

Charles Webb-it (author) from Edmonds,WA on October 16, 2011:

thank you Giselle for the all the help.Its really hard starting out anything new,Hub pages is pleasantly easy to start up,but if you want to do really well at it, it can be difficult. Thanks again for taking the time to make me feel at home.yaaaa!

Giselle Maine on October 16, 2011:

I also wanted to add, welcome to Hubpages, Charles. I had no idea I was your first commenter until you left me that very supportive Fan Mail! Thanks. You're off to a great start with your writing and I'm honored to be your first commenter.

By the way, the HP community is very helpful so if you have any questions about anything just ask - you can use the Q&A or the forums to get help, or of course you can ask individual hubbers for help too (although the latter is usually done via the comments on an article). For example I once saw a hubber achieve a very smart and unusual effect on the layout of their hub and I left a comment asking about how to do it, and the hubber was able to tell me more about how they did it.

Happy Hubbing!

Paul Cronin from Winnipeg on October 14, 2011:

Vinegar works great for so many things, I never thought of using for the garburator, thanks for the tips

Giselle Maine on October 14, 2011:

Thanks so much for this very helpful hub! I really wish I'd read this when our disposal jammed. We managed to un-jam it ourselves but I wish I'd known about the disposal wrench. I really appreciate you sharing your expertise. Voted UP and Useful!

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