How to Choose and Maintain a Garbage Disposal

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Garbage Disposal Drain

How to Choose and Maintain a Garbage Disposal


January 28, 2024


In the modern kitchen, a garbage disposal is indispensable, streamlining meal prep and cleanup while minimizing food waste. The key to harnessing this convenience lies in selecting a disposal unit that suits your needs and maintaining it properly to avoid common pitfalls. Absolute Plumbing is here to shed light on making the right choice and keeping your disposal running smoothly, ensuring it becomes an invaluable part of your kitchen routine.

Choosing the Right Garbage Disposal

Selecting a garbage disposal that meets your household’s demands requires careful consideration of several key features. The right unit not only enhances kitchen efficiency but also aligns with your lifestyle and cooking habits.

Motor Size: The disposal’s motor size, expressed in horsepower (HP), directly impacts its grinding power and ability to handle daily kitchen waste. Smaller households or those with light usage might find a 1/3 or 1/2 HP model adequate, while larger families or those who cook frequently may benefit from the robust performance of a 3/4 to 1 HP disposal. Choosing a motor that matches your needs can prevent jams and ensure smoother operation.

Grind Stages: The number of grind stages a disposal offers can significantly affect its versatility and efficiency. Single-stage disposals are typically sufficient for basic food waste but might struggle with tougher materials. Opting for a model with multiple grind stages can enhance the fineness of the waste output, making it more suitable for septic systems and reducing the risk of clogs.

Noise Level: The operational noise of a garbage disposal can vary greatly between models. Advanced units come equipped with sound insulation technology, offering a quieter kitchen environment. If you’re sensitive to noise or often engage in conversation in the kitchen, investing in a disposal with enhanced noise reduction features can make a noticeable difference in your space’s ambiance.

Septic System Compatibility: Homes with septic systems need to pay particular attention to their choice of garbage disposal. Certain models are designed with septic systems in mind, incorporating features that facilitate the breakdown of food waste in a way that’s compatible with these systems. Ensuring your disposal is suited for septic use can prevent potential issues and support the overall health of your septic tank.

Maintaining Your Garbage Disposal

A well-maintained garbage disposal is key to a functional kitchen, reducing the likelihood of clogs and odors while extending the life of the unit. Here’s how to keep your disposal in peak condition:

Run Cold Water: Utilizing cold water during operation solidifies fats and oils, allowing the disposal to grind them more effectively. This practice not only prevents clogs but also contributes to the disposal’s efficiency, ensuring waste is adequately processed.

Avoid Certain Materials: Being mindful of what you put down your disposal can prevent damage and extend its lifespan. Hard, fibrous, or non-food items can jam or dull the disposal blades, while grease and oil may solidify within your plumbing, creating blockages. Educating household members on proper disposal use is crucial for avoiding these common issues.

Clean Regularly: Regular cleaning is essential for maintaining a fresh, odor-free disposal. Natural cleaners like ice cubes, citrus peels, baking soda, and vinegar can effectively clean and deodorize the unit without the need for harsh chemicals. This routine maintenance not only keeps your disposal smelling fresh but also sharpens the blades, ensuring efficient operation.

Clearing Jams: Safely addressing jams involves turning off and unplugging the unit before attempting any fixes. Using a disposal wrench or the handle of a wooden spoon to manually turn the blades can help dislodge blockages. For safety and to prevent damage, never insert your hands into the disposal.

Professional Inspection: Persistent issues or a non-functioning disposal warrant professional attention. Absolute Plumbing’s experts can assess whether repair or replacement is the most cost-effective solution, providing skilled services to restore or enhance your disposal’s performance.

Conclusion: A Commitment to Kitchen Efficiency

By carefully selecting a garbage disposal that fits your household’s needs and adhering to maintenance best practices, you can ensure this kitchen workhorse remains efficient and reliable. Absolute Plumbing stands ready to assist, from helping you choose the ideal unit to offering maintenance tips and professional services, elevating your kitchen’s functionality and your overall culinary experience.