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How Does a Garbage Disposal Work?

Garbage disposals seem like a relatively simple appliance. It’s the workhorse of kitchens across the country. Throw something down, turn it on, and don’t worry about it anymore, right?

But, how does a garbage disposal work? The device itself remains similar to its original design from 1927. Invented by John Hammes, the use of these handy devices continues to rise to the point that they are a staple of kitchens. 

How Your Garbage Disposal Works

Mounted to the underside of the kitchen sink, the garbage disposal collects solid food waste into its grinding chamber. When you activate the disposal, the spinning disc (impeller plate), spins quickly. The disc forces food to the walls of the chamber. 

Then, it pulverizes the food into tiny bits, which water washes away through holes in the wall. Generally, people believe these units have sharp blades. However, the reality is that the plate only has two blunt metal impellers that look kind of like teeth. 

How to Use a Garbage Disposal

Each model is a bit different. Still, the user flips a switch to activate the disposal. Additionally, each model has a stopper switch and reset button on the grinding chamber. 

Here’s how to get the most out of your unit. 

  • Run room temperature water into the disposal before you turn it on. 
  • Put the food down into the chamber before you turn it on. 
  • As it runs, slowly feed more food waste into the disposal. 
  • Once you turn it off, leave the water running for a few seconds to ensure the chamber is clean. 

A Garbage Disposal Is Not a Garbage Can

So, how does a garbage disposal work? Easy enough to understand, right? But, do you know what to use it for?

Not every bit of garbage is right for a garbage disposal. To prevent jams and clogs, it’s important to understand what NOT to throw into the garbage disposal. 

Avoid these types of waste: 

  • Potato peels 
  • Oil
  • Grease
  • Tough, fibrous food scraps
  • Hard objects 

How to Prevent a Clogged Disposal

Typically, clogs result from throwing improper foods into the disposal. While it’s possible to clog the disposal itself, it’s more common to see clogs down in the drains. Your best bet for preventing clogs is to throw problem scraps into the trash or compost instead of the disposal. 

Additionally, try to keep the chamber clean. If you ever run into a problem, it’s best to call in a plumbing technician with experience working on garbage disposals

Final Thoughts

“How does a garbage disposal work” is an easy question to answer. What’s harder is caring for your disposal unit so that it grinds food into a pulp that cold water can easily clear from the sink drain through the pipe. Moreover, when you aren’t sure how to fix a garbage disposal, leave disposal repairs to the experts. This is especially true if there’s a problem with the electric motor.

If you need expert garbage disposal repair, the team at MET Plumbing LLC is ready to help! Call our dispatchers today, and schedule your appointment.

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