Brooks Plumbing Co. Blog: Posts Tagged ‘Garbage Disposal’

Here’s Why Your Garbage Disposal Is Jammed

Monday, November 21st, 2016

The garbage disposal in your kitchen is one of those appliances that is often taken for granted—no matter how effectively it gets rid of spare bits of food and organic waste. We don’t usually think much of our sink disposal units, until something goes wrong. Unfortunately, problems occur quite often. And when you do have a problem you want to deal with it right away so it doesn’t clog up your entire drain.

But how does this happen in the first place?

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Signs of Trouble with Your Garbage Disposal

Monday, February 22nd, 2016

The garbage disposal is an indispensable part of your household and you likely use it in some capacity or another every day. That’s good news when it breaks down in that you usually can tell immediately what the trouble is. The bad news is that it can throw your entire household for a loop. Here in Olympia, WA, there’s a service on staff who can repair or replace your garbage disposal, but spotting the signs of trouble can do more than alert you to a problem: it can provide a clue as to what that problem is. Here’s a list of some of the more common signs of trouble with your garbage disposal, which you should take the time to learn.

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Keep Your Garbage Disposal Running at its Best

Monday, November 23rd, 2015

Garbage disposals serve to grind up food before flushing it down your sink, helping to conveniently get rid of food in a safe and hygienic manner. Most homes in Olympia, WA have garbage disposals in their kitchen sink, and we’ve become so accustomed to them that we rarely take notice unless they suffer some kind of breakdown. A qualified plumber can usually fix a faulty garbage disposal, but you can take a few simple steps to keep yours running at its best, and ensuring that it never requires a repair session.

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3 Causes of Garbage Disposal Clogs

Friday, May 30th, 2014

Considering how much work kitchen garbage disposals does on a daily basis, it seems they should breakdown and stop working more than they do. Thanks to the sturdy construction of modern garbage disposals, most will keep working for many years despite sometimes having objects go down them that should never go down them. (Example: popcorn kernels. A good rule of thumb is that if you can’t chew it, your garbage disposal can’t either.)

However, you can rarely escape garbage disposal clogs forever. When your disposal stops working, don’t make the mistake of trying to put your hand down the drain to “dislodge” whatever has stopped it. Try the reset switch on the bottom of the unit first, and if that doesn’t work, call for a professional plumber to safely and effectively fix the problem.

Brooks Plumbing has 20 years of experience with repairs for kitchen plumbing. If you need help with your garbage disposal in Olympia, WA, make us your first call.

3 of the reasons for garbage disposal clogs

  1. Liquid fat, oil, grease (FOG): Perhaps no other food product in a kitchen can do as much damage to a disposal than these hot liquids. They seem innocuous enough when poured down a drain, but once they dry they solidify into tough waxy substances that will start to coat the drainpipe and restrict water flow. In a disposal, they will soon jam up the mechanical parts and prevent drainage. Plumbers will need to clean out the drains and the clean the interior of the disposal.
  2. Actual garbage: Don’t let the name fool you! A garbage disposal is never for inorganic garbage. Plastics, paper, tin foil, etc. all go in a true garbage receptacle. In the garbage disposal. They will quickly jam it up. There’s also some organic garbage that shouldn’t go here (see the rule above about chewable material): fruit pits and seeds, popcorn kernels, bones, eggshells. Another concern is coffee grounds, which will become caught in the garbage disposal’s trap, leading to clogs. Place coffee grounds in the garbage or a composting bucket.
  3. Pasta: Surprised? The trouble with pasta is that it expands in water. If it goes into a garbage disposal, it can become caught in the disposal trap, or it might remain in the pipe and continue to expand until it creates a clog. This also applies to rice, which expands in water.

You should have few troubles from your home’s garbage disposal if you refrain from putting the above objects down the drain. But if you still run across a repair problem with your garbage disposal in Olympia, WA, contact Brooks Plumbing. We promise quality in everything we do.

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Common Problems with Garbage Disposal Units

Monday, December 9th, 2013

Garbage disposals are one of the best conveniences in modern kitchens, but with all the work that they need to do, they can occasionally malfunction. Here are a few problems with garbage disposals that we often encounter in our work. Call Brooks Plumbing when you need assistance with a malfunctioning garbage disposal unit. We handle all types of plumbing repair services in Tumwater, WA.

Before getting started, keep in mind The Golden Rule of Garbage Disposal Problems: Thou shalt never stick thy hand down into a garbage disposal. If you can’t solve the problem from outside the disposal unit, call a professional to handle the trouble.

Some common garbage disposal problems:

  • Clogs from grease, oil, and fat: You may have heard warnings to never pour liquid oil, grease, or fat down your kitchen drains. Unfortunately, people often misinterpret this advice to think that it does not apply to garbage disposals, because they are supposed to process food. But garbage disposals still link to a drain pipe, and so when those liquids cool and solidify into a waxy substance, they can still end up clogging the pipes. They can also jam the moving parts inside disposals, causing them to overwork and eventually trip their circuit breakers.
  • Jams from solid objects: Here’s a good rule of thumb for what should and should not go down a garbage disposal: If you can’t chew it, your garbage disposal can’t chew it either. Put food leftovers like animal bones into the garbage, not the disposal. The same goes for un-popped popcorn kernels. In general, avoid treating the garbage disposal like an actual garbage. Non-food waste products—like glass, metals, and paper—should never go down there, or else or disposal could end up with a serious jam that will require a professional plumber to repair it.
  • Leaks: If your disposal is an older unit, loose screws and corroded gaskets can cause it to start leaking. In some cases, a repair technician can refasten the unit, apply sealant, or replace the gaskets to stop the problem. However, if the unit is extremely old, it may be better to replace it entirely rather than making numerous repairs.
  • Disposal won’t run: First make sure that the unit hasn’t become unplugged. Then check the reset switch along the bottom of the unit to see if it has popped out. If you reset this and attempt to turn the disposal on again, and it still won’t run (only producing a humming noise until the reset switch pops out again) then the flywheel is stuck. Call a plumber to help you dislodge it—don’t put your hand down into the disposal to try to loosen it.

Although you may get through a few days without a disposal, it’s a major inconvenience, and it will also mean that food particles will start going down your regular sink, leading to it clogging. If you can’t figure out how to safely get your disposal working once more, call for plumbing experts. Brooks Plumbing can provide you with the right plumbing repair in Tumwater, WA.

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Olympia WA Plumbing Tip: How to Maintain Your Garbage Disposal

Monday, April 8th, 2013

Your garbage disposal grinds up food particles so that they can be added to your waste water disposal system, instead of being thrown in the trash. They were designed to reduce the amount of trash in landfills, and to create a more environmentally friendly way to dispose of food waste. But they cannot handle all types of food waste and they should only be used according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Because of what they’re used for and how much use they get, garbage disposals need routine maintenance just like any other system in the home. We’ve compiled a list of maintenance tips so that you can maintain your garbage disposal at home. If you need professional Olympia plumbing service, however, don’t hesitate to call the experts at Brooks Plumbing today!

  • Avoid certain materials. Don’t thrown bones, eggshells, coffee grounds, and other prohibited substances down the garbage disposal. Compost them or throw them in the trash. Also, make sure that no non-food items such as silverware or bottle caps are in the sink when you turn on the disposal. These can get stuck within the unit. The first step to maintenance is proper usage.
  • Freshen with citrus. Use lemon or orange peels to freshen up the garbage disposal occasionally. This will help eliminate foul odors from invading your kitchen.
  • Clean the blades. Throw a couple handfuls of ice cubes and a bit of rock salt into your disposal, and run it with cold water to clean the blades. You can replace distilled white vinegar for the rock salt if that’s closer to hand. This helps to remove debris from the blades so that it can operate effectively.
  • Use it regularly. A garbage disposal needs to be used on a regular basis to ensure that it works properly. Because of their proximity to water, unused moving parts have a tendency to rust and corrode when not used regularly.

Cleaning and unclogging your garbage disposal can be dangerous. It’s always better to have a professional come take a look at your disposal unit if you think there is something seriously wrong with it. For professional Olympia, WA plumbing, including garbage disposal repair, call Brooks Plumbing today!

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