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Garbage disposal saves thanksgiving holiday

How Can a Working Garbage Disposal Save the Holidays?

Imagine what would happen if today, the day before Thanksgiving, half-way through the potato peeling process, the sink became impossibly clogged! The food preparation would have to be halted entirely to address the jammed drain. A plumber would also have to be tracked down for an emergency service call, which, at best, would slow everything down by several hours, not to mention the expense of an emergency visit. 

A working garbage disposal, however, can prevent this disaster from happening by efficiently and adequately grinding food scraps down the drain, keeping the sink clean and free of clogs.

What Does a Garbage Disposal Do, Anyway?

confused woman

A garbage disposal is an appliance that shreds food scraps so that they are small enough to safely and smoothly go down a sink’s drain. The disposal is mounted underneath the kitchen sink and gathers solid garbage into a grinding chamber. The food is reduced to tiny bits by a spinning impeller plate. Two metal impellers work to grind the food down until it is washed away by water that enters the grinding chamber. Contrary to popular belief, garbage disposals don’t contain blades; it’s the metal impellers that pulverize the food.

Signs the Garbage Disposal Needs Replacing

There are several common signs a garbage disposal needs replacing. If the disposal doesn’t turn on at all, there could be an electrical problem. Check the power supply cord and the fuse box. Any electrical troubleshooting should be handled by a professional.

Perhaps the disposal is making a humming sound, but the impellers aren’t spinning. This means the disposal is connected to the power supply, but something is preventing it from grinding. An obstruction or clog could be causing the problem. Never attempt to clear a disposal of clogs without shutting off the power and unplugging it. If the disposal is free of clogs and still does not work, it is likely in need of replacement.

Turn the disposal off and unplug it, and then use a flashlight and tongs to remove anything inside the disposal. Homeowners can also try to turn the blades with a wrench to dislodge clogs. If these fixes don't get the garbage disposal running again, they likely need to replace it.

Unpleasant odors can also mean a garbage disposal has failed. While foul odors can sometimes be caused by decaying food that is trapped in the grinding chamber, it is usually relatively simple to solve the problem by flushing out the disposal and running lemon juice through it. Lingering odors can indicate that the disposal has failed, and food particles are no longer leaving the chamber. Often, this requires the replacement of the garbage disposal.

Do not ignore these common signs of failure - contact a professional to schedule a garbage disposal replacement right away.

How To Prevent Garbage Disposal Problems in the First Place


Having regular, routine maintenance done by a professional plumber is a must to prevent garbage disposal problems from occurring in the first place. Also, follow the manufacturer’s instructions in terms of what items are safe to be run through a disposal. 

For example, hot grease should never be poured directly into a sink, whether there is a disposal or not. Do not attempt to grind a large number of food scraps at once; it will almost guarantee a clog. Always use running water when operating the disposal. And, above all else, have regular maintenance done on the garbage disposal.

About Ira Hansen and Sons Plumbing

For over 30 years, Ira Hansen and Sons Plumbing has been providing top-quality services to their customers. They offer fair pricing, prompt service, free estimates, and solutions to virtually all plumbing problems. Contact them today for garbage disposal service in Sparks, NV!

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