It is easy to think of a food waste disposer as a convenience or luxury item in the modern kitchen, it is actually much more. It helps keep you kitchen clean, hygienic and is environmentally responsible.
Each year in the United States, nearly 34 million tons of food waste is trucked to landfills. Once there, it quickly decomposes and produces methane, an environmentally harmful greenhouse gas at least 21 times more potent than CO2.
While composting provides one approach to tackling America’s food waste management challenge, it isn’t always practical for today’s busy lifestyle.
Food waste disposers provide a convenient and environmentally friendly alternative to transporting leftovers to landfills. Plus, in areas that have capable wastewater treatment plants, some can even recycle food waste into energy and fertilizer.
Common Disposer Problems
Water does not go down or comes back up in the other compartment
This usually indicated that there is a stoppage in the sink drain. Sometimes this can be cleared by removing the p-trap and emptying its contents.
Disposer doesn’t turn on
If the disposal makes no noise when you turn it on, this is frequently an indication that the disposal was jammed and the current overload was tripped.
- Locate and press the reset button (located on the bottom of most units), then check for a jam before turning on.
- If still no noise, check breaker in electrical panel, reset, then check for a jam before turning on.
Disposer makes unusual noise
If it makes a buzzing or humming noise but doesn’t operate, turn the unit off. There may be a foreign object jamming the disposer that needs to be removed.
Caution: Before putting your hand or tools into the disposal, unplug it or turn off the breaker in the electrical panel.
Call Kennedy Plumbing if you have any concerns about your food waste disposer. Our licensed Journeyman Plumbers can diagnosis, repair or replace your food waste disposer.
Odor from Disposer
Over time, food particles, oils and grease may accumulate in the grind chamber and baffle. An odor from the disposer is usually a sign of these may have turned rancid. Use a disposer cleaner, degreaser, or deodorizer as necessary to relieve these objectionable odors. Sometimes grinding citrus may freshen up the drain smells.
Disposer Do’s and Don’ts
- Do use cold water
- Do run a strong flow of water while grinding.
- Do run water for at least 30 seconds after out of the disposal.
- Do run the disposal each time waste is put in.
- Do use small batches, when disposing of large amounts of waste, especially starchy foods (i.e. potato peels, rice, pasta, etc.).
- Do cut fibrous foods into small pieces before grinding (i.e. cabbage, asparagus, banana peels, etc.).
- Do run disposal with ice and/or citrus peel to clean and deodorize as needed.
- Do not grind bones, egg shells, or very fibrous items (i.e. artichokes, corn cobs or corn husks)
- Do not stuff with large amounts of food at one time.
- Do not pour grease, oils of fats down you disposer.