Homeowner Maintenance Made Easy: Garbage Disposal

A garbage disposal is one of the hardest-working appliances in your new custom Florida home. It makes quick work of meal-prep trimmings, safely chews up old leftovers and other discarded foodstuff, and its efficiency even reduces the amount of garage that goes into your kitchen can.

But, with the volume of work it does, your new cutting-edge (see what we did there?) garbage disposal isn’t immune to occasional stoppages. As anyone who relies on one knows, a jammed garbage disposal not only brings the culinary clean-up to a halt, it also results in poor drainage that can quickly escalate into a clogged kitchen sink.

Then you have two messes to resolve.

Thankfully, it’s easy to maintain modern garbage disposals. By heeding a few safety procedures and following the device’s operating instructions, you can make your new garage disposal an indispensable sous-chef.

Here’s how.

Garbage DisposalDefinitely follow the instructions

Garbage disposals contain small, mighty motors that power their sharp blades. Used properly, they’ll make the appliance a kitchen hero. But you must give them the safety respect they deserve.

First, read the owner’s manual even if you’ve used a garage disposal in previous residences. Like most things in today’s world, appliances continue to evolve with technology and other advancements, and you may learn something new and important.

Perhaps the most important thing you’ll learn from the manual is what NOT to put down the disposal. No matter how powerful and precise future garbage disposals may be, stuffing stringy refuse like celery trimmings down them likely will never be a good idea.

How to safely resolve jams

Occasionally, your new garbage disposal grinds to a halt. It does this by design. It’s equipped with a safety mechanism that cuts electrical power to the appliance when jams occur.

If it’s a serious tangle you know will require removing junk from the disposal, turn off the appliance’s electrical switch AND the breaker that controls it in your electrical panel — even if the auto shutoff tipped into action — before sticking your hand(s) inside the disposal to manually unclog the (celery?) jam.

If the jam isn’t caused by a known major mess, there’s another option. Grab the small metal tool that all new ICI Homes homeowners receive with their garbage disposals.

Under the sink, insert one end of the metal tool into the hole at the bottom of the disposal. It should fit like a wrench socket. Rotate the tool until you feel the jam loosening and the blades turning smoothing, signaling the jam is unclogged. Then press the red reset button on the bottom side of the garage disposal. This restores power once you’ve flipped both the breaker and the disposal’s power switch back on.

Your garbage disposal should be back in action!

For more helpful tips, take a look at the rest of our Homeowner Maintenance series.

Ready to find the home of your dreams? Talk with Florida’s Custom Home Builder, ICI Homes.