Reasons Why Your Garbage Disposal Gets Jammed

Reasons Why Your Garbage Disposal Gets Jammed


Garbage disposals are more fragile than most people think and should be used with care and common sense. Less expensive models are especially prone to get jammed with items that are not meant for the disposal.

Jams aren’t the only problem disposals suffer when the wrong items are stuffed into them. Garbage disposals have several moving parts including a shredder. The shredder is the blade that slices and dices the waste placed into the disposal drain.

Consult the manufacturer’s instruction booklet for recommendations on proper care and maintenance of your unit. The manual should also list the types of garbage a particular model can be expected to handle well, and the things that should be avoided.

Anything hard goes into the garbage or recycling bin. Bottle caps, plastic utensils, bones, corncobs, and even eggshells. Eggshells will be ground into small bits that can cause a clog when mixed with other items such as a coffee grounds or potato skins. Cornhusks are very stringy and will wrap around everything; including the shredder.

Banana peels are thick and mushy and will create a paste that collects other items and cause the shredder to slow or cease to rotate at all. Clogs will soon form and damage can be done the electric motor if the unit is on for long periods while the shredder is not rotating. Never pour grease down any drain, whether it is a disposal or not.

Banana peels and potato skins can be disposed of down the disposal drain even though they are mentioned as things to avoid above. The trick is to cut these items into small pieces and then very slowly feed them into the drain. It is not worth the trouble or extra time. Throw these items in the garbage or look into composting and put that garbage to good use as free fertilizer.

Most leftover food can go into the garbage disposal. However, starchy items like mashed potatoes can become pasty masses. Run cold water while using the disposal and for a minute or so after to help prevent problems.

Is the garbage disposal in your Austin home acting up? Call S&D Plumbing today at (512) 365-8866 and schedule a service call today!

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