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Garbage Disposal FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Garbage Disposals get very little attention in the home. They are hidden from view and only called upon a few times a day to perform their duty. Modern waste disposers have come a long way over the years. Their efficiency has made them one of the most important appliances in the home. Below are some of the most common questions asked compiled over years in the industry.

• Is removing my old garbage disposal and installing a new one something I can do myself?

Certainly! Garbage Disposals come complete with installation instructions, and some, like Insinkerator, even have video tutorials online making them easier to install than ever before. Please be certain to follow all safety precautions.

• When I purchase a Garbage Disposal do I get everything I need to replace my old system under the sink?

For most standard installations, the only thing you will need to purchase additionally will be plumber’s putty, available at your local hardware store.

•  How long will my garbage disposal last?

You can expect to receive 8 to 15 years of service from today’s modern Garbage Disposals, depending on frequency of use.

• Do I have to run water when I use my disposal?

Yes, anytime you run your garbage disposal you should run cold water for the entire time it takes to grind and wash away the debris. Cold water will solidify fats and assist the garbage disposal in doing its job. For an especially heavy load run the water for 15 seconds or more after the waste is gone. This will allow all the debris to be carried away.

• Is their anything I can do to avoid an odor ever coming from my garbage disposal?

Yes, periodically grinding 2 cups of ice cubes along with some table or rock salt while running cold water will prevent any build up of waste particles in your garbage disposal system. Another good trick is to throw in lemon or orange peels into your disposer on occasion. The citric acid will act as a natural cleaning ingredient to really scrub your system clean!

• What should I not put into my garbage disposal?

The modern garbage disposer is a great convenience but it does have its limitations. Never put into your garbage disposer:

• Hands, of course!

• Anything that is not biodegradable food

• Cigarette butts

• Plastic and metal

• Bones

Carefully read and follow all manufacturers guidelines before using your new garbage disposal.

Robert Gilmour manages a number of websites for various clients. For more information on garbage disposals please visit
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