by The Nashville Plumber on December 20, 2013

Reasons Why Your Garbage Disposal Gets Jammed


A garbage disposal is a great convenience, until it jams. Then it becomes more of a baffling mystery, and, what’s more, you can’t use the sink.

The main reason why garbage disposals jam is that they’re overloaded. How do you know if you’re overloading the disposal? Play it safe and put in only a small amount at a time. The disposal has blades, a flywheel that runs the blades, and a ring that surrounds the food, and too much food can get stuck in these. Run cold water into the disposal. Cold water is better than hot, since hot water might make the food turn into a mush and get into the moving parts.

Some disposals come with overload protection, which means if an overload starts to overheat the motor, it will turn off. However, the disposal is already jammed, which isn’t good.

Another reason garbage disposals jam is that hard objects are put into them. More expensive garbage disposals can handle harder objects, and you should check your owner’s manual for a list of things to avoid putting in it. But little pieces can break off of hard objects in any disposal, and then get lodged between the moving parts. In general, you should not put in bones, shells from shellfish, popcorn kernels, fruit seeds or rinds, or chunks of hard raw vegetables.

As well as hard objects, avoid putting fibrous objects in the disposal. Things like apple, tomato, and banana peels, onion skins, celery, and asparagus can wrap around the blades and flywheel and bring them to a halt. Even if you cut them into small pieces, they can reunite in a mush and get stuck between the parts. It’s better to send these remnants to the compost heap.

Putting grease in the disposal can also cause it to stop, since the grease can get stuck between the blades and the ring, or into the flywheel. As well as grease, avoid putting greasy meats and other greasy leftovers in the disposal.

But with a little caution, you can avoid any kitchen disasters and keep your disposal humming away. Is the garbage disposal in your Nashville home acting up? Call Green Hills Plumbing at (615) 866-1917 and schedule a service call today!

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