Tell Me About Garbage Disposals

By September 18, 2021 Plumbing, Problem Solving

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes, 20 seconds

These things were designed as a convenience and have essentially become a necessity. There are all kinds of them, you get what you pay for. A steel interior will eventually rust. A stainless steel one will not rust. Cleaning them periodically with ice cubes and baking soda is a good fix.

Old Wives Tales:

  1. Throwing eggshells down the drain is a wise move. BUSTED. Do not send eggshells down the monster. It will clog the system.
  2. Grease down the drain is OK. BUSTED. Do not put grease hot or cold down the drain or Garbage Disposal. Grease is difficult to clean.
  3. Coffee grounds are good to put through the disposal. BUSTED. this will clog your pipes. (compost or send to the trash)

Things I have pulled out of Garbage Disposals:

  • Beer bottle caps
  • Forks and spoons
  • Green Scrubbies
  • String, Rubber bands
  • Glass
  • Staples
  • Celery stalks

Operationational Steps:

  1. Turn the water on, temperature is not important.
  2. Turn on the disposal.
  3. Add the debris until it is gone.
  4. Let the water run beyond the point that the grinding has stopped. (Count to 5)
  5. Turn off the garbage disposal.
  6. Turn off the water.

Problems that arise:

  • Leaks from the top or bottom.
    • From the top are typically fixable. Tightening or replacing a seal
    • From the bottom. Get rid of it that is how they typically fail
  • A leak from where the dishwasher connects.
    • From the dishwasher adapter. Tighten or if that does not work, replace it.
  • Doesn’t turn anymore.
    • It could be hung up on a beer bottle cap. Disassembling the unit and flipping it over is a good way to go.
    • I’ve been known to use a broom handle to free up the unit and a flashlight and tweezers to remove the debris


  • Follow the instructions. (I know that this is never done by men, but you need to do it)
  • Test it with the water on to verify it works.
  • Keep the tool to use if you need to turn the barrel of the unit when it gets stuck

Septic systems:

  • Not advisable. Poop and pee are what it is designed to break down.

Green construction:

  • Do not use one. Food does not belong in the sewer system which was designed for poop and pee.

Your comments are welcome. To ask questions or get more information about fixing stuff, click here to email me directly, or call 208-639-1808

I do these things during non-Levco time to be sure it doesn’t interfere with the Remodeling business. Repairing things and understanding homes is just another passion of mine.

or visit our Levco Builders Page contact page.

Disclaimer: Some of these images came from the WEB. If they are yours, and you object to them being used, please claim them and I will gladly remove and replace them at once.

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