How a Garbage Disposal Works

Posted Apr 7, 2017

Garbage disposals are becoming more and more prevalent in homes across the country. So the chances are pretty high that you have one in your home. Garbage disposals definitely make getting rid of food waste easier. Instead of scraping all those plates and dishes into the garbage first, you can simply flush it all down the drain, run the garbage disposal and it magically disappears.

But do you really know what is happening when you turn on that wonderful garbage disposal and where all your food is really going? The truth is that a garbage disposal is not a particularly complicated piece of equipment. There are some variations, but in general your garbage disposal has a motor attached to rotating blades which are located in a chamber below your sink that is attached to your drain.

When you put food down the garbage disposal and turn it on, these blades shred the food into small enough pieces that it can pass safely through your drain pipes and out into the sewer system. The shredded food then runs with the water back into your main drainage system and passes out of your house.

This is a pretty simple operation, but there are some things you should be aware of if you use a garbage disposal in your home. First of all, it is important to never reach into the garbage disposal when it is running. If you need to reach in, make sure the unit is switched off. It is even a good idea to shut off the power to the garbage disposal entirely so that it cannot be turned on by accident while your hand is in there.

You may notice a foul odor coming from the garbage disposal after a period of time too. This is common and easy enough to fix, but you will have to get down into the garbage disposal to get rid of the smell. The smell simply comes from residue of the food you have put down the garbage disposal and that needs to be cleaned off so the smell will go away.

Again, make sure you have the garbage disposal turned off completely before you reach in to take parts out to clean them. You can also put baking soda, vinegar or half a lemon down the garbage disposal and run it in order to combat a persistent smell or to keep one from developing.

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