What Are Kitchen Sink Garbage Disposals, And How Do They Work?

Cleaning gunk out of your sink is no fun, and a kitchen sink garbage disposal is one great option to help make it easier. A garbage disposal can help save you many trips from the sink to the trash can carrying wet food waste, but how exactly does a kitchen sink garbage disposal work? Read on below to find out.

What is a kitchen sink garbage disposal and how does it work?

A kitchen sink garbage disposal is a machine that attaches underneath your sink so that everything going down your sink enters it before moving through the pipes. The garbage disposal has several blades which, when turned on, spin around and pulverize any food waste and scraps coming from the sink.

To turn on your kitchen sink garbage disposal, you’ll typically have a dedicated light switch on the wall near your sink. It’s important to remember which switch this is, so consider labeling it with a marker and a piece of tape until you’re sure you won’t flip it accidentally.

Best safety practices for a kitchen sink garbage disposal

A garbage disposal can be extremely dangerous if not used properly, so it’s important to follow some general safety practices when using one. The first, and most important, is to always be sure your hands are extremely far away from the drain when you turn on the garbage disposal.

Additionally, turning the garbage disposal on can hack up or break any silverware or other kitchen tools that have fallen down into the drain, so it’s important to make sure you get these out beforehand.

What shouldn’t you put down the garbage disposal?

A garbage disposal can help get rid of many types of kitchen waste, but there are still certain things you should be careful not to put down it. First of all, you should never run anything through the garbage disposal unless you have the water in the sink turned on. This helps soften anything running through and flush the chopped up bits through the pipe after they run through the disposal.

You should also be sure not to let hard objects like pieces of bone or even small rocks go through the disposal. These can jam the blades and cause the motor to go out. Finally, if you’re flushing grease from cooking meat down the disposal, be sure you run it down with hot water. This helps ensure that the grease doesn’t harden and can pass through the pipes easily.

How to unclog the garbage disposal

As useful as a garbage disposal is, it’s not perfect, and it can get clogged if you try to flush an excessive amount of gunk through it all at once. If your garbage disposal isn’t draining properly, the first thing to check is whether the disposal itself is turning on and running. While running water through the sink, flip the switch to turn on the garbage disposal.

You should hear the blades of the disposal audibly hacking away at any gunk that’s in the sink. If you don’t, try clicking the small reset button that can be found on the bottom of the disposal. You may have blown a fuse or tripped a breaker. If this isn’t the problem and the disposal seems to be turning on fine but is just clogged, use a small spoon or set of kitchen tongs to try and remove obstructions from inside it.

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