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When you call a bluefrog Plumbing + Drain plumber to replace your garbage disposal, you get more than just a new garbage grinder. You get a thorough plumbing check and quality installation that you’ll be satisfied with over time. Our people ensure that your original installation was done correctly and is still reliable, and if you’re upgrading your unit, we make sure that your new garbage disposal will meet your increased expectations.
If you’ve been in your home for a while or you’re remodeling your kitchen, you’re probably thinking about how your disposal can better serve you. A basic unit provides the power to shred veggie bits from dinner prep but must be handled with care. Newer, more powerful units intended for semi-professional kitchens can work hard as a member of your gourmet cooking team, handling nearly anything you send its way.
Basic Elements of Your Garbage Disposal to Consider
There are certain elements of your garbage disposal that your plumber will tell you are key to the unit’s longevity. The upper chamber grinding components are the front-line workers and the parts that most often produce jams when they cannot freely move. The chamber housing that surrounds the grinding activity could be plastic or sturdier metal depending on the model. The electric motor provides the grinding force and varies in horsepower rating, usually from 0.5 to 1.0 hp.
Garbage Disposal Connections Including Dishwasher
The disposal connections provide a route to your drain system and beyond, including a standard p-trap that is present in your sink plumbing throughout your house. Disposals also include an input from the dishwasher to combine outputs to the drain system. If you don’t have a dishwasher, the plumber will just leave the plug in that input, possibly for later use. If you find that dirty water is backing up in your dishwasher, it may be a sign of a general drain problem, or it could be a disposal-specific clog forcing flow out into the dishwasher. The “air gap” or a similar vacuum-breaking strategy should prevent this.
How Long a Typical Garbage Disposal Lasts
After about ten years, your disposal will probably start clogging more and might experience motor failure. Lower-powered builder-quality units may not last quite as long. Talk with your plumber about a garbage disposal replacement. If the disposal works hard, such as with a large family, this day might come sooner. If the unit isn’t cleaned and maintained properly, that could also shorten its lifetime, requiring a new unit to keep reliable disposal performance.
Selecting Your Replacement Garbage Disposal Unit
Garbage disposals can range in price from just below a hundred dollars to over a thousand. So, what’s the difference? Chamber construction is one, with plastic a common component but metal used throughout more industrial-strength models. The cutting and grinding components inside can vary in quality, strength, and the type of mounts on which they move. The motor quality and horsepower make a big difference in how hard the unit works and how long it lasts. The combination of motor, cutting gear, and housing quality plus construction techniques results in the level of sound that the unit makes, which is important for some homeowners. Some garbage disposals are even lighted inside.
Installation Options to Talk About
A garbage disposal replacement is sometimes a quick “swap,” taking the old one out and putting in a similar model. If you’ve selected a larger or otherwise different model, your plumber might have to adjust the piping under the sink. It’s also time to make sure that the pipes, drain, and other connections are in good shape. You might also want to replace the switch, especially if it’s been in place for a long time. The “pigtail” for power connection to the unit is often sold separately, so if you’re purchasing a disposal and having your plumber install it, make sure that you have the necessary part.
Garbage Disposal Maintenance and Care
As you’ll hear from every plumber, running lots of water is the key to most drain maintenance including your garbage disposal. It’s hard for clogs to form unnoticed when there’s plenty of flow. Keep the water running a few seconds after you shut off the disposal, too. Make it cold water, because hot water can spread grease where it will stick and make a mess over time. Don’t work the unit too hard with materials that stress or jam the blades. Clean it occasionally — ask your plumber for his or her favorite trick. Since it can never be said often enough, don’t un-jam or retrieve items using your fingers, there are just too many things that can go terribly wrong.
When to Call Your Plumber for Garbage Disposal Help
There are a few self-help items involved with a non-functional garbage disposal. First, make sure it’s plugged in, even if you are sure it must be. Second, check the reset button on the bottom. If it’s not on the bottom, occasionally it’s on the side. If you have the right tool, you can also turn the inner workings manually using an access point at the bottom of the unit, sometimes unjamming stuck grinding components.
If you’ve got leaks around the pipe connections you may need a repair, usually sealing the flanges that keep the connections tight. Leaks and backups can also be the result of problems further down your drain, a typical sink backup that happens to be coming up through your disposal. It’s even more important than usual to not put harsh chemicals down your disposal to clear the clog.
Your Expert Plumber from Kitchen Work to Whole-Home Plumbing Care
Turn to bluefrog Plumbing + Drain to help you keep your hardworking garbage disposal in service, and to perform an expert garbage disposal replacement when the time comes or when you’d like to upgrade for better performance or a remodeling project. Call us for an appointment, or quick service in emergencies.