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Garbage Disposal FAQs

My garbage disposal won’t run – do I need to replace it?

A: Not yet – there are a couple things you should try before replacing it. First, turn the disposal off, disconnect it from the power, and check to see if something is jamming it – a spoon or any other hard object (look inside to see if you can see anything first, then stick your hand in. Remember, TURN OFF THE POWER AND DISCONNECT THE UNIT – you don’t want to take any chances!). If you have an Allen key, find the unjamming wrench slot and turn it a few times to clear the disposal.

Next, plug the disposal back in and press the red RESET button. Finally, flip the breaker switch in your breaker box. If all else fails, call Barker & Sons for garbage disposal replacement!

How large of a garbage disposal do I need?

A: Garbage disposals come in all sizes, and it can be a little intimidating to figure out what size you need. At Barker & Sons, we can recommend the perfect garbage disposal for you, but for reference, they come in three sizes – ½ HP, ¾ HP and 1 HP. In general, ½ HP is recommended for light kitchen use, ¾ HP for normal household use, and 1 HP for heavy home use or commercial use.

Is there anything I should NOT put down my garbage disposal?

A: Yes – in fact, there are quite a few things that could damage your garbage disposal if you try to grind them up. Fibrous foods, including celery, asparagus, and artichokes can wrap around the blades and choke them. In addition, you should avoid putting these items down your garbage disposal:

  • Potato skins
  • Bone fragments and eggshells
  • Banana peels
  • Fats / grease
  • Unpopped popcorn kernels
  • Onion skins
  • Fruit pits and seeds
  • Stringy vegetables like asparagus and celery

I’m getting weird odors from my garbage disposal. Is there anything I can do about it?

A: Odors from the garbage disposal are fairly common and typically easy to get rid of! The best thing to do is pour a cup of ice cubes down the disposal and run the blades. It’ll make a noise that sounds like your disposal is dying, but don’t worry – it’s not actually damaging your unit, but cleaning and honing the blades! While you’re doing this, you can use some lemon juice or lemon rinds to add a fresh scent, though the scent won’t last all that long.

Why does water back up into the sink when I run the dishwasher?

A: Since the disposal drain and dishwasher drain are connected, a clog in one will lead to a backup in the other. To prevent a backup, always make sure your garbage disposal is free of food particles before turning on the dishwasher and always run the garbage disposal with plenty of cold water so everything gets washed down.

If you find yourself with a really bad clog, plug up the sink, fill it with water, then remove the plug and run the disposal. The weight from the water should help force out whatever is backed up in the drain, eliminating the blockage. If this doesn’t work, give us a call! We carry garbage disposals on our trucks and can have you up and running in one day.

My garbage disposal blades are dull. What can I do?

Dull garbage disposal blades can really minimize the efficiency and effectiveness of your garbage disposal. Fortunately, there is an easy way you can sharpen your garbage disposal blades. Allow us to share this great do-it-yourself trick.

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