Garbage Disposal Installation And Repair

Modern Kitchen Garbage Disposal: Easy Fixes, Benefits and History

In the modern kitchen, convenience and efficiency are paramount. The garbage disposal often stands as an unsung hero among the various appliances designed to streamline household chores. At the same time, it may seem like a modest addition, but a kitchen garbage disposal offers numerous benefits beyond just disposing of food scraps. Often overlooked until it grinds to a halt, this indispensable appliance is crucial in keeping our kitchens clean and functional.

The importance of knowing the key components and how they function becomes evident when we encounter issues like jams or malfunctions. Even though we can’t peer directly into the main unit, understanding its internal structure can aid in troubleshooting and maintenance tasks. From deciphering diagrams to learning the art of safe extraction, empowering ourselves with knowledge ensures we can address problems effectively and confidently.

Big B's Plumbing - Your Plumber for Life!

Knowledge is Everything Regarding Your Kitchen Garbage Disposal

We will also look at the benefits of our kitchen garbage disposal as well as some alternatives to them. We’ll offer some ideas of the best disposal in the marketplace. Other common questions are: how long do they last? And should I repair them? Is maintenance required? How can I repair a jammed kitchen garbage disposal? A little history on disposals. Additionally, some of the falsehoods about garbage disposals, online. So, let’s dive in and start with some of the benefits:

Environmental Friendliness

One of the primary benefits of a garbage disposal is its contribution to environmental sustainability. Grinding food waste into tiny particles reduces the volume of garbage sent to landfills. Organic waste in landfills produces methane, a potent greenhouse gas contributing to climate change. Garbage disposals help mitigate these environmental impacts by diverting food scraps from landfills, aligning with eco-conscious living practices.

Improved Hygiene

Food waste can attract pests and create unpleasant odors in trash bins, especially in warmer climates. A garbage disposal eliminates the need to store organic waste in the kitchen, reducing the chances of attracting insects and rodents. Additionally, promptly disposing of food scraps minimizes the risk of bacterial growth, maintaining a cleaner and more hygienic kitchen environment. 

Convenience and Time Savings

Handing food scraps can be a time-consuming and messy task. With a garbage disposal, you can swiftly dispose of most food waste directly down the drain, eliminating the need for frequent trips to the outdoor trash bin. This convenience saves time and simplifies meal cleanup, making kitchen chores less daunting.

Odor Control

Rotting food waste in trash bins can emit foul odors, particularly in warm weather. Promptly disposing of food scraps through a garbage disposal can significantly reduce unpleasant smells in your kitchen. Furthermore, many modern garbage disposal units have features such as built-in deodorizers or antimicrobial properties, further enhancing odor control and maintaining a fresher environment.

Benefit: Versatility

Today’s garbage disposals are designed to handle a wide range of food waste, including fruit and vegetable scraps, small bones, and leftover cooked food. This versatility makes them suitable for various culinary tasks, from meal preparation to cleanup. Whether you’re peeling potatoes or carving a chicken, a garbage disposal provides a convenient solution for disposing of kitchen scraps efficiently.

The Humble Garbage Disposal Deserves Recognition

Your kitchen garbage disposal is a valuable addition to any kitchen, offering a myriad of benefits ranging from environmental sustainability to improved hygiene and convenience. By investing in a garbage disposal, homeowners can streamline their kitchen routines, reduce their environmental footprint, and enjoy a cleaner and more efficient living space. As we continue to prioritize sustainability and efficiency in our homes, the humble garbage disposal deserves recognition as an essential tool in modern kitchen design.

How Long Do They Last?

The lifespan of a garbage disposal can vary depending on factors such as usage frequency, maintenance, and the quality of the unit itself. A well-maintained garbage disposal can last anywhere from 8 to 15 years. However, some higher-end models or units with more durable components may last even longer, up to 20 years or more.

Regular maintenance, such as cleaning the disposal regularly, avoiding putting non-food items or hard objects down the disposal, and ensuring proper operation, can extend its lifespan. Additionally, promptly addressing any issues or malfunctions can prevent further damage and prolong the unit’s longevity. Ultimately, while there’s no definitive lifespan for all garbage disposals, proper care and maintenance are key factors in maximizing their lifespan and ensuring reliable performance over time.

Should I Repair or Replace My Disposal?

We’ve all been to your local home center, and most of us have seen disposals on display. These appliances are on the lower end regarding cost. They start at around $79 and go up to around $500. However, that will depend on the Horsepower (hp) and features. That said, repairing an old garbage disposal may not be in your best interest unless you make the repairs yourself. However, this is an opinion, and you must consider the garbage disposal age, cost, and installation if you decide to repair it. 

If you decide to replace the old disposal, don’t make an impulsive purchase. Do your homework. Even places such as Cosco sell an American Standard® 1-1/4 hp disposal for less than $100. 

Garbage Disposal Repair or Installation

Misnomers: Does The Average Kitchen Garbage Disposal Require Maintenance

The BIG question is, does my disposal require maintenance? Yes! But let’s dive into the misnomers about our garbage disposals. Below are some of the crazy things put out online regarding our disposals:

1a. False. Take time to put ice cubes into the garbage disposal. The hard cubes will get chopped up by the blades and help clean out any waste.

1b. Truth. Your garbage disposal does not have blades. They have impellers that crush your food into tiny particles. Ice cubes may break off any stuck-on food particles, but there’s no science behind it.

2a. False. Run hot water down your drain to clear it from any debris.

2b. Truth. If you’re running hot water down the drain to clear it of any remaining grease, think again. It may sound ok, but it’s not. First, never pour any type of grease down your disposal. Even hot water will only stay hot for a few seconds in your sewer system. When it cools down, the grease will adhere to the walls in your pipes and, over time, can clog. 

3a. False. Citrus peels will clean and sanitize your drain.

3b. Truth. While they can make your drain smell good for the moment, they can also mask the real issue. Citic acid in fruit can cause metal inside your disposal to corrode if used regularly. Better yet, use a garbage disposal cleaner designed to clean and make your disposal smell better. These products are less than $20 and provide enough product for a year.

4a. True with an *. Poor baking soda and vinegar down the sink 

4b. Truth. Who likes the smell of vinegar coming from your drain? Arm and Hammer has its own product, “Arm & Hammer Sink Garbage Disposal Cleaner Freshener.” The cost is $5.75 on Amazon. That’s probably less than the baking soda and vinegar that goes down your sink annually.

Take The Stink From My Kitchen Sink

Easy Fixes: Jams or Malfunctions

Is your garbage disposal jammed? Did you turn it on only to hear a buzzing noise, or maybe no noise at all? No worries, we have you covered!

First, you probably tripped a circuit if you have a disposal that makes no noise. At the bottom of your unit is a red reset button. Push it, and the unit should start. If it still does not start, check the circuit breaker box in your home. 

Easy Fixes: Your Flywheel is Not Spinning

Hex Wrench For Garbage Disposal Fixes

If the disposal is humming, then something is preventing it from spinning. In other words, the disposal is jammed. Most disposals come with a hex wrench, often called a jam buster. If you no longer have the wrench, check your toolbox for a 1/4-inch hex wrench. With the disposal off, insert the wrench in the center hole at the bottom of the unit. Turn the wrench back and forth; this should free the flywheel. The problem is usually a hard object like a bone or seed trapped between the flywheel and housing.

Some disposals don’t have the hole to free your flywheel, so use the back end of a plunger with a wooden handle. Stick the handle into the disposal and push on the impeller, moving it counterclockwise. Use some bruit strength if necessary. Once the flywheel is spinning, unplug the disposal and shine a light in the drain to see if the object causing the problem is there. If it is, use some kitchen tongs to remove it. 

Modern Kitchen Garbage Disposal

History: Developed as The InSinkErator in 1927

In a stroke of ingenuity and forward-thinking, the garbage disposal unit emerged onto the scene in 1927, thanks to the innovative mind of John W. Hammes, an architect hailing from Racine, Wisconsin. Hammes’ vision came to fruition when he successfully obtained a patent for his invention in 1935, following years of meticulous development and refinement. By 1940, his pioneering creation was made available to the public through his company, InSinkErator, marking the dawn of a new era in kitchen convenience and efficiency.

History: A Little History of The Garbage Disposal

For those familiar with the dynamic pulse of New York City life, it’s no secret that the city’s infrastructure can sometimes feel like a testament to its rich history. Despite the challenges posed by aging infrastructure, there’s reason for optimism. Over time, strides have been made to enhance the municipal sewer system, rendering it more capable of accommodating modern amenities like garbage disposals.

However, the reality remains that many buildings, particularly those constructed during the pre-war era, weren’t originally designed with garbage disposals in mind. While this may present a hurdle to widespread adoption, it also underscores the city’s resilience and adaptability as it continues to evolve and embrace new technologies.

History: This Era Came to a Close in 1997

In a remarkable turn of events, New York City once enforced a ban on garbage disposals, which garnered considerable attention and even a sense of local pride during the 1970s and ’80s. However, this era came to a close in 1997 when the ban was finally lifted, marking a significant shift in the city’s approach to waste management.

Following the ban’s reversal, a trial period ensued, during which several hundred disposals were installed across the city over nearly two years. Despite now being legal for a quarter of a century, the widespread adoption of garbage disposals remains surprisingly low in New York City.

The reluctance to embrace garbage disposals on a larger scale can be attributed to the historical reasons behind their initial prohibition. Understanding this context sheds light on why many properties in the city have yet to integrate them into their kitchen setups.

Convenience in The Heart of The Home

The lifespan of a kitchen garbage disposal varies based on several factors, including usage habits and maintenance practices. While the average lifespan typically falls between 8 to 15 years, diligent care and regular upkeep can extend longevity. By adhering to proper maintenance routines and promptly addressing any issues that arise, homeowners can ensure their kitchen garbage disposal continues to serve them reliably for many years. Ultimately, investing time and effort into maintaining this essential kitchen appliance can lead to significant cost savings and uninterrupted convenience in the heart of the home.

Brandon and Family, Licensed plumbing contractor

Family Owned & Operated

My name is Brandon Mageno. I'm the founder, President, and CEO of Big B's Plumbing Company. As the founder, I never thought about being average or good. My passion for being the best plumbing company in Southern California has always been the same. Providing plumbing services to this great county is simply in my DNA. Nothing makes me happier than to see a satisfied customer. Learn More About Us

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

What People Are Saying...

I called Big B's Plumbing because I the hot water would not turn off in our master bathroom. I tried to turn the valve off under the sink and it broke off, so I had to shut off the main water to the house. It was noticeable the valves were original to the home. When I called, the rep stated that I would be informed about the service tech and their experience along with services offered "On The Spot". I was on a bit of a time crunch...
Read More on Google My Business


Vill M

Found them on Google and they had good quality reviews. Made the call and set up the appointment for same day. Dispatch called me a few hours later to confirm our appointment and let me know that the technician Mathew was on the way. This was supposed to be an easy job once Mathew arrived. But it turned out to be so much more than that. Without hesitation or a sour look on his face, he dove deep into his van...
Read More on Google My Business


Jeremy T

Randy was very knowledgeable and professional. He helped us figure out what we could do with the space given for our bathroom with our remodel. He picked out perfect fixtures and the work he did was beautiful. The cleaned up properly when they were done and everything was handled in one day! I will be calling for Randy anytime we have any plumbing needs. Thank you for doing such a great job!
Read More on Google My Business


Crystal M

Call Today!
Your Plumber For Life!

Contractors License #986152

Scroll to Top