Garbage disposals offer Boston homeowners and renters alike the convenience of ridding themselves of unwanted items quickly and easily. It’s a simple fix for various types of waste and a staple in most every Boston home. But what happens if this handy device breaks down? In this article we will outline some simple plumbing tips and techniques to help you potentially fix your garbage disposal before deciding whether to call in your professional Boston plumber.
1. Keep Your Hands Out of the Drain
Fixing a broken disposal is not worth losing a hand over. Keep in mind that there is a motor and a blade underneath the drain which can cause serious injury if you’re not careful. Be sure to unplug all parts prior to attempting any sort of repair.
2. Tighten All Connections
Check for leaks by running water through the removal and tighten any connections where leaks are apparent. You may also try taking the entire unit apart and replacing the seal. If the leak persists, you should replace the drain gasket. If all of these methods fail, it’s time to take the unit in for servicing.
3. Check Breakers
As the garbage disposal is an electrical device, it has been known to trip circuit breakers in some instances. Thus, it’s a good idea to check and see whether the panels have been turned off. In this case, all that is needed is to flip the switch and reset the disposal.
4. Freeing the Flywheel
The flywheel is the piece of the disposal that spins the impeller, which cuts up the waste. This piece may have become stuck, in which case you’ll need a hex wrench to free it. Find the hex hole under the unit, apply the wrench, and rotate it until the piece is loosened.
5. Maintaining the Impellers
If you suspect the issue is that the trash is not being properly shredded, you may need to sharpen the impellers. In this case, you’ll need to remove the entire unit. Once this is accomplished, remove the flywheel and take the impellers out the sharpen them. Based on the type of unit, you may even be able to leave the impellers in place while sharpening.
6. Clog Removal
Remove the bolts on the drain pipes and inspect for any readily apparent clogs. Remove anything that is stopping the passage of waste and replace the pipes.
If you’ve tried each of these possible solutions and still find you have a problem on your hands, if just may be time to call in a professional Boston plumber. The damage you could potentially do by experimenting may end up costing you more in the long run. Play it safe, and when in doubt, ask for help.
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