An insinkerator is a garbage disposal system that can be installed in a kitchen sink drain to grind up food into small particles which can then be safely washed away. An insinkerator garbage disposal unit can make it much easier to clean plates as they can be scraped directly into the sink while rinsing them, and can enable a lot of the perishable food that typically causes your garbage to smell to be washed down the drain.
Most insinkerators require very little maintenance if used correctly with running water and are generally self cleaning. By following a few simple tips you can maximize the life of your insinkerator garbage disposal unit and avoid it breaking down.
Insinkerators should only be used with water running, and always cold water. This means turning the cold water tap on before the blades are turned on, and not turning the cold water off before the blades have been turned off. Ideally you should wait until you can hear the whirring sound of the blades come to a stop before turning off the water. Water serves to cool the insinkerator motor and blades, minimizes friction while food is being grinded, and washes grinded up food away. It is important that cold water is used as it will cause fats and greases to congeal so that they can be washed down the drain. Hot water will dissolve fats and greases, but they may then stick to the inside of the insinkerator garbage disposal unit and the drains. Over time, the buildup of fats and greases may cause the insinkerator to break down or a blocked drain.
It is also important to take care in how you feed items into your insinkerator and what items you feed into your insinkerator. How should items be fed? In a word, gradually. Stuffing too many items into your disposer at once is likely to cause it to jam. If you have a lot to grind up in the insinkerator, give it a few seconds to catch up by waiting until what is in the garbage disposal unit is gone before you insert more. And if items are particularly large, cut them manually before inserting them. To allow the insinkerator to grind up everything you should wait until you can hear the sound of only the blades whirring before you turn the insinkerator off, indicating that all the food is gone.
What should and what shouldn't be fed into an insinkerator? Vegetables, fruit and most other food scraps can be safely grinded up and washed down the drain. Foods that contain large amounts of fat should not be put into your garbage disposal unit though, particularly fish and butter. Non-food items are commonly removed from broken down insinkerators by plumbers and should also be avoided. This includes aluminum foil, glass and plastic.
By making sure you always run cold water while the insinkerator blades are turning your insinkerator will largely clean itself. To maximize the life of your garbage disposal unit it is worth manually cleaning it every couple of weeks though. An easy way of doing this is to put half a cup of ice into the insinkerator (make sure the water is running and the blades are turned on before inserting the ice). This will remove any buildup of fat or grease in the inside of your insinkerator. To remove any odors coming from the kitchen sink drain, you can also grind half a lemon or grapefruit in your insinkerator. This will give a pleasant citrus fragrance.