Detail of the plumbing system under a modern kitchen sink, with a plumbers tool tray and equipment. Horizontal format.

Garbage Disposal Care: Garburators

Garbage Disposal Care: Commonly called Garburators
Under the sink garbage disposal unit.

A garbage disposal unit or waste disposal unit is a device. (usually electrically power) install under a kitchen sink between the sink’s drain and the trap. Which shreds food waste into pieces small enough—generally less than 2 mm (0.079 in)—to pass through plumbing.

Garburators are hardly ever thought about until they stop working. Start giving off strange smells or sound like a blender with foreign metal objects.

A garburator is basically a hefty motor attach to an impeller that pulverizes food. Until it is small enough to pass into the drain pipe as you run water into the unit. Garburators are usually very reliable. But many older ones tend to have problems if they have not been used in a while.

The switch is the biggest problem that causes the unit to not operate any longer. You usually will find out you have a problem when scraps from your last meal, snack, etc are too big to go down the drain and cause that nasty smell.

Quick Tips:

If it smells sour, cut up a lemon and dump it into the unit to help clean off whatever it is that is causing the odor. In fact, once a month or so, it doesn’t hurt to cycle the unit, to be sure it doesn’t seize up again.

You should also avoid putting in onions, carrots, celery, and banana peels which do not break up well at the disposal. You should always keep a cover on the Garburator opening to avoid dropping unwanted items in the garbage disposal.