How Does a Garbage Disposal Work? Everything You Need To Know

Last Updated on March 8, 2022 by Kimberly Crawford

Do you know how your garbage disposal works? It’s actually a pretty interesting process! In this blog post, we will discuss the inner workings of a garbage disposal and how it helps keep your kitchen clean.

We will also cover some common problems that can occur with these appliances and how to fix them. So, if you’re curious about how your garbage disposal works, or you need help fixing a problem with yours, read on!

What is a garbage disposal?

what is garbage disposal

A garbage disposal is a device that is installed under a kitchen sink. It grinds up food waste and sends it down the drain. This helps to keep your kitchen clean and free of foul odors. There are many different types and brands of garbage disposals, but they all work in essentially the same way.

Related: Can You Have a Garbage Disposal with a Septic Tank?

How to select a garbage disposal.

There are many factors to consider when selecting a garbage disposal. The size of the unit, horsepower, grind type, and warranty are all important factors to keep in mind. Selecting the right unit for your needs will help to ensure that your garbage disposal lasts for years to come.

When it comes to disposals, one size does not fit all. Be sure to select the right size for your needs. The size of the disposal will depend on the amount of waste you generate on a daily basis.

Where does the food in the garbage disposal go?

The food in the garbage disposal goes through a series of blades that chop it up into small pieces. The chopped-up food is then sent down the drain and out to the sewer system. If your city has a recycling program, the chopped-up food will be recycled into fertilizer or compost. Otherwise, it will just go into the general sewer system. Either way, it’s better than having a big pile of food rotting in your garbage can!

How does a garbage disposal work?

A garbage disposal has a simple design. It consists of a motor, a grinding chamber, and a shredding blade. The motor turns the blade which shreds the food waste into small pieces. The grinded-up food is then sent down the drain through a series of holes in the bottom of the chamber.

Does a garbage disposal need to be emptied?

No, a garbage disposal does not need to be emptied. However, it is important to keep the unit clean so that it can continue to work properly. You can clean a garbage disposal by using a brush or running water through it.

It is also important to make sure that there is no food build-up on the blades of the disposal. If there is food build-up, it can cause the disposal to work less efficiently.

Can a garbage disposal be used with all types of food?

No, a garbage disposal should not be used with all types of food. Avoid putting hard objects, grease, fibrous foods, and coffee grounds into your disposal. These items can damage the blades or clog the unit.

What should you do if your garbage disposal is not working?

If your garbage disposal is not working, there are a few things you can try before calling a plumber. First, check to see if the unit is plugged into an outlet. Next, press the reset button on the bottom of the disposal. If those steps do not work, you can try using a plunger to clear any clogs. If all of those steps fail, it is time to call a plumber.

What should not be put in a disposal?

foods you should not put in garbage disposal

When it comes to what should not be put down a garbage disposal, there are some pretty common sense items. Things like grease, oil, and fat can cause your disposal to overheat and potentially start a fire.

Bones or other hard objects can damage the blades of the disposal or get stuck in the drain pipe. Coffee grounds, pasta shells, and fruit pits can also cause clogs. And finally, never pour chemicals down the disposal!

So there you have it, a quick overview of how garbage disposals work and what not to put down them. As long as you avoid the no-no items listed above, your disposal should give you years of trouble-free use.


How to use a garbage disposal

If you have a garbage disposal in your home, you may be wondering how to use it properly. Here are some tips on how to use a garbage disposal:

-First, make sure that the power to the disposal is turned off before attempting to clear a jam or do any other type of maintenance.

– Always operate the disposal with wet hands to avoid any electrical shock.

-Never put your hand down into the disposal to clear a jam. Use tongs or a broom handle instead.

-To clear a jam, turn on the disposal and insert an object like a wooden spoon into the opening to help dislodge whatever is causing the blockage.

-If the disposal is clogged, use a plunger to try to clear the clog.

-Never put glass, metal or any other hard material down the disposal. These materials can damage the blades and cause problems with the unit.

-Always run plenty of water through the disposal when using it to help flush away food particles and keep it clean.

-Be sure to clean the disposal regularly to prevent odors. You can do this by running it with some citrus peel or vinegar.

Related: Why Does My Garbage Disposal Smells Bad? How to Get Rid of the Odor

Common problems with garbage disposals

One of the most common problems with garbage disposals is that they become jammed. This can happen if too much food is put into the disposal at once, or if large pieces of food are not shredded properly. If your disposal becomes jammed, you can try to free it by using a plunger or a pliers.

Another common problem is that the motor may fail. If this happens, you will need to replace the entire disposal.

Related: Garbage Disposal Backing Up Into Sink? {How To Fix} | Why Is My Garbage Disposal Humming? {How To Fix It}

Garbage Disposal Removal.

If you’re installing a new garbage disposal or replacing an old one, you’ll need to remove the existing unit. This process is generally pretty straightforward: first, disconnect the power to the disposal; then, use a wrench to loosen the mounting nuts that hold the unit in place; finally, pull the disposal away from the sink and dispose of it properly.

Related: How Long Does a Garbage Disposal Last? The Truth About Its Lifespan | How Many Amps Does a Garbage Disposal Use?

Installing a New Garbage Disposal.

Now that the old disposal is out of the way, it’s time to install the new one. Garbage disposal installation is a relatively simple process that most homeowners can do themselves with a few basic tools. The hardest part of the job is usually lifting the disposal into place.



A garbage disposal is a helpful appliance to have in your kitchen. It can make cleaning up after meals much easier. If you are not sure how it works, now you know! Thanks for reading.