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Back You are here: Home Columns Weekly Columns Hardware Tips Hardware Tip of the Week: A Very Disposable Tip; A Malfunctioning Garbage Disposal Can Mean A Messy Headache

Hardware Tip of the Week: A Very Disposable Tip; A Malfunctioning Garbage Disposal Can Mean A Messy Headache

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For the most part, garbage disposals are self-cleaning and virtually maintenance free.
However, a malfunctioning garbage disposal can mean a messy headache, but one that can be avoided. Here are some ideas to keep your unit in good working order. Always run cold water when grinding in order to move the waste all the way through the drain lines.
Fats and grease congeal and harden in cold water which can then be flushed through the system. Don't use hot water when grinding because it can dissolve fats and grease, which may then accumulate in the drain line.
Almost all biodegradable food waste can be fed into disposals.
However, do not throw down the disposal clam or oyster shells, corn husks or other material with a high fiber content.
Under no circumstances should you put glass, plastic or metal non-food materials through a disposal.
This includes bottle caps, tin covers or aluminum foil--these are some of the items service technicians commonly find in clogged or broken disposals.
Maintenance is easy. Grinding small bones and egg shells actually helps clean the disposal by scraping away stubborn deposits or citric acid and pulp. Grinding a little ice is another way to clean out deposits and get rid of odors.
Bonus Tip: Icemaker Problems? So you want a nice, cool drink but the icemaker’s on the blink. Here’s how to trouble shoot an icemaker that isn’t making cubes. Before you start seeing dollar signs for repairs check the obvious.
• Is the wire arm in the up position? If so move it down to turn the icemaker back on and it’s “problem solved.”
• If the problem is small cubes check for a clogged water-supply line.
• If freezer temperatures are set too high it causes problems too and icemakers don’t cycle properly. Set 8 degrees or lower for crisp, clean cubes.
If these simple quick fixes don’t do it, it may be time for replacement. Icemakers typically only last 6 to 10 years and oftentimes, buying a new one is as cost effective as a repair. If you do go shopping for a replacement, be sure to take along the make and model number of your refrigerator.
Bonus Tip: Finding a Leak: Are your water bills rising suspiciously even though you’re not using more water? Here’s how to track down a leak that’s robbing you blind. First, start with the usual suspects.
You know who they are: dripping faucets, running toilets and your every day petty water thieves.
If that’s not it and you can’t find any tell-tale puddles or wet spots on floors or ceilings below (signaling a leaking pipe or connection) then it’s time to step-up your investigation (with some sneaky surveillance techniques). To determine if there’s a leak in the line coming into your house turn off the water where it enters your home. Note the reading on the water meter and then go off to work, shopping or whatever.
Later, when you come home check it again. If the meter reading has changed you’ve found the leak.
If it hasn’t you’ve still got a mystery on your hands that may take a plumber to solve.
And that’s the tip of the week from Island True Value Tackle and Hardware.