Tips For Choosing a Garbage Disposal Unit

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A garbage disposal is a convenient household appliance that will save you time and money while reducing unnecessary waste. Rather than dumping your leftover dinner scraps in the trash where they’ll end up in the landfill, you can flush them into the municipal sewer system or your home’s septic tank using a garbage disposal unit.

 

But with so many different types of garbage disposals available, some homeowners may find it difficult to narrow their selection down to a single one. If you’re struggling to choose one, we have some tips that will make the process easier.

 

Continuous Feed vs Batch Feed: What’s The Difference?

 

Most modern-day garbage disposal units fall under one of two different categories: continuous feed or batch feed. Continuous feed models feature an open mouth with an on/off wall switch. They are the easiest to use and also the most common.

 

Batch feed models, on the other hand, feature a special “hopper chamber” in which the food is placed inside and covered with a lid to activate. Batch feeds are more expensive, but they are also safer since there’s a lid covering the blades. In order for a batch feed garbage disposal to chop up the food, the lid must be closed, preventing any silverware or cutlery from researching the blades.

 

Motor

 

You should also consider the motor size when shopping for a new garbage disposal unit. Garbage disposal motors have come a long ways since the advent of these devices back in the late 1920s.  Some of the different motor sizes available today consist of 1/3 horsepower, 1/2 horsepower, 3/4 horsepower, and 1 horsepower.

 

The smaller motors, such as 1/3 and 1/2 are perfectly fine for chopping up small vegetables and fruits, but a larger motor will reduce the risk of clogged drains by pulverizing food into a near-liquid consistency.

 

Blade

 

The blade is the heart and sole of a garbage disposal unit, as it’s responsible for chopping up food to the point where it can travel through the home’s plumbing. Stainless steel blades are ideal for this purpose; they grind up food more finely, last longer, and won’t succumb to rust. You may have to pay a little bit more for a model with stainless steel blades, but it’s a smart investment that will pay off in the form of a more efficient garbage disposal.

 

Noise

 

Lastly, consider the noise level when choosing a garbage disposal unit. Unfortunately, this is something that’s difficult to gauge without testing the unit in person. Performing some investigative research online, however, will often reveal customer reviews of different models. If a particular model has numerous complaints about loud noise, you may want to avoid it.

Features To Look For When Purchasing a New Dishwasher

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Thinking about purchasing a new dishwasher in the near future? Consumer-grade dishwashers have come a long ways over the years, with manufacturers like Whirlpool, Kitchenaid and Frigidaire constantly adding new features to improve their usability. To make your shopping experience a little easier, check out some of the latest and greatest features of modern-day dishwashers.

 

Fast-Washing Cycle

 

Dishwashers manufactured 10-20 years ago typically require a minimum of one hour to complete the wash cycle (oftentimes more). Some of the newer models, however, feature fast-washing or “quick-wash” cycles that complete the job in just 20 minutes. Not only will this feature save you time, but it will also use less water and power.

 

Child-Lockout

 

If you’re the parent of a small child, you may want to choose a dishwasher with a built-in child-lockout feature. As the name suggests, this feature is designed to prevent children from accidentally (or intentionally) opening the door while the unit is running.

 

The water inside a dishwasher can range between 120 degrees Fahrenheit and 150 degrees Fahrenheit – hot enough to scold and injure a young child. If a young child happens to open the door while it’s running, the hot water could leave painful burns on their skin. Thankfully, this scenario is easily avoided by investing in a dishwasher with a child-lockout feature.

 

Sensor-Assisted Wash Cycles

 

One of the most innovative features of modern-day dishwashers is sensor-assisted wash cycles. Using computer-controlled sensors, the dishwasher gauges the quantity of dirty changes and adjusts the wash cycle accordingly. If you’re washing a half load of dishes, for instance, the unit may reduce the wash duration to just 50% to save energy. On the other hand, if you’re washing a full load, it may increase the power and duration.

 

Adjustable Top Racks

 

Dishwashers are typically designed with two racks – an upper rack for holding cups, and a bottom rack for holding plates. Purchasing a dishwasher with an adjustable top rack, however, will allow you to lower or raise its height so you can fit larger dishes here. Consumers shouldn’t be restricted from washing plates on the upper rack, which is where an adjustable rack comes into play: it allows consumers to change the height to fit their dishes.

 

Integrated Waste Disposal Units

 

Lastly, consider purchasing a dishwasher with an integrated waste disposal unit. These models have built-in garbage disposals (on a smaller scale) that chop up food waste and flush it through the plumbing. Granted, these models produce more noise, but that’s a small price to pay for the convenience of having your food debris automatically eliminated from the unit.

What Is Dishwasher Salt? And Why Should I Use It?

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The thought of pouring salt into your dishwasher may sound counterproductive. After all, isn’t the purpose of this major appliance to clean dishes and not coat them with debris?

 

When used correctly, dishwasher salt will improve the unit’s ability to ward off hard water stains, allowing you to enjoy spot-free dishes. This week we’re going to take a closer look at dishwasher salt and how it works.

 

Dishwasher Salt vs Table Salt: What’s The Difference?

 

Dishwasher salt differs from traditional salt in several different ways, one of which is its size. Table salt granules are ground to a smaller and finer consistency, which can result in clogged drains when used inside a dishwasher. Dishwasher salt, on the other hand, is thicker and doesn’t the disturb the unit’s normal cleaning operations.

 

Another major difference between dishwasher salt and table salt is its chemical structure. Dishwasher salt is typically made of 100% sodium chloride with no other additives, whereas table salt often contains anti-caking compounds like magnesium. The additives used in table salt may interfere with the dishwasher’s mechanical components or promote the production of hard water stains.

 

How Dishwasher Salt Works

 

Contrary to what some people may believe, dishwasher salt does not clean or fight hard water stains. Its purpose is to reset the unit’s built-in water softener. Some dishwashers, especially those manufactured overseas in the U.K., feature water softener baskets filled with small resin balls. These resin balls absorb calcium and magnesium ions – two compounds commonly attributed to hard water stains – from the water, promoting clean, spot-free dishes.

 

The resin balls have a negative atomic charge and the dishwasher salt has a positive atomic charge. When dishwasher salt is used, the resin balls attract the sodium ions; thus, resetting the resin balls so they are more effective at absorbing calcium and magnesium ions in a process known as ion exchange.

 

Using Dishwasher Salt

 

Dishwasher salt should only be used in dishwashers with a dedicated salt compartment. If the unit has a built-in water softening system, it will most likely have a salt compartment (usually located around the bottom basket). Fill the compartment with dishwasher salt, close the compartment and latch it shut, and your unit is ready to go!

 

Note: don’t make the mistake of pouring detergent into the salt compartment, as this may damage the dishwasher’s water softening system. Detergent should only be used inside the detergent compartment, and dishwasher salt should only be used in the salt compartment.

Repair Tips: How to Diagnose Unfamiliar Noises Coming From Your Appliance

Paying attention to the noises your appliance makes can alert you to a problem before the issue leads to a complete appliance breakdown. To help you avoid an appliance emergency, we’ve listed a handful of sounds that indicate your dishwasher, refrigerator, or dryer is malfunctioning.

Dishwasher

  • If you’ve noticed the level of noise coming from your dishwasher has increased, you could be dealing with a clogged or defective drain pump. Fixing a clogged pump simply requires you to remove the blockage, however, if the pump is not obstructed by debris, and your dishwasher continues to operate with excessive noise, the drain pump may need replacing.
  • A high-pitched sound during the water filling process indicates two possible issues. The first revolves around inefficient water pressure. When the water pressure in your home is too low you will most likely hear a squealing noise, thankfully, increasing the pressure should solve this problem. On the other hand, if your water pressure is sufficient, the issue may be the water inlet valve. Calling a professional to inspect and replace the part is your best option.

Refrigerator

  • While refrigerators generally make a good amount of noise, a squealing or rumbling sound that grows louder when you open the fridge door may signal a serious malfunction. Unfortunately, when this sound persists, you are probably dealing with a worn evaporator motor. If a defective evaporator motor is the problem, you will need to contact a local appliance repair company to replace it.
  • When a ticking noise is coming from your refrigerator, the defrost timer is the likely culprit. To solve the issue, you will need to purchase and install a new timer.

Dryer

  • Even though your dryer isn’t the quietest machine, a thumping sound is not a noise you want to hear coming from it. If you do encounter such a sound, you’re probably dealing with a worn out drum roller. Unfortunately, the only way of fixing this problem is by replacing the malfunctioning rollers.
  • If you hear a loud rattling sound, your dryer may have a small object stuck in the blower wheel. Fortunately, this issue can be easily fixed by taking out the wheel and locating the item. Once you’ve removed the object, re-install the blower wheel and test your dryer to ensure the sound is no longer present.

 If you’re concerned with the sound coming from your appliance, please contact us today and we’ll be happy to help you.

Follow these Garbage Disposal Usage Tips to Avoid the Need for Appliance Repair

Garbage disposals are one of the most commonly misused appliances in a home. In addition, misuse is a common reason for homeowners to require garbage disposal appliance repair. Thusly, it is important to know how to properly use your garbage disposal so that you can help to ensure its continued functionality. Here are a few tips that should help you to make sure you do not accidentally damage your garbage disposal the next time you use it.

Run Cold Water When Using Your Garbage Disposal

What many people are not aware of is how vital it is to run water while using a garbage disposal, and for at least 20 seconds after turning the garbage disposal off. Running cold water while your garbage disposal is running will help to prevent the disposal from clogging, as it will keep food particles moving. Furthermore, the cold water can help to keep the disposal’s motor cool, which can help to extend its life.

 Only Put Soft Foods Down Your Garbage Disposal

Many people are under the impression that they can put any food down their garbage disposal. While the mechanisms may be able to handle many types of food, putting anything too hard through the garbage disposal can damage the appliance.

Do Not Overfill Your Garbage Disposal

A common mistake many people make is in trying to put too much food down their garbage disposal at one time. Doing so can overwork the systems motor as well as its other components. To help ensure the life of your garbage disposal, put small amounts of food down it at a time waiting for it to clear before you add more food.

Following these useful tips should help you to get the longest life possible out of your garbage disposal. However, if you slip up and accidentally damage your garbage disposal, call a professional to look at and repair it. These disposals can be hazardous appliances for untrained individuals to try to tamper with.  Contact us to find out about more tips that can help you extend the life of your garbage disposal as well as to make an appointment to have your appliance inspected and/or repaired.