How Does a Garbage Disposal Work

Posted February 17, 2015

The under-sink kitchen garbage disposal is a wonderful time-saving device that reduces the amount of trash in landfills and makes cleaning up in the kitchen a much more pleasant activity. But how does a garbage disposal actually work? 

A common misconception is that disposal is simply a powerful blender that uses spinning blades to shred food waste into tiny particles so they can fit down the drain. In reality, a disposal has no blades at all but instead uses impellers (also called lugs) mounted on a rotating plate to spin the waste outward using centrifugal force. The waste is pushed against a grind ring, which pulverizes the particles before the running water flushes the waste down the drain. 

To keep your disposal working smoothly (and smelling good), always run lots of water during the grinding process and for at least another 15 seconds after the sound of grinding stops.

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