Can a broken garbage disposal affect a dishwasher? It’s a common misconception that when the garbage disposal breaks, the dishwasher is also broken. The good news is that your dishwasher is fine. The bad news is that the dishwasher is hooked to a garbage disposal, and food accumulation or clogged pipe will affect proper drainage. Here’s what you need to know about the ins and outs of your garbage disposal and how it will affect your dishwasher’s usage capacity when broken.

How Does A Garbage Disposal Work?

Your garbage disposal has a critical job as the blades reduce food to small particles which are easily washed out through its screens to enter your plumbing pipes. Here’s how it should work.

  • A dishwasher’s body holds the interior parts of the disposal system.
  • The motor is at the bottom of the body and controls the impeller blades.
  • The impeller blades chop food into small waste.
  • The reset button is on the bottom of the disposal. If it is out, check the electric circuit before resetting it. If it continues to trip, call for a service check-up.
  • The rubber shield is on the top of the disposal to prevent waste from rising. If it is on the bottom, it requires you to turn on a power switch.
  • A sink plug is used with batch feed dishwashers need to be turned on.
  • The sink flange is the bracket that connects the disposal to the sink. When loosened, it can cause water leaks or improper efficiency.
  • There are two pipes you need to be aware of. The first is a drainage pipe which houses food waste. The dishwasher pipe connects to the garbage disposal for water discharge.
  • The air break is in the drain pipe to prevent dirty water from returning to the dishwasher.

A Few Dishwasher And Garbage Disposal Repair Do’s And Don’ts

  • Always scrape off the food from your dishes before adding them to the dishwasher. Since there is no plumbing line for the dishwasher, it is connected to the garbage disposal pipes. If the disposal pipes are clogged, it can cause the dishwasher not to drain correctly.
  • Always run cold water while using the garbage disposal for proper disposal. Also, let it run for 20 to 30 seconds after you are finished to avoid pipe clogs. Using cold water also helps your disposal’s motor to stay cool, which is going to extend its shelf life.
  • Avoid putting hard foods like uncooked rice of bones as it will damage the unit.
  • Watch out for water leaks. It could be an issue with the gaskets, flanges, or pipes.
  • Never use chemicals like bleach as it will damage the seals. If you notice any smells, try vinegar, citrus, or baking soda. If it persists, schedule a service call.
  • Never overfill the disposal as it will add pressure, cause clogs, or burn out the motor.
  • Avoid grease or produce peels as it can lead to waste build-up. Try composting.

It’s a great idea to service an annual maintenance check for your dishwasher and garbage disposal to keep them working efficiently.  Call us at (781) 953-9600 or visit us on Facebook.