Garbage disposals are installed in most homes, but how do they work? Garbage disposals work with a flip of a switch, and all of the crumbs magically disappear! In our eyes, this is how it appears, but there is much more to it than that.
What are Garbage Disposals?
They are located under kitchen sinks and connect to the same waste system as your sink drain. You will know if you have a garbage disposal by looking under your sink. If you see a round cylindrical object, that is your garbage disposal! This device contains all of the parts and electronics that allow it to work.
A garbage disposal’s job is to grind up bits of food and compress them so they can drain properly. Many people think a garbage disposal has sharp blades to chop up the food, but that is not how it works. While garbage disposals are made to remove food waste, they are only made to handle small bits of food. It will clog if you put too much down the drain. It’s important to be cautious of what goes down the disposal.
How Do Garbage Disposals Work?
Garbage disposals have many working parts. Understanding how all of these parts work will give you a full understanding of how they do their job!
The hopper chamber is the cylinder that you can see under your sink. This contains all of the parts needed to run the disposal. Garbage disposals work using two chambers, the upper and lower chamber. The upper chamber holds the food when it is first collected. The lower chamber contains the motor that chops up all of the food. Once you turn on the garbage disposal, the food moves from the upper chamber to the lower. The food then gets chopped up in the lower chamber and exits the garbage disposal through the waste pipe.
Shredder Ring and Flywheel
The shredder ring can be found between the upper and lower chambers. This sits in the middle of the disposal. Attached to the bottom of the shredder is the flywheel. The flywheel is a metal turntable that rotates to catch food. Its job is to prevent it from moving on to the lower chamber until it is small enough to enter through the small holes in the shredder ring. The inside of the shredder ring contains small sharp grooves. These help break down pieces of food in the flywheel.
Connected to the flywheel are the motor and impellers. Impellers are a very important part of how garbage disposals work. The impellers are the blades of the garbage disposal. The blades are not the type of blades you are thinking of, because they are not sharp like a knife. Once the motor turns on, it spins the impeller along with the flywheel. The motor rotates the flywheel and the impellers up to 2000 RPM. This forces the chunks into the grooves of the shredder ring until the food chunks have been made small enough to pass through.
Finally, the waste line attaches to the lower chamber of the hopper. After the food has been completely ground up, it passes through the waste line. This allows the waste to drain into a drain pipe outside of your home.
So now you know how a garbage disposal works! The garbage disposal does not actually chop up the food, but it forces the food into smaller pieces through quick speeds and pressure. All of these parts work together to get the job done! Garbage disposals have to be taken care of properly to ensure they do not get clogged or break.