Garbage disposals can get noisy and sound like they're eating spoons instead of banana peel.
You can put vacuum hose in sink opening and see if something is in there.
As long as disposal is not shaking around a lot, and causing pipes to leak, then you can use it until it dies.
Garbage disposal mechanism cannot be disassembled for repairs.
Here are basic parts:
1) Sink basket that connects to sink and is held with 3 screws from below.
2) Disposal which connects to sink basket with metal ring.
3) There is a washer between disposal and sink basket.
4) The dishwasher connects to disposal with a hose.
5) Electric wire coming from disposal switch connects to disposal near red reset button.
I wrote tips for replacing disposals that you can use when disposal gives out.
When I worked apartment maintenance, we replaced disposal with same brand and size disposal.
That way we didn't have to change out sink basket or move pipes around under the sink.
How to: Disconnect 2 nuts on p-trap and trap falls loose.
Rotate steel connector disk that holds disposal to sink basket, and disposal comes off.
Before installing new disposal.
Attach electric wire to new disposal, and push in reset button.
Attach dishwasher tube to new disposal. Knock out plug inside dishwasher opening.
Lift new disposal up into place, and attach to old sink basket.
There is a rubber washer between disposal and sink basket, Use new washer.
Attachment ring catches at three points, all three have to connect.
You can use bottle jack to lift disposal if you have problem.
Re-assemble tubular pipe.
If this is your home, you want new sink basket that comes with new disposal because it looks shiny and new.
Buy a tub of plumbers putty also.
Remove old sink basket and clean sink opening.
Put finger-size roll of plumbers putty around sink opening, and then push new strainer basket into plumbers putty.
Tighten basket from below, wipe away excess putty around sink opening.
Install new disposal as described above.
Tips for tubular pipes:
When taking apart tubular pipes, start at p-trap and take apart as few pieces as needed to do job.
On image above, loosen both upper and lower nuts, trap falls loose, and then work on disposal.
Any tubular drain pipe that gets moved while working under sink needs to be disassembled, cleaned and re-assembled.
Metal pipes have rubber washer >> always use new rubber washers.
Plastic pipes have plastic washers > plastic washers can be cleaned and re-used.
Plastic washers have flat side that goes toward nut, tapered side away from nut.
When reassembling tubular pipe, we use rectorseal on washers and joints.
Slap a good amount on washer just before pushing washer in place and attaching nut.
Rectorseal will ensure tubular drain pipes won't leak.
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For a price, fixya expert speaks with you over phone while you work on disposal.