Biggest Commercial Garbage Disposal Problems
Most commercial kitchen equipment can make your restaurant run efficiently as long as it is working properly. Commercial garbage disposals definitely fit into that category.
In your bar or restaurant, commercial garbage disposal problems can cause headaches, some nasty odors, and an inconvenient call to the plumber. When these problems happen in the middle of a busy dinner rush, these commercial disposer problems in a large, busy, commercial kitchen can cause much bigger issues.
Commercial garbage disposal problems can be expensive to repair or replace. They can also disrupt business and hamper the efficiency necessary for the smooth running of these commercial kitchens.
Here are some of the most common commercial garbage disposal problems and how you might address them. Learn how to prevent these issues or you’ll run the risk of having a broken restaurant garbage grinder at the worst possible time which can be a costly problem for any commercial kitchen.
Common Commercial Garbage Disposal Problems
If you have a restaurant garbage disposal in your commercial kitchen, then you’ve likely experienced one or more of these problems. While they are inconvenient, they don’t always need professional service. Here are some simple fixes to try on your own.
Commercial Garbage Disposer Leaking
Leaks can happen in your restaurant disposal unit in a couple of different places and for a couple of different reasons. Most happen at the top of the commercial disposal unit at the junction between the disposal and the sink, on a part called the sink flange.
If you’re lucky, the leak is the result of a bad gasket where the commercial disposer unit attaches to the sink drain. Replacing that gasket is quick, easy, and inexpensive. Other common causes include loose or rotted mounting bolts and loose or ruptured pipe seals.
If you can’t identify where the leak is coming from by visual inspection, you should consider examining those three elements more closely. Otherwise, a commercial disposal repair professional should be contacted.
A leaky commercial garbage disposal can go unnoticed for some time. When that happens, commercial kitchens can end up dealing with slip and fall hazards, violations from the health inspector, water damage on the tiles under the commercial disposal and the unpleasant smells associated with leaks.
Restaurant Garbage Disposal Clogs
If your kitchen employees are in the habit of running a lot of food through your commercial disposal, then you’re eventually asking for a clog. The best remedy for a clogged commercial garbage disposal is to prevent it from happening in the first place.
Always make sure you are running water through your restaurant garbage grinder before, during, and especially after discarding any food waste. Twenty seconds of water after grinding food is usually enough to clear the pipes completely.
Your commercial garbage disposal can clog in a couple of different places. The first place to look is at the drain itself. With the flashlight on your cell phone, you can often see these types of clogs.
Always turn off the power to your restaurant garbage disposal before trying to address even the simplest looking drain clogs. The last thing you want is an employee to be injured trying to clean a clogged commercial garbage disposal.
Your restaurant garbage disposal can also clog at the flywheel inside the housing of the unit. If you have a wrench for your commercial disposal, you can try to dislodge these clogs on your own.
When restaurant garbage disposals don’t work correctly, the rest of your plumbing system can suffer. Clogged drain pipes can result from improper commercial disposal practices. Things like eggshells or cooking oil can build up over time in the pipes if they aren’t completely flushed.
These types of clogs left unattended may require professional drain and pipe cleaning services to repair.
Commercial Disposal Unit Jammed
You’ll likely know that your commercial disposal unit is jammed if the motor is making a humming sound, but the blades aren’t spinning. If your kitchen employees are accustomed to putting heavier non-food items like bones into it, this has likely happened to you already.
Your commercial disposal unit should shut itself off via the internal circuit breaker if this goes on for too long. This safety mechanism is built in to help prevent overheating. The reset button at the bottom of the machine will pop out if this happens.
Restaurant Garbage Grinder Odors
Whether you’ve got a clog, a jam, or a leak you’re also going to have to deal with that unsettling restaurant garbage grinder odor. There is nothing worse than the stink of rotting food bits permeating a commercial kitchen. It’s not an appetizing smell for your employees or your customers.
Even if you don’t have a broken restaurant garbage disposal, odors can emanate from your drains. If you aren’t diligent about cleaning your commercial disposal and the flange where the disposal meets the sink, you’re likely leaving minuscule food particles to rot and start to smell.
These odors can be especially troubling in commercial kitchens where food is prepped for customer consumption. Those smells can seep out of the kitchen and into your dining space. They can even permeate the food that you’re preparing.
Commercial Disposal Loss of Power
This problem is less straightforward than some of the others. It demands another level of diagnosis before it can be properly addressed.
As a general caution, it is always best to leave complicated electrical issues to licensed professionals as electricity can be incredibly dangerous.
That said, some of the common causes of power loss to commercial garbage disposals include:
Commercial Disposer Power Loss
When there really is a loss of power to your commercial disposal unit, there are a couple of simple steps you can take to find the source of the problem before calling in a professional.
First, check to see if the problem is related to the restaurant garbage disposal itself. Look at your circuit breaker to make sure nothing has triggered its switch. Next check to see if the outlet you are using is getting power. Plug in another small appliance to check.
If power is flowing to the commercial disposal unit, but it still won’t power up or start spinning, you can check to see if the restaurant garbage disposal itself switched off to prevent a power overload.
There is likely a reset button on the bottom of the machine. It will pop out when it shuts down. If that’s happened, push it back in to turn the power back on to the machine.
If you’ve checked all of these and still have no power, or if the device or the circuit breaker continues to shut off when you flip the switch, contact an electrical professional.
Restaurant Garbage Grinder Broken Flywheel
The flywheel is an element within the commercial garbage disposal that allows the blades to spin. When something happens to this part, the spin is interrupted. Some flywheel problems can cause an erratic spin, other issues can cease the spinning altogether.
While it is uncommon, some flywheels can break and pieces of their teeth can get stuck in the machine causing jams that can do serious harm to the commercial garbage disposal’s motor.
Flywheel problems are best left to professional servicemen as repairs involve opening the restaurant garbage disposal up.
Commercial Disposal Unit Jammed
Whether in the blades themselves or the flywheel, food particles and other harder materials can get stuck. If you’ve got a particularly bad jam, it can stop the motor from turning.
That will, hopefully, trigger the shut-off circuit in the machine. If not, you can overheat the motor and burn out the restaurant garbage disposal for good. Be sure to check for these jams when your power supply looks to be the problem.
Make sure the power is turned off to the restaurant garbage grinder before reaching in, either with your hand or a tool, to dislodge the culprit.
What Can You Do About Commercial Disposer Problems?
Your best chance of avoiding the costly and time-consuming disruption caused by these commercial garbage disposal problems is to be prepared. This starts with education.
Take the time to teach your kitchen staff proper commercial garbage disposal usage habits. Some commercial garbage disposal problems are unavoidable, but proper training can go a long way to saving you time money in the future.
Consider having a few commonly-needed commercial disposal unit spare parts on hand. These could include mounting gaskets and bolts, drain pipes sections, and simple fittings.
There should also be some kitchen staff trained on basic repairs and common fixes so that the delegation of these tasks are already done and the tasks themselves can be attended to more quickly.
Have a troubleshooting guide on hand near the commercial garbage disposal, as well. A simple sheet of these common problems and the most likely solutions for each could be mounted nearby and could save diagnosing time later on.
Consider Ditching The Commercial Garbage Disposal
The best long-term solution could be ditching the commercial garbage disposal altogether. The Drain Strainer™ was invented by a former restaurant owner and it’s an effective and affordable commercial garbage disposal alternative.
The Drain Strainer™ is simple-to-use, extremely cost-effective, and easier to maintain.
If your restaurant garbage disposal has proven to be a bigger headache than it’s worth, visit our website to learn about an alternative solution that we offer commercial kitchens like yours.