How to Tighten Garbage Disposal Blades (10 Best Ways)

  • By: Promise
  • Time to read: 6 min.
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Garbage disposals are very important in waste processing, they help in processing kitchen waste passed through the kitchen sink. This unit is made up of blades that swirl and cut through the waste while processing it.

However, there is a tendency for the blades to become loose or less tightened due to overuse of the unit. Garbage disposals should be properly maintained in order to have free-flowing and efficient equipment.

To tighten garbage disposal blades, you must:

  • Turn off the Power
  • Get the Right Tools
  • Look at the Blades and Check them
  • Unclog the Blades
  • Blades Tightening
  • Clean up!
  • Reconnect the Disposal
  • Turn on the Power
  • Restart the garbage disposal
  • Verify if it still feels loose as it works

Should Garbage Disposal Blades Be Loose or Tight?

Since the invention of this device, disposing of food waste has been a lot less stressful and there have certainly been notable improvements.

Although this machine is well-known and is in use in many households across the world, a lot of people do not know how to use it correctly. Many users ask, “Should garbage disposals blades be loose or tight?”

No, garbage disposal blades should not be loose. All components of the disposal should be tightly fitted to enhance its efficiency. It is also to provide safety for the users. Loose garbage disposal blades can lead to damage to the overall machine.

How to Tighten Garbage Disposal Blades

Here are how to tighten garbage disposal blades:

Step 1: Turn off the Power

Garbage disposals are electric devices, when working with an electrical device, obviously, the first thing that comes to mind is the possibility of an electric shock. To prevent this, turn off the power. This also ensures your safety during this process.

The dangers of tightening the garbage disposal blades when the power plug is still plugged are immeasurable. What if the blades start spinning as you are tightening it, what are you going to do? What do you think will become of your fingers/hands.

Step 2: Get the Right Tools

You are about to tighten loose garbage disposal blades; you should equip yourself with the right tools so you can do an effective job and also protect yourself. A few tools you should get include:

  • A torchlight/flashlight
  • A pair of gloves
  • Pliers
  • Tongs
  • A piece of clothing to use as a rag
  • Pipe wrench
  • Screwdriver

Having these tools with you is essential to tightening the blades of the garbage disposal unit. The tools should be with you before starting the tightening process, so you don’t have to leave what you are doing to look for one tool or the other.

Step 3: Look at the Blades and Verify How Loos They Are

The next thing to do is to locate the blades and observe them. The rattling from the garbage disposal might not be from the blades so the first thing to do is to check the blades to see whether they are loose or not.

Put on your hand gloves (for safety) and feel the blades. If the blades shake from side to side, it means they are not tight, but if the blades do not move from side to side, it means that they are firmly tightened.

Note that clogging can be a cause of loose blades.

Step 4: Unclog the Blades

A flashlight is needed to do this, you only need to point the flashlight at the clades and look out for food items under the blades that may be hindering the motion of the blades.

The use of pliers and tongs will be needed here as well. Use the tongs to pull out the food objects completely. Once this is done, run water into the sink to observe that there is no food item left in it.

Step 5: Blades Tightening

Having unclogged the garbage disposal, it is now time to tighten the loose blade. A pipe wrench is needed for this.

  • There is a nut that connects the disposal to the bottom of the sink.
  • The pipe wrench should be used to unscrew the nut, so the nuts come out easily.
  • Next, use the screwdriver to tighten the bolts for the blades.
  • This should be done accurately and carefully.
  • Tighten the bolts to perfection.

Once the bolts holding the blades are tightened properly, the blades will not move from side to side. It will not be loose anymore.

Step 6: Clean up

After tightening, use the rag to clean up the bottom part of the sink and to get rid of the dust that might be there. Cleanliness, as they say, is next to godliness.

Step 7: Reconnect the Disposal

Now, the garbage disposal has to be reattached to the sink drain. Do this carefully to avoid slight damage to the unit. A pipe wrench can be used to reconnect the disposal to the drain. Screw it back properly.

Step 8: Turn on the Power

After the garbage disposal has been put back in place, it is pertinent to connect it back to power.

Step 9: Restart the Garbage Disposal

The disposal can also be reset or restarted by pressing the red button at the bottom of the disposal.

Step 10: Verify if it Still Feels Loose as it Works

The garbage disposal is now ready to function correctly. As long as the nuts are tightened properly, the job is done. Enjoy your garbage disposal.

However, if after doing all these and your blades are not working appropriately, it may be that the blades need to be changed. To do so, read how to replace garbage disposal blades.

Pros of Tightening Garbage Disposal Blades

  1. Maintained efficiency of the garbage disposal
  2. Tight blades properly grind food items and will prevent clogging:
  3. Almost-silent operation of the device, no noise or rattling
  4. Lack of unpleasant odors
  5. Quick performance of the unit

Which Ways Do You Turn To Tighten Garbage Disposal?

To tighten the blades of the disposal, you need to move in an anti-clockwise direction. Remember, you used a pipe wrench to unscrew the nut of the disposal in a clockwise fashion. Move-in the opposite direction to tighten the blades of the garbage disposal.

Why is my Garbage Disposal Rattling?

The rattling sounds you hear from your garbage disposal are a function of the loose blades in the unit.

The blades are loose and it is very dangerous to use a garbage disposal in this state. The blades will not grind effectively, there will be a clog and the sink will be blocked.

The rattling sound can also be caused by an object obstructing the motion of the blades. Foreign objects restrict the blades from performing their operations.

Turn off the garbage disposal and look into the unit to see if there are any visible objects in it. Once observed, wear a pair of gloves and try to retrieve the objects.

If the rattling sound persists after the objects have been removed, it is now obvious that the blades of the unit are loose. Also, if you feel that the blades are dull, you can learn how to sharpen garbage disposal blades here.

Final Thoughts

Garbage disposals are very useful machines in every household, for disposing of food waste. The machine is made up of blades that grind food to pass them into the drainage. Often time, these blades do not work well because of obstructions or loosening.

As soon as the blades are observed to be loose, it is advisable to turn off the power to resolve the issue. Loose garbage disposal blades will hinder the overall functioning of the machine. As such, garbage disposal blades should be tightened immediately.

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