5 Common Garbage Disposal Problems

5 Common Garbage Disposal Problems

Are you tired of experiencing bad odor from rotten food and handling endless pipe leaks in your kitchen? If so, investing in a garbage disposal comes in handy.

A garbage disposal allows you to shred leftovers and other waste into tiny pieces that can easily pass through your plumbing pipe—leaving you less trash to throw out, saving you time.

However, despite how well you maintain your garbage disposal, it might develop problems. Such problems can cause your garbage disposal to drain slowly or stop functioning altogether.

If you don’t fix your garbage disposal problems soon enough, you might deal with the awful smell coming from your kitchen waste. Not to mention some of the issues, if not handled early, can lead to costly future garbage disposal repairs.

Luckily, most garbage disposal problems are easy to solve as long as you note them. 

Here is a comprehensive guide on five common garbage disposal problems and what to do about them.

1. Garbage Disposal Jam

When your garbage disposal gets jammed, it will still produce humming sounds; however, water and liquids will slowly flow back to the sink or drain. If your garbage disposal has clogged, something inhibits the proper turning of the blades.

Various culprits can prevent the blades from turning, such as:

  • Fruit pills
  • Stringy vegetables
  • Bones
  • Non-food items
  • Eggshells

If you also fail to flush the drain with the water, your garbage disposal could get clogged. Also, flushing too much waste down the drain at once could lead to clogging.

In fixing the problem, there are various things you should try:

  • Plunge it. You can loosen the clog and drain the path by using a plunger. Ensure while plunging in, your sink has enough water. You can then plunge the drain for around one minute, after which things should start moving.
  • Clean out the drain. To clean the drain, you must first disconnect the drain pipe from the disposal. Then go ahead to clean it along with the trap. After the cleaning, ensure to reconnect all the pipes tightly.
  • Snake it. If the clog remains after plunging and cleaning out the drain, the issue is deeper down the sewer. The best tool to use at this point is a plumber’s snake.

2. Leaks

Leaks from garbage disposal can cause lots of menace to your home. The leaking water can make your cabinets get wrapped or sustain mold growth. Thus, any leaks with your garbage disposal should be sorted out as quickly as possible.

There are various areas on your garbage disposal where the leak would arise, and these are:

  • Plumbing connections
  • Drainage hose
  • Outer casing of the unit
  • Sink flange
  • Cracked casing

If the leak is coming from the sink flange, you should:

  1. Turn off the power to the disposal by shutting off the circuit breaker
  2. Turn the disposal to the left at the point where it’s mounted under the sink. This will make it possible to remove the unit from its flange
  3. Tighten the bolts holding the sink and flange them together

If the bolts are in good condition, then the leak might be coming from a plumber putty.

If the leaks are from other areas, they might be more complicated to repair. In some instances, to fix the unit, all you will have to replace is a worn-out O ring or gasket.

3. Garbage Disposal Will Not Turn On

In some cases, your motor may fail to start after turning on your garbage disposal. If this happens, electrical issues are affecting the flow of current to your appliance.

It would help if you started with simple solutions such as checking wire connections to advance ones to fix the issues. The following are some of the remedies to try:

  • Check whether the disposal is plugged in
  • Press the reset button if it’s properly plugged in. Pushing the reset button should solve the issue
  • If still not working, check whether the switch has wiring issues
  • If the wire connection is connected correctly, then it means your switch might be bad hence needing replacement

After following the above suggestions, it should resolve the power issue for your garbage disposal.

4. Noisy Garbage Disposal

When your garbage disposal is functioning correctly, all you hear is the humming sound. But if your notice strange sounds coming from the appliance, it’s a sign something is wrong.

In most cases, when something is stuck in the blades, you will hear grinding sounds. In such cases, you should check and get rid of any foreign materials inhibiting the blades from rotating effectively.

At times the grinding sounds might be a result of missing parts. It would be better to contact a local plumbing company to diagnose the issue in such a case. They will determine what item is missing and have it replaced.

5. A Smelly Garbage Disposal

A smelly garbage disposal can make your kitchen’s environment unconducive. Bad smells always result from food particles getting trapped within the drain pipe. This mainly happens if you fail to flush enough water while grinding food debris.

To flush down trapped food particles and the foul odor, you can use vinegar and baking soda. If the issue persists, you might need to take apart the disposal.

You Now Know the Common Garbage Disposal Problems

A garbage disposal shreds food leftovers and other wastes into tiny pieces that can easily pass through your plumbing system. However, there are common garbage disposal problems that might arise. Such issues can affect the proper functioning of the garbage disposal.

Are you looking for plumbing services in Metro Atlanta, GA, and the surrounding areas? At Millwood plumbing, we got you covered.

We are a licensed and reputable plumbing company handling residential and commercial plumbing repairs and replacements. Contact us today to get a quote.

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