6 Common Problems with Garbage Disposals

Although reliable, garbage disposals grind up hundreds of pounds of food waste, causing strain. These common problems can cause them to stop functioning.

The United States has a huge industry for plumbers, worth more than $134 billion every single year! There are more than 130,000 businesses around the country that offer plumbing services. To provide for all of the plumbing needs that people have, this industry employs more than 562,000 people at any given time!

One of the reasons there is so much demand for the services of plumbers is that people’s garbage disposals break down. Garbage disposals are sophisticated modern pieces of machinery, but they still have a tendency to develop a few flaws.

However, because they tend to develop the same few flaws, it is somewhat easy to figure out what is going wrong with a given broken garbage disposal.

So what exactly are these most common problems with garbage disposals? Read on to learn all about the problems that your garbage disposal is most likely to develop!

1. Your Garbage Disposal Won’t Turn On

Sometimes, the garbage disposal won’t turn on at all. It can be somewhat more difficult to figure out what is going wrong with a garbage disposal that does not react in any way when you turn it on. However, you might be able to resolve the problem by doing something similar to rebooting.

You can turn off the disposal, turn the breaker on and off, and hit the reset button on the garbage disposal. You can then turn it back on and see if it starts to work.

If it does not, then the problem could be any of a number of things. At that point, you will probably need the help of an expert plumber to help you repair your garbage disposal. In other cases, you might have to go ahead and replace it instead.

2. Your Garbage Disposal Is Jammed

In other cases, you can tell that the garbage disposal turns on because it makes a small humming sound. However, the garbage disposal does not turn and perform its intended function.

In this case, the most probable issue is that something is blocking the blades of your garbage disposal from turning. This often happens when people put the wrong things down the drain of their sink.

Many people know that they should not put things like bones and fruit pits into the sink. However, many people imagine that there is no problem with putting something like eggshells down the sink. After all, they are fragile and you would think they would be easy to break up.

However, egg shells and even some stringy vegetables can gum up your garbage disposal blades and keep it from working. One of the most common problems with a jammed garbage disposal is that people have been putting too much fat down the drain.

Many people put hot fat down the drain when it is liquid. However, that fat then solidifies as it cools down. On top of that, it can be hard for that fat to disperse because it does not respond much to flowing water. Over time, the amount of fat in your drain and on your garbage disposal blades can build up.

That will lead the disposal to stop working. You can often resolve this problem by putting on protective gloves and clearing everything away from your garbage disposal blades. However, it is essential that you have the garbage disposal off while you do this and use protective gloves just in case anything goes wrong.

3. Food Scraps and Water Drain Slowly

Your garbage disposal may seem to work, but your sink drains very slowly. Often, this is because the drain is blocked partially. You might be able to fix this problem by running your garbage disposal for longer than usual.

Even if it takes a little while, the blades may be able to break up whatever is blocking it and your sink will begin to work again. It is also possible that the blades of your garbage disposal are no longer sharp. This is an inevitable problem that will happen over time.

If that happens, you may need to call a plumber to remove and sharpen the blades. If the blades are dull enough, it might be better to replace them instead.

It is also possible that the problem is farther down the pipe and has nothing to do with the garbage disposal itself. In that case, you can try to clear out the pipes with drano, or by opening up the pipes and clearing them out. However, it often requires the specialized tools and expertise of a plumber to do this successfully.

4. Your Plumbing System Generates a Bad Smell

You may find that your garbage disposal appears to work, but your sink is developing it a bad smell. Sometimes, you can fix this by treating your sink with a deodorizing agent of some kind. This can be as simple as putting lemon juice or baking soda with vinegar down the drain.

If that doesn’t work, then the problem might be deeper down. You may also have to disassemble and clean your garbage disposal unit. That kind of work will require you to call a plumber.

5. Call Garbage Disposal Repair for Grinding Sounds

Grinding sounds can indicate a serious problem. You should not keep running the garbage disposal because that may make the problem worse.

You can use protective gloves and try to remove anything that might be blocking your garbage disposal from working. However, if you can’t find anything, you may need to call a plumber. If the grinding problem has been going on long enough, then you may need to replace your garbage disposal.

6. Your Garbage Disposal Has Damaged Seals

Your garbage disposal uses seals which will slowly degrade over time. When that happens, you will need a new seal to keep it from leaking.

That will require you to disassemble your disposal unit, so you may need to hire a plumber. That can be as simple as Googling for plumber near me or asking someone you know for a recommendation for a good plumber.

Understand the Most Common Problems With Garbage Disposals

Understanding the most common problems with garbage disposals can help you make the right decision when you experience one of them. You may be able to solve the problem yourself. Or you might need to call a plumber.

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