Tips to Solving Garbage Disposal Problems

Did you know that with proper usage garbage disposals are designed to work for a long time? However, we cannot discount the fact that sometimes, there will be days when your disposer would just seem to conk out. But, there is no need to fret as most of the time, the solution is easy and simple. Let’s take a look at some of the most common problems with garbage disposals.

Unit Does Not Work

Have you experienced switching on the disposal and nothing happens, not even a whirr? The logical conclusion would be that there must be something wrong with the supply of power to the unit. So first thing to check would be the circuit breaker. It is not unusual that something shorted out.

If there is power and the unit is not working, look for the small reset bottom usually found at the bottom of the unit. When the button is popped out, this means that the motor has gotten too hot or overloaded. This commonly happens when the unit gets jammed or left on for too long. Clearing the jam and resetting it would normally allow the unit to function again.

Jammed Disposal

This is a frequent problem that happens more often than you think. What is the common cause? Normally it has something to do with food or objects that are placed into the unit. Unless you are very conscious of how you use the garbage disposal, corn husks, fibrous materials, bones, glass, utensils, and other items that are not supposed to be there can cause the unit to jam.

What you need to do is to use an Allen wrench to manually turn the motor from the bottom of the unit. This will allow you to free up any jammed material and remove it from the disposal. Make sure that you use tongs or pliers in removing the jammed items and not your hand to prevent possible injury. If there is no slot at the bottom of the unit to manually move turn the blades, refer to the manufacturer’s manual.

Leaking Disposal

This does not necessarily mean that your disposal is broken. It is normal for the disposal to leak at one time or another, but not often. The first thing that you should check is the drain connection. When the cause of the leak is at the drain pipe, sometimes replacing the rubber gasket will solve the problem.

If the disposal is newly installed, make sure that the ring near the sink flange is properly tightened. Check on the seals between the sink and the disposal as well. Should you find that the cause of the leak is from the body of the unit, you will need to buy a replacement.

Noisy Disposal

Did you hear a noise from your disposal that is out of the ordinary? This can be an indication that bone, glass, metal, or other hard objects have been placed in the disposal. The object may eventually find its way to the drain system, but hoping for this to happen can also put the unit at risk of damage, so it is better to remove the object at once.

It is also a possibility that the noise can be caused by worn out bearings, blades, or loose mounting screws among others. If this is the case, you would need to replace the bearings or blades, and tighten the screws. You have to realize that the vibrations from the sink can cause the small components of the disposal to be knocked loose so do a physical inspection. If the problem has something to do with the shredder ring, you may need to replace the unit unless the manufacturer allows for a replacement shredder ring.

If after going through these common problems with garbage disposals & solutions you still cannot get your unit to work, then it is time to call Scott English Plumbing for help.