5 Common Garbage Disposal Problems and How to Identify Them

Garbage disposals are a convenient and efficient tool in any kitchen, but like any other appliance, they can encounter problems from time to time. Understanding common issues with garbage disposals and knowing how to identify them can save you both time and money. 

Jammed or Clogged Disposal

A jammed or clogged disposal is a common issue that can occur when large or tough food scraps and debris get trapped in the disposal blades. Signs of a jammed or clogged disposal include a humming noise when the disposal is turned on, water backing up in the sink, or the disposal not grinding food waste properly.

To identify a jammed or clogged disposal, start by turning off the power to the disposal and then use tongs or pliers to remove any visible debris. Once the visible debris is cleared, try using the reset button on the bottom or side of the disposal. If the problem persists, it is best to contact a professional plumber to avoid further damage.

Leaking Disposal

A leaking disposal is another common problem that homeowners may encounter. Leaks can occur at various points, such as the sink flange, dishwasher connection, or drain pipe. Signs of a leaking disposal include water puddles under the sink, water dripping from the disposal unit, or mold and mildew growth.

To identify a leaking disposal, inspect the connections for any visible signs of water or moisture. Tighten any loose connections or replace worn-out gaskets. If the leak continues, it is advisable to contact a professional plumber for expert assistance.

Faulty or Inoperative Disposal

If your disposal is not turning on or seems to be unresponsive, it may have a faulty electrical connection or a malfunctioning motor. Signs of a faulty or inoperative disposal include the unit not making any noise when turned on or not grinding food waste.

To identify a faulty or inoperative disposal, first, ensure that the unit is receiving power by checking the circuit breaker or fuse box. If the power supply is not the issue, try pressing the reset button on the disposal. If the problem persists, it is recommended to consult a professional plumber for further evaluation and repair.

Foul Odors

Persistent foul odors emanating from your garbage disposal can be unpleasant and indicate the presence of food residue and bacteria buildup. Signs of foul odors include a lingering smell even after running the disposal and using cleaning agents.

To identify foul odors, inspect the disposal for any visible food debris and clean it thoroughly using a mixture of baking soda, vinegar, and hot water. If the odor persists, it is advisable to contact a professional plumber to assess the issue.

Contact a plumber near you to learn more.