Symptoms of a Garbage Disposal Problem
- If the motor makes a humming noise but the waste is not being sent down the drain, it may be clogged.
- If the garbage disposal won’t grind but the motor makes a humming noise, it may be jammed.
- A pool of water underneath your sink may be from a leaky garbage disposal.
- If you flip the switch and your garbage disposal doesn’t make a sound, it probably overheated due to overfilling and has tripped itself off. See if resetting the GFCI outlet solves the problem.
Please note: Before trying a DIY fix, make sure the garbage disposal is turned off and the circuit breaker is shut off.
Proper maintenance for garbage disposals is crucial to preventing problems
The majority of garbage disposal problems are avoidable, and garbage disposal maintenance is pretty simple.
What you should do:
- Clean and deodorize your garbage disposal by pouring a little dish soap into it, turning on the cold water, and running it for about a minute.
- Regularly run your garbage disposal to help prevent rust and corrosion, prevent parts from freezing up, and prevent buildup from food waste.
- Turn your cold water on full strength when using your disposal. Cold water hardens food, making it easier for the garbage disposal to grind it up and push it out the drain pipe.
- Keep the disposal running a little longer. After your garbage disposal has finished grinding up the waste, keep it and the water running for a minute. This ensures that all the food has been flushed out the drain pipe to prevent clogs.
- Break up large food items into smaller pieces so the disposal is not overfilled which could cause it to overheat.
- Always use a drain strainer to help avoid blockages.
- Eliminate odors from your disposal by grinding up a small lemon peel with ice cubes while running water. Borax can be used to help eliminate odor-causing mold and mildew that is in your garbage disposal.
- Turn off the garbage disposal before you turn the water off.
What not to do:
- Never grind plastic, metal, glass, or paper products, or cigarette butts.
- Don’t use hot water when using your garbage disposal. Hot water works great for cleaning most things, but not your garbage disposal. Hot water can melt the food your disposal is trying to grind up, allowing the waste to cling to the sides.
- Do not grind fibrous foods like celery and onion skins. The fibers can wind around the blades causing the motor to jam, leading to a blocked drain.
- Don’t pour grease down the drain. It can build up on the blades and inside the drain causing difficulty grinding or a clogged drain.
- Avoid putting potato peels in the garbage disposal because the starches may stick the blades together.
- Do not put pasta or rice down the drain. They will absorb water and possibly clog the drain.
- Avoid grinding bones.
- Avoid putting coffee grounds down the drain. While they won’t damage your garbage disposal, they can build up in the drain and cause a clog.
- Do not use bleach or drain cleaners. They can damage the garbage disposal blades and your pipes.
Cincinnati Garbage Disposal Repair
Sometimes, if your garbage disposal won’t start, you can try resetting your GFI outlet and that’s all it needs. If it still doesn’t work after trying this trick, it’s important to have the unit professionally inspected before trying to use it again. You could burn up the motor if continue to use a broken garbage disposal. If your garbage disposal stops working correctly or starts making loud or unusual noises, get it checked out. Most disposal problems are minor and can be repaired quickly.
When you need service to repair your garbage disposal, our licensed plumbers are ready to find and fix the problem. Whether the fix is a repair or a new garbage disposal, we have fully-stocked trucks and the experience and training to get the job done in a timely manner.
Repair or Replace Your Garbage Disposal?
Loose or broken blades in your garbage disposal can be fixed with a simple repair. However, a larger issue like a motor that has burned out will require replacement. Sometimes a repair can be almost the same cost as a new disposal. With our upfront pricing, there won’t be any surprises. Our plumber will assess the situation and let you know all the options available to you so that you can make an informed decision.