8 Most Common Signs Your Garbage Disposal Needs To Be Serviced

8 Most Common Signs Your Garbage Disposal Needs To Be Serviced

Your garbage disposal isn’t a household appliance that you often think about, but it’s important to know when yours needs to be serviced. Here are 8 of the most common signs your disposal is failing.

1. Abnormal Noises

If you hear an abnormal noise coming from your garbage disposal, it’s a sign that something has gone wrong. This can be anything from a foreign object stuck in the unit to a loose bearing that needs to be fixed. One common sound is a low humming that sounds like an object has been jammed between the shredder ring and impellers. When these parts are jammed, the garbage disposal won’t be able to spin. Another abnormal noise that you should keep an eye out for is a rattling sound. This can be caused by an item that’s gotten stuck inside your disposal, such as a bone or piece of silverware. The best way to remove this item is to use a wrench, but don’t yank on it too hard or you may break the disposal. Instead, try to gently wiggle the object away from the spinning ring and impellers. This should unstick it and restore power to your garbage disposal. If the problem still persists, call a professional plumber to take a closer look.

2. Frequent Resets

A garbage disposal is designed to automatically shut off when it is overworked, overheated, or clogged. When this happens, an integrated circuit breaker will trip and shut off the power. The reset button will usually stay latched in place after you push it, but if it continues to pop out or keeps resetting, it is time to call your plumber. This is a common problem that can happen when you overload the disposal or are using it incorrectly. The flywheel will spin a little too fast and dislodge food debris, such as wayward meat bones or pieces of dinnerware. The simplest fix is to run some tap water into the disposal and quickly turn it on and off. This will reshape the flywheel and dislodge any debris that’s stuck in there.

3. Inexplicable Clogs

If you frequently find that a garbage disposal is clogged even though you wash your food particles down the drain in small amounts, this could be a sign of a faulty appliance. These clogs can occur when you drop large pieces of food debris in the sink, but they could also be caused by a deterioration in your unit’s hardware. For example, potato skins and banana peels have starchy components that can get caught in the ring and cause a clog. Grease, fat, and oil are also common culprits of clogged drains. These substances are liquid at room temperature but solidify when they come in contact with cold water, which can stop the flow of waste and create a foul odor.

4. No Power

If your garbage disposal starts to lose power, it’s a sign that something is wrong. A circuit breaker or motor may have blown out, and the appliance needs to be reset. Usually, these issues can be fixed with a few simple steps. If it still isn’t working, call your local electrician for help. Another common sign that your garbage disposal is failing is that it will no longer turn on or shut off by itself. This can be a sign that the appliance has reached its end of life, and you will likely need to replace it.

5. Persistent Odors

A frequent odor emanating from your garbage disposal is one of the most obvious signs it’s time for a professional plumber to inspect it and fix the problem. It can be caused by food debris and a buildup of bacteria that is causing the unit to clog. It can also be a sign that the disposal’s blades are getting dull or the motor is weak. If this is the case, it may be a good idea to replace it as soon as possible to avoid more problems down the road.

6. Planned Renovation

While the best garbage disposals aren’t cheap, it may be worth the investment in a home warranty to cover repairs or replacement costs when it comes time to retire your ol’ iron horse. As with any home improvement project, it’s best to plan ahead for your renovation in order to avoid a buildup of stress and potential delays. The best plans include a clear budget, a realistic timeline and the flexibility to make changes along the way.

7. Poor Performance

If your disposal doesn’t grind up food properly, it could be due to a broken grinding chamber. Alternatively, it may be because the blades are worn out. A worn out motor can also cause problems with your disposal’s performance. This can be a sign that it’s time to replace it. The best way to determine if your garbage disposal needs to be serviced is to give it a good cleaning. This will help remove any buildup of food particles, reducing odors. It will also make it easier for the disposal to function properly. And sometimes, a simple reset can fix a clogged disposal. But other times, you may need to call in a professional plumber to diagnose and repair the issue.

8. Water Leaks

A leaky garbage disposal is not only an inconvenience, it can also cause significant damage to kitchen cabinets, tile, and sheetrock. This can result in mold and mildew growth that requires professional water damage restoration. To troubleshoot a leaking disposal, first determine its origins. Look for leaks at the sink flange, hose from the disposal to the drain, hose to the dishwasher, and discharge pipe. If a leak is coming from the sink flange, check that the mounting bolts are fastened correctly. If not, loosen them and add a fresh coat of plumber’s putty to reseal the connection. Alternatively, if the leak is coming from the drain hose or dishwasher hose, turn off the circuit breaker that powers the garbage disposal. Then, remove the hose from the disposal and inspect for any cracks or broken parts. If the leak is coming from the bottom, it means that there is a faulty internal seal inside of the garbage disposal. It may not be repairable, so a replacement will be necessary. This can be a daunting task, but it’s often worth the effort to avoid potential costly repairs in the future.

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