A garbage disposal is a handy appliance that helps you dispose of food waste quickly and easily. As you use it daily, the blades inside the disposal grind up the food, which then flows down the drain. But, like any other machine, your garbage disposal can develop problems that can reduce its efficiency. It’s essential to know the signs of a faulty garbage disposal so that you can address the issue before it becomes more severe. In this article, we’ll discuss the top five signs that your garbage disposal needs repair.
How a Garbage Disposal Works
Before discussing the signs of a faulty garbage disposal, it’s essential to understand how it works. A garbage disposal unit is connected to the sink and has a motor that powers the blades that grind up the food. The food waste then flows through the drain pipes and into the sewage system. Garbage disposals are durable and can last for years with proper maintenance. However, they are not indestructible and can develop problems over time, leading to malfunctions.
Signs That Your Garbage Disposal Needs Repair
If you hear unusual sounds coming from your garbage disposal, it could be a sign that it needs repair. Grinding or rattling noises can indicate that the blades inside the disposal are broken or dull. If the motor is humming but the blades aren’t moving, it could be due to a jam. If you hear a high-pitched screeching noise, it could indicate that the bearings or motor are failing. In any case, strange noises are never a good sign and should be addressed promptly.
If the water in your sink is draining slowly, it could be due to a clogged garbage disposal. When food waste accumulates inside the disposal, it can clog the drain pipes, leading to slow draining. If you notice that the water is backing up into your sink, it’s a sign that your garbage disposal needs repair. A clogged drain can also cause foul odors to emanate from your sink, which is another sign of a faulty disposal.
One of the most unpleasant signs of a faulty garbage disposal is foul odors. When food waste accumulates inside the disposal, it can start to rot and emit a foul smell. If you notice a persistent odor coming from your sink, it could be due to a clogged garbage disposal. It’s essential to address the issue promptly since the smell can permeate your entire kitchen and create an unpleasant living environment.
If you notice water leaking from your garbage disposal, it’s a sign that it needs repair. Leaks can occur due to loose connections or damaged pipes. If the leak is coming from the bottom of the disposal, it could be due to a cracked housing. Leaks can cause water damage to your kitchen cabinets and floors, so it’s essential to address the issue promptly.
If the blades inside your garbage disposal are jammed, it can cause the motor to overheat and shut off. A jammed disposal can occur when large food particles get stuck in the blades or when non-food items are accidentally put into the disposal. If you notice that the blades aren’t moving or you hear a humming sound, it could be due to a jam. You should never put your hand inside the disposal to remove the jam as it can be dangerous. Instead, use pliers or call a professional.
DIY Troubleshooting and Repair Tips
If you notice any of the signs mentioned above, there are a few things you can do to troubleshoot the issue before calling a professional. First, turn off the power to the disposal by unplugging it or turning off the circuit breaker. Next, check for any clogs by shining a flashlight into the disposal. If you see any food particles or debris, use tongs or pliers to remove them. You can also try running hot water down the drain to dissolve any clogs.
If the issue persists, you can try resetting the disposal. Most garbage disposals have a reset button located on the bottom of the unit. Press the button and wait for a few minutes before turning the power back on. If the disposal still isn’t working correctly, it’s time to call a professional.
When to Call a Professional
While some minor issues with your garbage disposal can be addressed by DIY troubleshooting, it’s best to call a professional plumber if the problem persists. A professional plumber or electrician can diagnose the issue and provide a quick and effective solution. Attempting to fix a faulty disposal without the proper knowledge and tools can be dangerous and can cause further damage to the unit.
A garbage disposal is a convenient appliance that helps you keep your kitchen clean and hygienic. However, like any mechanical device, it can develop problems over time that can reduce its efficiency. Knowing the signs of a faulty garbage disposal can help you address the issue before it becomes more severe. If you notice strange noises, slow drains, foul odors, leaks, or jammed blades, it’s time to take action. By following the DIY troubleshooting tips mentioned above and calling a professional when needed, you can keep your garbage disposal working efficiently for years to come.