Garbage disposals are an integral part of almost every American home. They work hard behind the scenes, chewing up food scraps fed down the drain. Yet, people don’t seem to give much thought to these trusty appliances until they start acting up.
Like most things in your home, a garbage disposal may malfunction due to prolonged use or aging. Besides, the units can also run into maintenance-related issues once in a while, especially if they’re neglected.
While you cannot keep your garbage disposal in top shape forever, learning to spot the warning signs of repair can help minimize full-blown kitchen disasters. Plus, you’ll also know when to shell out for a garbage disposal replacement.
Let’s explore the nine red flags that indicate you need expert garbage disposal plumbing services pronto.
Screeching metallic sounds from your InSinkErator garbage disposal usually suggest there’s a loose or broken part tossing around in there. This calls for urgent repairs.
But first, use a handheld light source to check if there’s a lost piece of silverware stuck inside the unit. In case you don’t find anything blocking the blades, hire a garbage disposal plumbing expert to isolate the source of the problem. Be sure to address these noises quickly, before the obstructions inflict permanent damage on the motor.
Tripping Circuit Breaker
Because garbage disposals use a lot of power, you can experience small electric surges across your home when you switch them on. However, a constantly tripping circuit breaker is a bad sign. You may be dealing with a wiring issue, either within the disposal itself or inside your home’s electrical panel. Either way, it is best to leave this problem to the experts.
Did you know that your garbage disposal comes with a reset button that helps the unit recover from large loads and clogs? Convenient, isn’t it?
That said, frequent garbage disposal resets are more common in models that are past their prime. If your garbage disposal is brand-new, you should not have to use the reset button too often.
In this case, consider getting a garbage disposal replacement instead of shelling out for additional repairs. Doing this is sure to save you a lot of money in the long run.
Food Jams and Backups
A clogged home garbage disposal is probably the last thing you want to deal with after a long, hard day. Generally, the problem can be fixed by switching on the disposal and letting it run for a while.
But in case this doesn’t work, or if even a small amount of food clogs the unit, it may be time to dial up a garbage disposal plumbing services provider. Food jams often point towards dull blades and insufficient power, among other things. Occasionally, these clogs can simply mean your unit is undersized for your home.
Does Not Turn On
A garbage disposal that refuses to turn on or shuts down by itself spells trouble for most homeowners. This may be happening due to:
- A blown circuit
- A failing motor
Needless to say, you should not be handling these issues yourself. Instead, schedule a garbage disposal inspection as soon as possible. The experts will be able to determine the problem and suggest possible remediation efforts much more accurately.
Sometimes, the disposal may hum but still not startup. This is a sign that the motor has died. It may be your time to bid farewell to your old unit and dial for a new garbage disposal installation.
Persistent Bad Odors
Since garbage disposals break down wet food, they do not smell like roses all the time. But the good news is, most of these odors are temporary and should go away with a thorough rinse.
In this regard, note that you should never use harsh chemical cleaners on your garbage disposal. Being corrosive, they can devastate the unit’s blades and components for good. Always use gentle soaps and cold water to clean out your disposal.
However, if the smell persists even after multiple cleaning sessions, you should call your plumber to take the appliance apart and remove any trapped food particles from the blades.
Do you often find water pooling around your feet while you do your dishes? Your garbage disposal may be to blame for this.
Garbage disposals can leak when there is a crack in the unit, or when seals within the appliance disintegrate. Depending on the situation, you may need to get a plumber to fix the broken seals or replace the cracked unit.
Long Time to Work
Once you use your garbage disposal regularly, you will have a fair idea about how long it takes to chew up different food items.
So, when it seems to slow down all of a sudden, it is probably because the blades are dull. All your plumber has to do is replace or sharpen the dull blades, and you’re good to go!
Another possible (and more serious) explanation for this is that the motor is on its last legs. This means the unit can no longer handle your workload and needs to be replaced soon.
Even if your garbage disposal runs fine, you may notice that it is taking too long for the water and waste to drain out. This may be due to clogs within the disposal unit and further down the drainpipes.
Before calling the plumber, you may want to turn the blades manually to see if the sink drains faster. Alternatively, you can plunge the drain and run hot water to remove stubborn clogs. If none of this works, you will likely need professional assistance.
The Bottom Line
Garbage disposals play a huge role in the kitchen. As a result, you probably want to keep them functional for as long as possible. Now that you know about the nine different warning signs of a failing garbage disposal, you’ll be able to resolve the issues before they snowball out of control.
Need urgent garbage disposal repair? Look no further than D Star Plumbing! With decades of experience fixing faulty garbage disposals, we can get your unit back in shape in no time. For more information, feel free to reach out to us today!