Garbage Disposal

6 Common Garbage Disposal Problems and DIY Fixes

Garbage disposals are the unsung heroes of our kitchens, grinding up waste and keeping our sinks clear. But like any appliance, they can run into trouble. Here we’ll explore some common garbage disposal problems and how to fix them yourself, as well as a couple of issues that should be left to the professionals.

DIY-Friendly Garbage Disposal Fixes

1. Garbage Disposal Won’t Turn On

Cause: Often, this is due to the disposal being unplugged or a tripped circuit breaker.

Fix: Check to ensure the disposal is plugged in. If it is, press the reset button found on the bottom of the unit. If it still doesn’t work, check your home’s circuit breaker or fuse box.

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2. Jammed Disposal

Cause: Overloading or inserting inappropriate items (like bones or corn husks) can jam the disposal.

Fix: First, turn off the power to the disposal at the circuit breaker. Use an Allen wrench to manually turn the blades from the bottom of the unit. If your disposal doesn’t have a manual crank, use a broom handle from the top to gently turn the blades.

Garbage Disposal Repair

3. Slow Draining

Cause: A slow drain may indicate a clog in the disposal or the drain pipe.

Fix: Use a plunger to attempt to clear the clog. If this doesn’t work, you may need to remove the trap found under the sink and clear out any debris. Remember to place a bucket underneath to catch any spills.

4. Noise Issues

Cause: Unusual noises often come from foreign objects (like silverware) accidentally dropped into the disposal.

Fix: Turn off the power and use tongs or pliers to carefully remove the object. Never put your hand into the disposal.

5. Foul Odors

Cause: Food waste buildup can lead to unpleasant smells.

Fix: First, clean the splash guard. Then, grind lemon peels or a mixture of baking soda and vinegar to eliminate odors. Regularly flushing the disposal with water also helps prevent buildup.

6. Leaks

Cause: Leaks can come from loose connections, worn-out gaskets, or cracks in the unit.

Fix: Tighten any loose fittings. If you find a worn-out gasket, turn off the power to the disposal, disassemble the drain flange, and replace the gasket.

4 Garbage Disposal Repairs Best Left to Professionals

Well, it’s always great to save money sometimes there are appliance repairs that simply need a professional. Here are 4 circumstances were you should call a profession.

1. Persistent Leaks

If you’ve tried tightening connections and replacing gaskets but the disposal still leaks, there could be a crack in the unit or an issue with the internal seals. A professional can diagnose whether it’s repairable or if you need a replacement.

2. Motor Problems

If the motor hums but the disposal doesn’t operate, even after trying to manually turn the blades or hitting the reset button, the motor might be burned out or faulty. Motor repairs are complex and can be dangerous without proper training and tools.

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3. Electrical Issues

If your disposal is tripping the breaker repeatedly or has wiring problems, this could pose a serious risk of electrical shock or fire. An electrician can safely repair garbage disposals and issues like these, ensuring your disposal is wired correctly to your home’s electrical system.

4. Installation Errors

Improperly installed disposals can lead to a host of problems, from leaks to poor performance. If you’re unsure about any part of the installation process, it’s worth hiring a professional to ensure it’s done correctly.

Top Garage Disposal Brands When You Need to Replace

When it comes time to replace your garbage disposal, the market offers a variety of reliable brands known for their durability, power, and innovation in waste management technology. Here are a few top brands to consider:

1. InSinkErator Garbage Disposal

InSinkErator is often recognized as a leading brand in the garbage disposal industry. They offer a wide range of models from basic to high-end, with features such as multi-grind stages, noise reduction technology, and powerful motors. Their Evolution series is particularly popular for its performance and quiet operation.

2. Waste King Garbage Disposal

Waste King disposals are known for their high-speed motors and easy installation. Many of their models come with a pre-installed power cord and are backed by lengthy warranties, reflecting their durability and quality. They offer both continuous feed and batch feed disposals, catering to different user preferences.

3. Moen Garbage Disposal

Moen, traditionally known for faucets, also offers a line of garbage disposals. Their disposals are praised for easy installation and use of VORTEX™ permanent magnet motor technology, providing fast grinding speeds. They tend to focus on user-friendly features and long-lasting components.

4. KitchenAid Garbage Disposal

KitchenAid garbage disposals are known for their sturdy build and efficiency. They usually feature sound-sealing technology, making them some of the quieter options on the market. They offer a variety of models with different horsepower to suit various household needs.

5. GE Appliances Garbage Disposal

GE offers garbage disposals with powerful grinding action and large-capacity units designed to handle large amounts of food waste. Known for their quality appliances, GE disposals are also built to last and come with reliable warranties.

When choosing a new garbage disposal, it’s essential to consider factors like motor power, noise level, price, and warranty. These top brands have been trusted by homeowners for years and continue to innovate in the space to provide better, more efficient disposals. Remember to ensure that the model you select is compatible with your plumbing and sink setup.


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