4 Common Garbage Disposal Problems

garbage disposal problems

The garbage disposal is one of those conveniences of modern life that has become indispensable to many homeowners. Unfortunately, when this appliance starts having performance issues, a whole host of problems can

arise, from a backed-up sink to unpleasant smells coming from the drain. To keep your disposal system running smoothly, keep an eye out for the following signs that your unit may be having issues:

  • The sink won’t drain. If the water in your sink is backing up instead of draining, you have one of two problems: a clog in the kitchen sink pipe or a garbage disposal clog. The former can be caused by the build-up of sediment, grease or hair over time; the latter, by trying to dispose of large amounts of starchy foods at one time, like potato peels, pasta or rice. Remember, garbage disposals – and the plumbing systems of most cities – generally aren’t able to handle large amounts of food waste. While you can call on a craftsman from Master Handyman  when you need electric repair service, there are steps you can take to bust the clog if you want to give it a try on your own before calling in a professional.
  • The blades aren’t turning. If you can hear a humming or buzzing sound and the blades of the garbage disposal are starting and stopping sporadically or not turning at all, there may be something stuck in the flywheel – the rotating plate that turns the blades. Once this obstruction is removed and the disposal is reset, the blades should turn smoothly again.
  • There’s no power. If you flip the switch but the disposal doesn’t turn on or make any noise, it’s probably not receiving power. This problem can be caused by the plug getting knocked out of the outlet, or the disposal could just need to be reset. If, after checking out the situation, you determine that neither is the issue, you may want to go ahead and call in one of our experienced craftsmen to fix the problem.
  • The garbage disposal is leaking. If you notice that your disposal is leaking, you must first determine the origin of the leak before you can go about fixing it. Leaks can have several different causes. The sink flange or gasket could be loose or damaged. The clamp on the hose line may not be secured tightly enough. The drain line could be loose or disconnected. The disposal itself could be cracked or broken.