Your kitchen is much more functional with a garbage disposal. You likely use this unit in your sink nearly every day. When your garbage disposal is showing signs of distress, call a professional for help. Never attempt to fix your garbage disposal on your own; you could get hurt.
Here are signs your garbage disposal is in need of professional maintenance. If you see these signs, call a plumber right away to inspect the unit and make repairs as needed.
Rattling or Metal Grinding Sounds
Your garbage disposal is not the quietest appliance in your home, but you should be alarmed if you hear strange rattling or a metallic grinding sound coming from your unit. Your garbage disposal could be making strange noises for several reasons, including:
- Something like a utensil stuck in the disposal opening
- Missing or loose blades or components
- Mechanical issues with the motor
Never stick your hand inside your garbage disposal to retrieve a missing utensil stuck inside. Almost 1,000 people a year end up in emergency rooms with cuts and fractures related to garbage disposal use, according to the National Fire Protection Association.
Your garbage disposal should be periodically cleaned to kill germs and bacteria that get trapped inside the appliance from grinding unwanted waste. A combination of baking soda and white vinegar can easily clean your appliance and keep odors at bay.
However, lingering or strong odors coming from your garbage disposal can mean that food debris is caught somewhere in the bin of your unit or lodged inside its gears. The only way to discover what is causing your garbage disposal to stink is to call your plumber, who will take the unit apart to locate – and remove – the offending odor.
Two things you may notice if your garbage disposal’s blades are dull or worn out are slow activating and jamming or stalling.
Your appliance may take its time grinding down the food debris you put in your garbage disposal. You may have to feed your unit less matter than usual to get the job done more quickly.
Jamming or Stalling
Worn blades can jam easily due to being unable to chop the matter that is sent down your garbage disposal. When the blades don’t work well, they can halt, causing you to turn the switch to the unit off and on repeatedly to eliminate waste effectively.
Your garbage disposal should not leak underneath your sink. Any leaks should be immediately brought to the attention of your plumber, as worn or loose seals (or cracked pipes) can cause a major plumbing problem in your home.
Your garbage disposal may only leak when it’s in use (which can indicate worn seals) or all the time (bad pipes). Your plumber will look under your sink to identify why your garbage disposal is dripping water.
If your garbage disposal only operates periodically, the first thing you should do is check the circuit breaker to make sure you haven’t blown a fuse where the unit is connected. However, a garbage disposal that has unreliable power usually has a bad motor. You will often notice the above signs of wear along with power failure.
In the case of a bad motor, your plumber will inspect the whole functionality of your garbage disposal to see if replacing your entire appliance is your best option. If your garbage disposal is relatively new and shows no other signs of wear, replacing the motor may be all that is needed.
Your garbage disposal should last for many years with regular care. Our plumbers at Moon Valley Plumbing and Rooter will assist you in any of your home’s plumbing needs; call us today to schedule an appointment.