11 Common Garbage Disposal Problems
Fixing Garbage Disposals and What You Need to Know
Garbage disposals are essential kitchen appliances that help us dispose of food waste efficiently. However, like any other household appliance, they can malfunction or wear out over time. In this guide, we will cover various aspects related to your garbage disposal, including how to fix common issues, when to replace them, where to purchase new ones, their cost, lifespan, the tools needed for the job, and the potential savings if homeowners learn how to replace them with guidance from plumbers via Video Chat A Pro.
11 Common Garbage Disposal Problems and The Symptoms
Garbage disposals are convenient kitchen appliances, but like any mechanical device, they can encounter various common issues over time. These problems can disrupt their performance and efficiency. Here are some of the most frequent issues that garbage disposals may face:
1. Clogs: A common problem is clogging, which occurs when food particles, grease, or other debris accumulate in the disposal and impede the grinding process. This can lead to slow drainage or a complete blockage.
2. Jamming: Garbage disposals can become jammed when foreign objects, such as silverware, bones, or hard food items, get stuck in the grinding chamber. This can cause the disposal's motor to stall or make unusual noises.
3. Leaks: Leaks can develop at various points in the disposal system, such as around the sink flange, the dishwasher connection, or the disposal unit itself. Leaks can result from loose connections, damaged seals, or corrosion.
4. Strange Noises: Unusual noises, like grinding or rattling sounds, can indicate a problem with the disposal motor or blades. This might be caused by foreign objects, worn-out components, or a misalignment.
5. Overheating and Resetting: If a garbage disposal overheats due to prolonged use or a jam, it may automatically shut off and require a manual reset, often with a reset button. This is a safety feature to prevent motor damage.
6. Foul Odors: Bacteria and food residue buildup in the disposal can lead to unpleasant odors emanating from the sink. Regular cleaning and maintenance can help prevent this issue.
7. Lack of Power: In some cases, the disposal may not turn on at all, which could be due to an electrical issue, a tripped circuit breaker, a faulty switch, or a damaged motor.
8. Low Grinding Performance: Garbage disposals may lose grinding efficiency over time, resulting in inadequate disposal of food waste, requiring more time to process the same amount of material.
9. Corrosion: If the disposal's components, especially its blades, become corroded, it can affect its overall performance and lifespan.
10. Garbage Disposal Is Humming: Sometimes, the disposal unit may emit a humming sound without effectively grinding food waste. This could indicate a jam or a motor issue, use the wrench supplied with the disposal to unjam the disposal after you remove the foreign object.
11. Garbage Disposal Not Working: This is a general issue where the disposal fails to operate and could be due to various causes, including electrical problems, a jam, or a malfunctioning motor.
Depending on the issue's severity, you may be able to troubleshoot and fix it yourself with professional plumbing assistance from a plumber for more complex repairs or replacements.
Fixing a Garbage Disposal is Easy with Help from a Plumber
Garbage disposals can develop issues like clogs, leaks, or strange noises. Here's a step-by-step guide to fixing common problems:
1. Safety First: Always turn off the power to the disposal unit before attempting any repairs.
2. Clearing Clogs: Use a disposal wrench or an Allen wrench to manually rotate the disposal impellers to clear any jams. If that doesn't work, you might need to remove the disposal.
3. Leak Repairs: Leaks usually occur at the sink flange or the disposal connections. Tighten loose connections or replace damaged parts.
4. Noise Reduction: Noisy disposals can often be fixed by removing foreign objects or debris from the unit.
Replacing Your Garbage Disposal May Be the Best Repair
If your garbage disposal is beyond repair, replacing it is the next step. Here's how:
1. Gather Supplies: You'll need a new garbage disposal, a screwdriver, plumber's putty, channel locks, and a small bucket.
2. Turn Off Power and Water: Shut off the power to the garbage disposal.
3. Remove the Old Unit: Disconnect the old disposal, remove it, and clean the flange area thoroughly.
4. Install New Disposal: Follow the plumber's instructions to install the new disposal unit, including sealing it with the plumber's putty.
5. Reconnect Plumbing: Reconnect the plumbing, and apply thread sealant to the slip washer's secure connections.
6. Test the New Disposal: Turn on the power and water at the same time to test the disposal to ensure it's working correctly. Then use the drain stopper and fill the sink to test the drain for leaks.
Here are 6 of the Most Popular Garbage Disposal Brands Commonly Found in Homes
1. InSinkErator is one of the most well-known and trusted brands in the garbage disposal industry. They offer a wide range of disposals, from basic models to high-end units with advanced features. InSinkErator's products are known for their durability and efficiency.
2. Waste King is another reputable brand that is recognized for producing reliable and budget-friendly garbage disposals. They are known for their powerful motors and easy installation.
3. KitchenAid, a household appliance brand, also offers a line of garbage disposals. Their disposals are known for their quiet operation and solid performance.
4. Moen, a well-known plumbing fixture manufacturer, produces a range of garbage disposals that are designed for durability and ease of use.
5. General Electric (GE): GE offers a selection of garbage disposals that are often praised for their quality and dependability.
6. Whirlpool is another respected brand in the appliance industry, and they manufacture garbage disposals that are known for their performance and longevity.
Remember that when choosing a garbage disposal, it's essential to consider your specific needs, budget, and any unique features or requirements you may have for your kitchen setup. Additionally, I recommend asking a plumber about these brands to ensure you make an informed decision based on the most up-to-date information available.
Why Garbage Disposals Are Commonly Replaced by Homeowners
Garbage disposals are frequently replaced by homeowners due to several reasons, including wear and tear over time, increased efficiency with newer models, and addressing irreparable damage or malfunctions. Additionally, homeowners may choose to upgrade to quieter, more powerful disposals or ones with advanced features like multi-stage grinding.
Where to Purchase Garbage Disposals
You can purchase garbage disposals from various sources, including home improvement stores like Home Depot and Lowe's, appliance retailers, and online marketplaces such as Amazon. It's essential to research different brands and models to find one that suits your needs and budget.
How Much Are Garbage Disposals
The cost of garbage disposals can vary widely depending on the brand, model, and features. On average, basic disposals can range from $50 to $150, while more advanced models with additional features may cost between $200 and $400. Keep in mind that installation costs are separate and may require a plumber's assistance if you're not confident in DIY installations.
Lifespan of Garbage Disposals
The lifespan of a garbage disposal largely depends on usage and maintenance. On average, they can last between 10 to 15 years. Regular cleaning, avoiding disposing of hard materials, and promptly addressing issues can extend the lifespan of your disposal unit.
Tools Needed for Garbage Disposal Repair and Replacement
For both repair or replacement, you'll need a few essential tools such as a screwdriver, an Allen wrench, a wrench for plumbing connections, plumber's putty, a bucket for catching water, and potentially a disposal wrench for clearing jams. Ensure you have the necessary safety equipment, including gloves and safety glasses.
Savings with Video Chat A Pro Guidance
You can save a significant amount of money by learning how to replace garbage disposals with instructions from experienced plumbers on Video Chat A Pro. By avoiding the cost of hiring a plumber for the installation, you can potentially save hundreds of dollars. Moreover, guidance from a professional ensures that the installation is done correctly and safely.
In addition to cost savings, homeowners can gain valuable knowledge about maintaining and troubleshooting their garbage disposals, reducing the need for future repairs or replacements. Video Chat A Pro provides a convenient and cost-effective way to learn essential plumbing skills and tackle home improvement projects with confidence.