How to Tell if the Garbage Disposal is Broken
The garbage disposal is the unsung hero of the kitchen. It simplifies food disposal, streamlining the food preparation and cleanup process. But like all other home appliances, there comes a time when homeowners will have to figure out if their disposal needs repair or replacement. Homeowners can solve some problems, but a plumbing professional must tackle others. This is why homeowners should know the signs of garbage disposal on the fritz — and what to do about them. Read on to find out the top three signs it's time for garbage disposal repair.
Does it Make Strange Sounds When Running?
Strange sounds during operation are a good sign something's wrong with the disposal. Two common sounds are humming (without running) and screeching. When a garbage disposal hums but doesn't run, it suggests the issue is a clogged garbage disposal. The humming noise is the motor attempting to rotate the impellers, but a jam of food particles prevents proper operation. If this is the case, homeowners can try to clear the jam by first turning off the power supply to the disposal, then using an Allen wrench to manually rotate the motor shaft and dislodge the jam. This involves getting under the sink and accessing the bottom of the disposal. However, if this doesn't fix the issue or it happens again shortly after, it's probably time to call a plumber.
If the disposal makes screeching noise accompanied by grinding metal, it indicates that a component may be out of place. When disposal makes this noise, it usually suggests that the impeller or flywheel has become misaligned or damaged. This misalignment prevents the unit from operating smoothly and causing the screeching sound. Since fixing the issue may require disassembling the unit and repositioning or replacing the components, it's not usually a good DIY project. Best to call a plumber to deal with the issue.
Is it Struggling?
Another sure sign it's time for garbage disposal repair is if the unit struggles to perform its function. This is often attributed to dull blades or "teeth" that grind food. Over time, the continuous grinding of food waste can wear down the sharp teeth. When they become dull, they are less effective at chopping and breaking down the food particles, resulting in slower operation and reduced performance. This can lead to clogs and an overall reduction in the disposal's effectiveness. If this is the case, it may be best to replace the shredding ring. However, the most economical option in some cases could be garbage disposal replacement.
Another issue that can affect the performance of garbage disposal is the frequent need to use the garbage reset button. The reset button is a safety feature designed to protect the motor from overheating or electrical overload. However, if the reset button needs to be pressed often, it indicates an underlying issue within the disposal. Homeowners who frequently have to use the button may need to contact a plumber who can diagnose the problem and provide the necessary repairs or replacements to address the issue.
Does it Smell Bad?
The last sign a garbage disposal needs repair is the odor from the sink. If the garbage disposal smells bad, it can indicate underlying problems that require attention. One common issue that leads to unpleasant odors is the accumulation of food waste in the disposal. This buildup can lead to the growth of bacteria and mold, resulting in awful smells. If the disposal has a clog or blockage, it can cause stagnant water and rotting food to accumulate, exacerbating the unpleasant odors. To address this problem effectively, hiring a professional plumber who can thoroughly clean and sanitize the garbage disposal, ensuring the removal of any trapped debris, and eliminating the source of the foul smells is crucial.
A professional can clean and sanitize the disposal and inspect it for potential issues such as leaks, damaged seals, or worn-out components that may contribute to the foul smells. By relying on a professional, homeowners can be confident that their garbage disposal will be restored to optimal functioning, eliminating foul odors and ensuring a pleasant kitchen environment.
About Charles Krull & Son, Inc. Plumbing & Heating
Charles Krull & Son, Inc. Plumbing & Heating has pridefully served Malverne, NY for over a century! Their service puts homeowner comfort, safety, and peace of mind first. They provide expert workmanship and upfront pricing. Contact them today for plumbing service in Malverne, NY.