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5 Common Garbage Disposal Issues & Solutions

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It can interrupt your whole day when you discover garbage disposal issues. If there’s a clogged drain or jammed disposal, you can’t use the kitchen sink, wash dishes, or get on with your life. Plus, it’s easy to get stuck spending half your day trying to tinker with the problem to no avail.

Thankfully, you don’t have to struggle the next time your garbage disposal gives you hassles. Here, Milton’s experienced plumber at Green Energy Mechanical, Inc. discusses five common garbage disposal problems, possible solutions, and when to call a professional.

What Are The Most Common Garbage Disposal Issues?

The garbage disposal pulverizes bits of food so that they can go down the plumbing system without causing issues. A few common garbage disposal problems include the following:

  • Clogged drain pipe
  • Leaks caused by worn parts
  • Electrical problems

All appliances need service at some point, and the garbage disposal is no different. If you’re noticing the above common garbage disposal issues or other problems, don’t wait to call a licensed plumber for solutions. They’ll start with the five steps listed below.

Step 1: Push the Reset Button

Disposals have a reset button that prevents an unexpected power surge from causing permanent damage. If the reset button trips, the disposal will stop working.

  • Switch off the garbage disposal.
  • Locate the reset button (usually on the bottom).
  • Press the button.
  • Switch on the disposal.

Step 2: Reset the Outlet

If the reset doesn’t work, move to the GFCI outlet. These outlets also have a reset button that acts as a mini circuit breaker. If it detects excess moisture or an unsafe electricity level, it switches off the power to the outlet to avoid permanent damage. 

  • Locate the outlet (where the disposal is plugged in).
  • Press the reset button. 

Step 3: Check The Power Source

If your disposal stops working and doesn’t come on with either of the resets above, the problem could be with the power source itself. For example, outdated wiring can cause an outlet to stop working without warning. 

  • Open your home’s breaker panel.
  • Check for a tripped circuit. 

If all breakers are in the “on” position, you’ll need to call a professional to continue with repairs. They’ll use a voltage tester to find out if the outlet has electricity flowing to it.

Step 4: Check for Leaks

Does your garbage disposal now work, but you’ve discovered excess moisture under your sink? It could have a damaged part that’s causing a leak. 

Some garbage disposal issues arise from the strong vibrations that happen as the disposal grinds food. The vibrations can loosen hardware and create sink leakage. An experienced plumber, like Green Energy Mechanical, Inc., can find the source of the leak and replace the damaged part so that you can safely resume using your garbage disposal.

Step 5: Clear a Clog

A jammed disposal could just need a little maintenance. If you notice the disposal draining slowly, use a sink plunger to try to break up debris so it can move quicker and not clog your plumbing system

Another way to remedy a clogged drain is by detaching the pipe from the garbage disposal itself. However, before you attempt this, switch off the disposal. Then, detach the pipe, clear blockages, and empty the drain trap on the disposal.

A Bonus Tip: Preventive Maintenance

Once you repair the problem with your garbage disposal, you’ll want to do everything possible to avoid another repair, so take note of the following:

  • Use a sink strainer to prevent silverware and other large items from going down the drain.
  • Don’t put large pieces of food into your disposal.
  • Never allow bones to enter your disposal unit.
  • Always run the water the entire time you use your disposal and keep it running for a few seconds after you turn the disposal off.

These simple measures can help you avoid serious damage to your disposal and plumbing system, as well as extend the life of your trusty garbage disposal.

Maintain Your Garbage Disposal With Green and Clean Professional Help

When your garbage disposal stops working, or if you notice other problems like grinding blades or a leak coming from the disposal, call a professional plumber to repair the problem safely.

Green Energy Mechanical, Inc. can help with all types of garbage disposal issues, including repairs or guidance on what not to put down your garbage disposal. To schedule service, fill out our online form or call 781-236-3421 today!


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