common garbage disposal problems

The garbage disposal in your home is a convenient and trustworthy appliance. With just the flick of a switch, it helps pulverize any extra scraps of food and drains them away. However, any wrong and careless move and you can reduce the efficiency of your trusty kitchen appliance. The last thing you want is your garbage disposal creating problems for you or breaking down in the middle of a big Thanksgiving meal with your family. That is why the pros at Freedom Air and Heat have created a quick guide to fix some common garbage disposal problems, so you can get it up and running in no time!

Garbage Disposal Dos and Don’ts

Before you learn how to fix these common garbage disposal problems, learn some garbage disposal dos and don’ts.

  • DON’T put in items such as coffee grounds, large bones, egg shells, grease and potato peels in your disposal.
  • DO wash out your disposal drain with cold water.
  • DON’T grind metal, plastic, paper or glass in the disposal.
  • DO run your garbage disposal regularly.
  • DON’T use harsh chemicals like bleach or drain cleaner.
  • DO use your trash can—the garbage disposal is meant to pulverize smaller bones and pieces of food.

Common Garbage Disposal Problems

Now that you know some basic garbage disposal dos and don’ts, learn how to troubleshoot the most common garbage disposal problems. Often, these problems are easily fixable with some tools and determination. However, if your disposal continues to cause troubles for you, it might be best to call a plumber you trust.

  • Jammed Disposal

This is one of the most common garbage disposal problems. A jammed disposal means something is stuck in the blades, preventing the garbage disposal from doing its job in grinding away any scraps of food. This can cause other problems such as foul odor and reduced efficiency. To tackle this problem, put on a pair of gloves and make sure your garbage disposal is off at the switch as well as the breaker box. Then carefully remove anything clogging the disposal. If you are unable to reach in and remove the item jamming the garbage disposal, use a hex wrench. Take the wrench and insert it in the hex shaped hole in the underside of the disposal. Crack it in both directions a couple times to free the clog.

  • Foul Odors

If your garbage disposal has a particularly nasty smell, you can try to fix it by placing a few lemon wedges in the disposal and running cold water for 30 seconds. In addition, you can place baking soda and vinegar down the disposal to fix the odor as well as fizz out any clogs causing the odors. If none of these methods work, there might be a more stubborn and smelly clog deeper in the drain. To address this, get in touch with a plumber.

  • Disposal Not Turning On

If your garbage disposal is not turning on, there might be a couple reasons for this. Make sure it is plugged in and turn the switch on. Then check the reset button under the disposal—if it requires resetting, the button will have popped out. Press the reset button and try the disposal again. If none of these ways work, you might want to check the circuit breaker as it could have been flipped. If your disposal is not turning on even after you try these methods, your circuit breaker might be malfunctioning, the outlet might have died, or your disposal might need replacing.

Call Freedom Air and Heat for Garbage Disposal Problems

If you continue to have problems with your garbage disposal, get in touch with the plumbers at Freedom Air and Heat! Call us today at 321-631-6886 or schedule a service with us on our website!