Signs of a Failing Garbage Disposal

Signs of a Failing Garbage Disposal

Almost everyone has a garbage disposal, right? It's environmentally friendly and saves you time and money. Effortlessly, the appliance breaks down food waste into fine particles that are washed down your wastewater pipe. But how do you know that the unit is about to break down?

This article will walk you through some signs of a failing garbage disposal system.

Signs of a Failing Garbage Disposal

1. Fails to Function

Sometimes nothing happens when you turn on your garbage disposal. First, ensure the power cord is connected correctly if the device is wired to a socket. Next, there's a little red reset button on the bottom of your appliance. If the switch has popped out, press it back in and try running the disposal.

Please remember: If you reset your disposal frequently, it could signify that the unit is about to fail.

If resetting doesn't work, check the fuse box in your home's electrical panel to see if the fuse to the disposal system's circuit has tripped. Sometimes tripping happens when we overload the circuit without even realizing it, such as when we're preparing thanksgiving meals and using a lot of appliances at once.

Once you've ruled out a tripped garbage disposal, you could have a failing motor. In this case, you'll need to call a professional to take a closer look.

2. Water Leaks

Have you noticed puddles under your sink or on the floor of your cabinet? If so, there could be a possible issue with your garbage disposal.

Ordinarily, disposals in good condition are water-tight, but over time they can start leaking or develop cracks. A leak at the top of your garbage disposal could mean an improper connection, a damaged flange, or a faulty putty seal where the appliance connects to the drain. The good news, a plumber can quickly fix the issue by replacing the flanges or seals.

On the other hand, garbage disposal leaking from the bottom signifies a more significant concern. It's a sign that the internal seals could be damaged. And while a plumber can repair the seals, buying a new unit is usually more affordable.

3. Frequent Clogging

You're probably wondering why water and waste are taking too long to flow down the drain, yet the garbage disposal sounds like it's running well.

There's a likelihood that your disposal's mortar is losing the ability to keep up with your demands. As a result, food waste is not being ground well into small particles allowing the large pieces to clog the appliance or move on and clog the drainpipe. For this reason, if food particles constantly get stuck in the disposal's blades, consider getting a replacement.

4. Prolonged Foul Odors

Have you noticed a lingering foul odor after thoroughly rinsing and running your garbage disposal?

Clogged garbage disposal could be the cause. This mainly happens to units over a decade old where wear and tear over the years results in improper grinding of food waste. Consequently, clogs occur, and the lodged food rot over time, resulting in a persistent foul garbage disposal odor.

And yes, you can seek a professional to remove the trapped particles in the short term, but it's better to replace the appliance in the long run.

A word of caution: Never use chemical cleaners when working with your garbage disposal. The solvents can damage your unit's blades and components.

5. Strange Noises

Sometimes bones or a piece of silverware can slip into your appliance undetected, resulting in unusual noises. In this case, you can use a flashlight to check inside the drain and a pair of tongs to carefully fish out anything obstructing the unit.

But what if the abnormal sounds persist and you can't find anything blocking the disposal? This is a sign of a much larger problem. For instance, if it's a humming sound, it could mean that the unit's mortar is failing. And although you can replace the motor, buying a new garbage disposal machine is much cheaper.

Find a Plumber to Help You With Garbage Disposal Diagnosis

A garbage disposal system is a lifesaver. It helps you eliminate unwanted leftovers, peels, or even expired food. But, it's easy to take the appliance for granted until it stops working altogether. So what do you do?

If you observe any of the above signs, such as your garbage disposal leaking, it's recommended that you contact your local plumber for assessment. Fortunately, the local plumbing professionals at Mr. Rooter can assist. We have the right tools and experience to tackle your garbage disposal problems.

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