Your garbage disposal is likely something you only think about once it stops working. When it malfunctions, it can disrupt your regular kitchen cleanup routine. Several signs indicate that your garbage disposal is broken: it may fail to operate, exhibit water leaks, drain slowly, or emit strange sounds when you flip the switch.

The most common solution for a malfunctioning garbage disposal is to push the reset button and attempt to restart it. However, if the reset button fails to resolve the issue, you may face a more severe problem such as a clogged pipe, electrical malfunction, or disposal jam. In such cases, professional assistance from a garbage disposal technician is necessary.

Reasons Why Do-It-Yourself Fixes Are a Bad Idea

The garbage disposal is a powerful appliance designed to grind food into fine particles for easy drainage. It may be tempting to reach into the disposal to clear a clog or use tools like knives or tongs to remove obstructions. However, this can pose significant dangers, risking severe bodily injury and potential damage to the disposal itself. Professionals should always address electrical problems with the garbage disposal.

Dealing With Flywheel or Impeller Jams

When you flip the switch on your garbage disposal and it fails to grind but instead emits a humming sound, the impeller or internal flywheel is likely jammed. Running the disposal in this state risks burning the motor unless the circuit breaker shuts it off. Typically, a jam occurs between the impeller and the shredder ring inside the unit. A plumber can promptly assess the problem, resolve the jam, and offer solutions to prevent future occurrences.

Addressing a Leaking Garbage Disposal

Leaks can occur in various areas of the garbage disposal. Common leak sources include the sink flange, where the disposal connects to the sink bottom, and the hoses leading from the dishwasher to the drainage system. Vibrations from the running disposal can cause the mounting apparatus to loosen and hoses may also become loose over time. Additionally, the plastic pipe attached to the sink that removes wastewater from the sink and disposal may crack, and its fittings may loosen, leading to leaks. A plumber possesses the necessary tools and expertise to resolve these issues efficiently, making repairs or suggesting replacements.

Addressing Slow Drainage in the Garbage Disposal

A garbage disposal draining slowly could be due to various reasons, including clogs similar to those in the sink drain. In such cases, a plumber may need to disassemble the drain trap, clear any obstructions, and reassemble it. It’s advisable to avoid using chemical drain cleaners in the garbage disposal, as they are often ineffective and may damage the unit while leaving toxic residues in the sink. Moreover, the use of certain chemicals may void the manufacturer’s warranty.

Garbage Disposal Maintenance

Your garbage disposal can sustain damage due to wear and tear, faulty electrical connections, or improper usage. Many issues can be avoided by understanding what should and should not be placed in the disposal and how to clean it effectively.

Things to Avoid Putting in Your Garbage Disposal

Avoid pouring animal fats, grease, or cooking oils into your garbage disposal, as they can solidify and cause clogs. Similarly, coffee grounds can clump together and create blockages. Large fruit pits, such as those from avocados, apricots, or plums, should also be avoided, as they can cause obstructions. Thick bones do not break down in the disposal.

Proper Cleaning Techniques

Avoid using harsh cleaners in your garbage disposal. Instead, opt for gentler alternatives such as a few drops of dishwashing liquid, baking soda, salt, ice, vinegar, or lemon. These can help clean the disposal without causing harm. If you need help with the best cleaning method, consult a plumbing professional for valuable advice and recommendations.

Finding a Trustworthy Plumbing Expert in Stafford, Virginia

If you’re looking for a trustworthy plumbing expert, look no further than Smooth Plumbing. We know how important your home’s plumbing is and how it impacts your family’s comfort. This is why we are proud to offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee with exceptional customer service, friendly staff, and flat-rate upfront pricing.

Our services include water heater repair, leak detection, drain cleaning, plumbing fixture installation, water pressure evaluation, and maintenance and repair on all plumbing systems. We can also help you with gas line issues, offer sewer services, and work with your main water line. Contact Smooth Plumbing today to experience our exceptional customer service for yourself.

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