How Do I Know if My Garbage Disposal is Bad?

Excess Food Waste Leading to Garbage Disposal Repair

Messy Business Beneath the Sink

One of the tools we take most for granted in the kitchen is our garbage disposal. How many times have you dropped down a piece of food and wondered “Could this be too hard on my disposal?” In truth, many of us abuse our disposal more often than we’d care to admit!

Not many of homeowners know what to do in the event something actually broke down in the appliance. Today, we’ll talk about garbage disposal repair and replacement. By the end, you should have a better understanding of how to tackle a breakdown. Let’s get started!

My Garbage Disposal is Jammed, Again

Garbage disposal failures can be a very frustrating situation. In some cases, you may even wonder whether or not your kitchen appliance has completely broken down! Thankfully, there are some helpful signs that will let you know when your disposal is simply in need of repairs or truly down for the count.


Is My Garbage Disposal Broken?

Compared to many of the appliances in your home, your garbage disposal can take quite the beating. It’s design enables it to bounce back from many challenges that would prove fatal to weaker equipment. In most cases that your disposal stops working, there’s a simple fix just around the corner.

For clogged disposals, start by disconnecting the power by unplugging the device or turning off the associated breaker. Use a hexagonal wrench to rotate the impellers and dislodge the food particles. It’s best to use a tool instead of using your hands to directly remove the blockage.

In instances of power failure, start by pushing the (typically) red reset button on the bottom of the disposal. If the unit still doesn’t start after this, try resetting the circuit breaker. Further power failure could indicate a more serious issue, which may require the assistance of a professional.

Frequent Clogs

Why Does My Garbage Disposal Keep Clogging?

Most clogs occur after your garbage disposal. After all, your disposal is best suited for mashing up hard solids. Grease and congealed fat can encourage other food particles to adhere to the sides of your drain pipe. If your disposal is near the end of its estimated lifespan, you might ask your service professional to check the blades.

Avoid These

What Should Not Be Put in a Garbage Disposal?

While it can be tempting to put just about anything short of spoons down the disposal, you should stick to the trash can for most of solid food items. However, there are some items that you should never pour down the sink! If you’re wondering why the disposal keeps clogging, check this list of sink no-go’s.

  • Avocado and fruit fits
  • Fats, oil, grease
  • Stringy veggies
  • Coffee grounds
  • Bones

Just because your appliance can handle most of these items doesn’t mean you should put them down your sink. Some items, like avocado pits, just aren’t going to get through. Try to minimize food waste in the sink by tossing more of it in the trash instead. When you finish cooking those fatty, greasy foods – breakfast foods are often high in grease – pour the leftover grease into the bin.

Calling for Help

Who to Call for Garbage Disposal Repair

Now is garbage disposal repair plumber or electrician territory? That’s definitely the responsibility of an experienced plumber. They deal with busted kitchen appliances all the time. Homeowners only need an electrician for more complicated power outages.

Garbage Disposal Repair or Replace

This can be a challenging decision to make when your disposal climbs up in years. However, a skilled plumber can make it refreshingly simple. How do they do it? By keeping these simple questions in mind!

Typical Lifetime

How Long Does a Typical Garbage Disposal Last?

Most of the installations on your home, from the shingles (or single ply roofing) to the plumbing appliances, have a loose expiration date. Garbage disposals generally average a lifetime of 15 years, though heavy usage will obviously shorten a unit’s lifetime. With occasional maintenance garbage disposal repair, you can add considerable time to your kitchen appliance’s lifetime.

Replacement Signs

When Should a Garbage Disposal Be Replaced?

There are a few prominent signs that will let you know when it’s time to start shopping for a replacement. These include:

  • Water leaks from the disposal itself.
  • You have to reset the appliance regularly.
  • There’s a nasty smell that persists in the disposal.
  • You hear strange grinding or screeching noises during operation.
  • It just never turns on anymore.
A Disposal After Garbage Disposal Repair Has Been Completed

Get Professional Kitchen Plumbing Care

Are you worried about the condition of your kitchen plumbing? Call a local professional and arrange a convenient checkup for your system! Our team at Freedom Flow Plumbing and Heating Services supports countless local homeowners with all their plumbing needs.

For professional garbage disposal repair in Clifton Township and Scranton, PA, call our friendly staff at (570) 903-3199. You’ll see why so many families depend on our helpful plumbers!