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Garbage Disposals: 4 Typical Problems & Solutions

A garbage disposal is one of those modern-day amenities that makes life so easy! It’s an electric device underneath the kitchen sink that quickly grinds down waste in order for it to pass through the pipes. With more than half of the kitchens in American homes fitted with a garbage disposal, homeowners have come to depend upon this handy kitchen hack. But what happens if your disposal is showing signs of failure? Read on to learn some of the regular issues associated with garbage disposals and how you can troubleshoot them.

Garbage Disposal Is Draining Too Slowly

Usually, a disposal that is slow to drain means it’s clogged in some capacity. If this is the case, you’ll want to disconnect the drainage pipe attached to the garbage disposal and clean it after turning off the power. Reattach and run water through the unit before disposing of food/waste to ensure it’s back in working order.

Garbage Disposal Is Leaking

A disposal unit can leak from a number of different areas, so it’s imperative to identify where the leak is coming from. Based on that answer, you’ll want to either tighten the connecting bolts on the pipe or use a solution like plumber’s putty to seal off the leak.

Garbage Disposal Won’t Power On

The constant vibration and humming of a disposal can place significant strain on the unit and/or motor. If your garbage disposal won’t turn on, first and foremost make sure it is plugged into a power source (if applicable). Still no power? Wait a couple of minutes then hit the reset switch, found commonly on the underside of the disposal. You may need to reset the breaker connected to your kitchen as well.

Garbage Disposal Making a Lot of Noise

A noisy unit is very common and usually means the motor has power but the blades are obstructed. Power off your unit and shine a light down the drain. If you can see what’s jammed inside, try removing it with a utensil. If there’s no visible jam, it’s likely the bolts that turn the blades need tightening. Proceed to tighten the bolts with the unit powered off.

Disposals should make life easier, not harder! There are many common issues associated with them- it’s true. But given how common the appliance is, the fix is usually simple. Use this guide if you run into garbage disposal issues, but always be sure to refer to the manual for your specific unit before performing any maintenance.

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