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Garbage Disposal Repair: When Is It Necessary?

How To Tell if the Garbage Disposal Is Broken

Depending on the issue, broken garbage disposals can be fixed. Rather than wait until garbage disposal replacement is necessary, calling a plumber can save homeowners money. For disposals that still collect discarded food, unexplained clogs or water leaks indicate dysfunction.

Garbage Disposal Humming and Screeching


Strange noises are common when garbage disposals begin to break. The two main warning sounds are humming and screeching.

If homeowners hear a humming noise from the sink, this may be due to the disposal blades. Blades that do not turn sound similar to a car that won’t start. Usually, this is caused by an overheated motor.

If a clog interferes with the blades, sometimes homeowners can dislodge it with their hands, but this can be extremely dangerous. Trapped utensils can fall deep into the disposal and may not be as easily accessible as they seem. Homeowners are advised to call a trained technician if the drain cleaner cannot break up the clog.

High-pitched screeching noises are noticeable and loud. This is almost always due to dislodged metal components stuck in the disposal. Motor problems are usually to blame. There is still time to repair the garbage disposal if a professional is called soon after squealing or screeching begins, but it should not be neglected for more than a week. Hitting the garbage disposal reset button may be the safest way to handle the problem.

Takes Longer To Work

If a garbage disposal takes longer to break down food waste, this can be a sign of age. Disposal blades are not designed to last forever and should be repaired or replaced. Most blades should be sharpened every month, but this does not require much effort. Many homeowners feed ice cubes into the disposal to keep the blades functioning to avoid replacing the garbage disposal. 

Easy home maintenance tips can prolong the garbage disposal, but eventually, blade deterioration will affect all disposals. If homeowners experience frequent clogs, a professional inspection is recommended.

Water leaks will eventually seep through the plumbing system without maintenance. If water stains are expansive or there is more than one leak, the garbage disposal may need replacing. When homeowners notice unexplained water where the disposal connects to the plumbing pipes, they have limited time to repair the unit.

Garbage Disposal Smells 


Foul odors coming from the sink should disappear once the basin is cleaned. If odors persist for over two days, wet food particles are likely trapped inside the disposal. A clogged garbage disposal will only smell worse if it’s not repaired.

Using a chemical drain cleaner can be tempting, but this usually hurts more than it helps. Harsh chemicals erode the inside of pipes and can lead to disintegration. A natural cleaning solution can be made with ¼ cup of baking soda and hot water

Strong smells can also emanate from underneath the sink. This can be tricky to detect in homes with heavy cabinetry. If the garbage disposal is slower than usual, it’s beneficial to check underneath the sink for additional signs of dysfunction. This includes pipe leaks, strong smells, or soft creaking noises. 

Excess grease can cause clogs even though it’s a liquid. Because it’s so sticky other particles bond together to form a mass. Over time this clog collects dense food such as leftover meat or soggy bread. Routine maintenance will reduce damage to the disposal and the pipes. 

About Capital Plumbing Contractors

Capital Plumbing Contractors offers flat-rate pricing for garbage disposal replacement and repair. To learn more about their hydro jetting services in Tallahassee, FL, call Capital Plumbing Contractors today.

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