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Signs Your Garbage Disposal Needs the Help of a Plumbing Professional

Published on:
January 14, 2022

There are simple things that can be done if your garbage disposal begins to act up. Maybe you have to press the reset button that was triggered by an unknown object in the grinder. Perhaps the breaker tripped and needs to be set in the main power box. Maybe an item is stuck in the garbage disposal grinder.

First, you should understand the different types of garbage disposal that are most commonly used: batch feed and continuous. The batch feed disposal needs to have the cover placed over the drain opening to enable activation of the disposal. The continuous disposal uses an electric switch typically located near the sink to turn the unit on and off. Another type of disposal is the air switch model, which uses air to engage the garbage disposal. All of these different types of garbage disposal are fed by electrical power that typically comes from an electrical outlet under the sink. 

If garbage disposal problems continue after checking the disposal's reset, the breaker and the grinder, you should contact a professional who knows how to repair garbage disposal. Unless you have experience working with disposals or other electrical kitchen appliances, you will need a commercial garbage disposal service with experience repairing them. 

These are the signs that your garbage disposal needs a professional service that knows how to repair garbage disposal. 

Garbage disposal does not turn on

When you flip the switch on the electrical outlet to turn the garbage disposal on but it doesn't make a sound, that is likely a sign that you need to call someone who knows how to repair garbage disposal. But there are a couple of easy things you can do first to determine if all you need is a quick fix or a professional's attention.

First, check to make sure the garbage disposal doesn't need to be reset. There is a button, usually on the bottom, that you can press. Many units trigger a power shut off if an item jams the blades of a disposal or if something interferes with its operation. If that isn't the problem, also check to make sure that the fuse in the electrical box is in the on position. The breaker may have been triggered and needs to be reset. 

If the disposal still does not turn on, this means there is an electrical problem preventing the unit from receiving power or an internal issue with the disposal that must be checked by a professional.

Garbage disposal hums, but does not grind

Another common problem with a garbage disposal is that it will turn on when you flip the switch, but there is only a humming noise that comes out. The disposal grinder does not turn. This could be an indication that the disposal's inner flywheel is jammed. This problem was likely caused when food or a foreign object became lodged between the impeller and the shredder ring inside the disposal. It is important to note here that it is dangerous to stick your hands or fingers inside the drain to clear items stuck in the disposal grinder. Although you can check the reset button on the disposal or the circuit breaker, other repairs are best left to a professional. It is important to correct this issue as soon as possible, because you could burn out your garbage disposal motor by allowing it to simply hum without grinding.

Garbage disposal leaks

A common problem with garbage disposals is leaks. These leaks can occur at the sink flange where the disposal connects to the bottom of the sink; the dishwasher connection where a hose leads to the disposal; or at the disposal's discharge drainpipe where waste flows into the drain system. A disposal's constant vibration can loosen the mounting apparatus over time that holds the appliance to the sink drain opening, causing a leak. The rubber hose can wear over time that sends waste water from the dishwasher to the garbage disposal, causing a leak. The fitting around the plastic pipe that funnels waste water from the disposal to the sink drain trap can become loose or the gasket degrades over time, causing a leak. 

Repairs to a garbage disposal often require a professional, so make sure you hire someone you can trust to handle the job.

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