Garbage disposals are built to break down food waste before it affects your plumbing system. Small blades located within the disposal slice up debris into smaller pieces, helping with drainage. Your average disposal is an energy-efficient fixture, needing smaller amounts water and electricity to function.
If something goes wrong, it’s most often a result of an electrical issue or improper use. The best way to avoid damaging your garbage disposal is to learn what food waste shouldn’t go in it. McLoughlin Plumbing Heating & Cooling technicians won’t rest until they fully understand the problem to ensure a long-term solution.
1. The Disposal Won’t Start
When a garbage disposal isn’t running in the first place, try pressing the reset button located on the unit. If nothing happens, it’s often because there’s electrical problem or because the blades have gotten lodged against something. Damaged wiring may not be safe to inspect and repair, so we suggest leaving garbage disposal repair to certified technicians.
2. The Motor Is Running, But the Blades Aren’t
If you’ve started the disposal but the blades fail to start spinning, it might be an electrical error, a problem with the motor, or another malfunction affecting the blades. For safety reasons, we make sure the disposal is off before looking for obstructions.
Occasionally, something like old food gets stuck inside the disposal, catching the blades and preventing them from moving. A disposal’s motor can spin the blades at speeds capable of injury, so keep hands and tools out of the disposal if you aren’t certain it’s turned off and unplugged.
Leaking is a telltale sign your disposal may be damaged. If a piece of debris is hard enough, it may damage internal components and potentially spring a leak. Localized water damage can also be a sign there’s something wrong with the disposal. If you find mold or mildew close to drain, the garbage disposal may be to blame.