For many people, a garbage disposal is an indispensable tool, one that they don’t feel comfortable without. A garbage disposal is a system that can be fitted to a kitchen sink, consisting of a set of razor blades inside the plug that are spun by a motor in order to shred any food or other waste that is put down the sink. It is recommended that homeowners regularly run cold water through their disposal to wash out any loose debris that might be caught in the blades and pipes.
Given the central role that the garbage disposal plays in many people’s lives, it definitely pays to know what the signs of a broken or failing unit are. If you know what to look out for, you can avoid complete unit failure and have it repaired. However, in some cases you will need to consider replacing the unit entirely. A broken garbage disposal can cause you problems and can even be unsafe.
There are a variety of noises that you might hear from your garbage disposal. Given the nature of what it does, the occasional unusual noise as it shreds organic matter is to be expected. However, most units are so loud that all you will hear is the whirring of blades. If you hear anything else, especially the sounds you would expect if the unit was jamming, then you need to take a look at the unit and be prepared to buy a new one.
Shine a flashlight down your drain first to check if there is anything visibly wrong with your unit. If you’re lucky, you will see a blockage that can easily be removed. Even a small object can create trouble for your garbage disposal. If you see something, carefully remove it and turn the unit on to check if it is now working. If you can’t see anything wrong and the unusual noises are continuing, you should call in a professional.
It Won’t Turn On
There are few things more frustrating than emptying your scraps into your disposal, flicking the switch and getting nothing. Sometimes, a garbage disposal can seem to just spontaneously stop working. This usually occurs because of a problem with the electronics. If not, you will need to replace your unit.
If your unit won’t turn on, first make sure that other appliances in your kitchen are working. If other appliances in your home aren’t receiving power then the problem may not be localized to your garbage disposal unit.
As long as you don’t overload it, your garbage disposal should last for well over a decade. As your unit ages, it might develop cracks and other damage. Acoustic stresses caused by the unit vibrating while it’s in operation can cause damage to metal over time. This can lead to the unit or the surrounding pipes becoming cracked and leaking water.
If you notice a serious issue with your garbage disposal, you should replace the whole unit. It might be tempting to try and repair it, but a garbage disposal can be dangerous if it isn’t maintained properly.