Garbage disposals are reliable and convenient appliances that work great - until they don’t.
Plumbers get many calls to make repairs to these appliances, though replacing them often is the better solution.
How can homeowners get an idea as to whether they need garbage disposal repair versus a replacement?
Here are a few tips from plumbing services that can shed light on the repair or replacement question for kitchen sink garbage disposals.
Can Garbage Disposal Repair Be Made?
As durable as they can be most of the time, kitchen garbage disposals do encounter problems at times that require attention to get them working well again.
While plumbing contractors cannot repair every issue encountered, here are some less serious problems that can usually be fixed without having to replace the whole disposal unit.
- Clogged Disposal - Clogging is the most common issue that requires garbage disposal repair services, usually due to the disposal being used incorrectly. Plumbing services frequently find clogs caused by putting the wrong foods down the drain, such as stringy or fibrous foods, fruit pits, bones, and sticky foods as well as non-food items that should not ever go through the disposal. Under-powered disposals undergoing frequent use in larger households can also clog up frequently. Severe clogs may require taking the disposal apart to clear them.
- Occasional Odors - Bad smells coming from the drain can again mean the disposal is not being used correctly and material is sitting within the unit, not passing all the way through it. Repairs can be as simple as allowing the unit to run longer and flushing it out well after use to grinding up some citrus peels after use.
- Won’t Turn On - Although this could mean the motor has died, plumbers frequently find that some units fail to turn on because of other problems like blown circuits and wiring issues that have nothing to do with the actual disposal unit.
- Symptoms of Dull Blades - Slow and noisy grinding, smelly drains, and frequent clogs that do have their own causes can also be due to dull blades. In these instances, garbage disposal repair can be as simple as grinding up some ice, rock salt, and lemon slices (without the small seeds) to sharpen and clean them so they work better.
When Is Repair Not Possible or Recommended?
Unfortunately, there are other symptoms that plumbing services cannot repair, so replacing the entire disposal unit ends up being a wise and cost-effective solution.
- Persistent Clogging or Odors - A garbage disposal clogging or smelling bad on occasion is normal. If the clogging happens over and over again, even when being used properly or the odor is persistent, this suggests either the blades are dull and worn out, the motor is wearing out, or both. Plumbers suggest that if the ice and rock salt trick to sharpen the blades and clean the canister do not help, it might be time for a new appliance.
- Won’t Turn On or Run - When the disposal won’t turn on and the problem is not the wiring or it produces a humming sound but the blades don’t spin, it usually means the motor has died and it is time to replace the disposal.
- Slow or Noisy Grinding - Slow grinding or excessive noise while grinding that does not quiet down as the food is processed are two more indicators that the motor is wearing out. Disposal repair in these cases is not possible, so the unit should be replaced.
- Leaking - A garbage disposal that leaks must be replaced by plumbing services, as it usually means there is a non-repairable crack in the canister.
Plumbers Can Solve Garbage Disposal Problems
Kitchen disposals are fairly durable most of the time, but they can require garbage disposal repair services when used incorrectly or as they get older.
Plumbing contractors can only repair certain issues to keep them running efficiently.
When plumbers cannot repair them, it is easy and less expensive to simply replace them.