The garbage disposal is an important part of every cook’s kitchen. This appliance grinds up food until it’s small enough to pass safely through your home’s plumbing system. A garbage disposal offers more than just a convenient way to dispose of food waste. It can prevent unpleasant odors that occur when you throw food in the trash. A garbage disposal also removes food waste that can attract bugs, mice, and other pests. You’ll enjoy a clean and fresh-smelling kitchen.
Your garbage disposal is mounted under the sink between the drain and trap. When you throw food into the drain and turn on the disposal, the disposal’s impeller plate spins, which forces the food against the walls of the grinding chamber. The impeller plate’s metal teeth shred the food into small particles. These particles usually pass easily into your pipes. Over time, the parts inside your garbage disposal may jam, clog, or break. If your garbage disposal isn’t working, one of the following 10 problems may be the cause.
1. Electrical Problems
Like other appliances in your home, your garbage disposal needs electricity to run. Some models need to be hardwired directly into a circuit. Newer garbage disposals typically plug into an outlet under your sink. No matter how your garbage disposal connects to your electrical system, your disposal can experience common electrical problems, such as a blown fuse or tripped circuit breaker. Loose connections can also prevent your disposal from working. A loose wire stops electricity from reaching the disposal. Sometimes, the problem is the wall switch or outlet. A malfunctioning wall switch or electrical outlet may interrupt the flow of electricity to the garbage disposal.
2. Jammed Disposal
Garbage disposals are great for eliminating some food waste. Your disposal can handle foods like meat, vegetables, and cooked pasta. However, the impeller isn’t strong enough to handle hard or stringy foods, like bones, fruit pits, celery, corn husks, and artichokes. These foods can jam the impeller or wrap around the disposal blades. Coffee grounds, fat, oils, or grease may seem like they can go down your garbage disposal; however, these items harden into a solid mass that can jam or clog your disposal. Sometimes, non-food items like forks, rocks, coins, or toys end up in your garbage disposal. Hard objects like cutlery or coins can jam the impeller blades and damage the motor.
3. Clogged Disposal
Adequate running water is important for keeping your garbage disposal free of debris. As the garbage disposal grinds up the food waste, the running water pushes the particles into the pipes. If you don’t run the water while using your disposal, or if you have inadequate water pressure, the food particles may build up inside the disposal. This food buildup can form a clog. Some liquids like grease or paint can harden into a solid clog. This mass will prevent your garbage disposal from operating. Non-food items, like produce stickers with adhesive, eventually may form a clog. The adhesive can collect food waste as it passes through the disposal. Eventually, this may create a clog that blocks the disposal.
4. Overheated Motor
If you feel heat or see smoke coming from your garbage disposal, your disposal’s motor may be overheating. You also may hear humming or other strange sounds. When your garbage disposal overheats, it may shut down suddenly or not turn on at all. Several problems can cause the motor to overheat. Clogs and jams from large amounts of food or a foreign object force the disposal to work harder. When the disposal works too hard, the motor may overheat. Running the garbage disposal continuously can also overheat the unit because the motor doesn’t have enough time to cool down.
5. Rusty Parts
Hard water, excess moisture, and certain cleaners can accelerate the development of rust in your garbage disposal. Rust may also form as your garbage disposal ages. This rust buildup is bad for your garbage disposal’s performance. If rust builds up on the impeller or the motor, the parts may jam or stop working. Rusty parts also experience increased friction, which may lead to overheating. If your garbage disposal has a built-in overload protector, the disposal will shut down to prevent further damage.
6. Lack of Maintenance
Proper maintenance helps to keep the parts inside your disposal free of debris, rust, and other grime. Debris buildup can wear down the disposal blades. As the blades lose effectiveness, the motor works longer and harder to grind up the food. As with other appliances, overworking the garbage disposal can lead to failure.
Inadequate maintenance can lead to water leaks in your garbage disposal. The gasket, flange, and seals can degrade over time. Leaking water can intrude into the motor or other electrical components. Water leaks can cause electrical issues and breakdowns.
An increase in friction due to poor lubrication can also cause your disposal’s failure. An increase in the amount of friction between parts forces the motor to work harder. Eventually, the motor may burn out from overuse.
7. Poor Installation
Another common cause of garbage disposal failure is improper installation. Incorrect or loose wires can lead to short circuits or power fluctuations. Bad plumbing connections also create leaks or clogs that cause the disposal to overheat or shut down. Excessive vibration and shaking from a misaligned disposal can damage or loosen components inside the disposal. You can prevent these problems by hiring an experienced plumber to install your disposal.
8. Mechanical Failure
The motor is critical to your garbage disposal’s proper functioning. Damaged wiring, faulty starting mechanisms, or jammed blades can cause the motor to fail. Over time, the bearings inside the disposal experience wear and tear. This wear and tear can create friction and resistance. As the motor and other parts work harder against the friction, the risk of overheating and breakdown increases.
8. Old Garbage Disposal
The average garbage disposal lasts between eight and 15 years. Your garbage disposal’s lifespan depends on how you use it. If you use your garbage disposal frequently to dispose of large amounts of food waste, your disposal may wear out sooner. You can ensure your garbage disposal lasts a long time by following the manufacturer’s instructions for usage.
The Owasso Garbage Disposal Pros
At Half Moon Plumbing, we focus on providing the best plumbing service in the Tulsa area. We offer a wide range of services for our neighbors in Owasso. Garbage disposal installation is just one of our many services. You can call us for drain cleaning, toilet services, water heater installation, and much more. When you schedule your service with Half Moon Plumbing, you can be sure our team members will provide professional, expert service. Our plumbers are responsible, polite, and competent. We start by arriving at your appointment on time and with the right equipment for the job. Our plumbers will evaluate your issue and explain what repairs are needed. We offer accurate estimates, and we complete every job with efficiency.
Contact Half Moon Plumbing today for your garbage disposal service in Owasso!