Garbage Disposal Problems And Solutions

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Garbage disposal is a must-have for households looking forward to encouraging an eco-friendly atmosphere. It is essential that many households come with it installed already.

Garbage disposal has a lifespan of 10 to 15 years, so you have a long time to enjoy a home free of odor and food debris; however, this does not mean that the gadget will not encounter difficulties or problems over time.

There are a few garbage disposal problems that you are most likely to encounter, which can affect the life span of your garbage disposal if you ignore them.

In our guide today, we unravel garbage disposal problems and solutions, so get your learning curve ready!

Facts About Garbage Disposal

A garbage disposal is an essential tool for most households in their kitchen. It is a suitable appliance that you can use to grind food waste into shreds and have them flushed down the drain. This leaves your home free of garbage, odor, and possible damage due to pest infestation.

Garbage disposal is used to grind food waste; however, it is almost impossible to see people not abusing any appliance’s original intentions or purpose, garbage disposal inclusive.

A garbage disposal is not a trash can, yet many people dump non-food items and objects that can alter the functionality of the garbage disposal. Here’s a list of what you should never toss in your garbage disposal;

  • Do not put starchy foods like rice or pasta in the garbage disposal
  • Do not leave fat, grease, or butter in the disposal
  • Complex materials like bones, egg shells, or seafood shells should not be in the garbage disposal
  • By all means, avoid putting glass, bottles, or plastic in the garbage disposal

Your garbage disposal is susceptible to damage if you do not handle it properly. Consequently, it would result in minimal problems that anybody can fix, but other times it’s a problem that would drive you to replace the garbage disposal.

Are you ready to learn the possible garbage disposal problems and solutions? Then continue reading to find out.

See Also: Garbage Disposal Not Working

Garbage Disposal Problems And Solutions

It is almost unavoidable for the garbage disposal to develop faults from time to time. Still, another thing that can contribute to your garbage disposal developing faults is not flushing the food waste with sufficient water or adding chunks of food waste that might be too hard for the garbage disposal to grind at once.

1. Jamming in the garbage disposal

Remember, we said earlier to avoid putting kinds of stuff like bones, glasses, steel, and other hard materials in the garbage disposal. You might be unaware you experience jamming in the garbage disposal; this is the number one culprit.

The blades in the garbage disposal are designed to shred or grind food waste, not hard materials; however, if hard materials are put into the garbage disposal, it would result in jamming.

How do you know that your garbage disposal is jamming?

You would hear weird sounds coming from the disposal.

When jamming occurs in the disposal, it disrupts the garbage disposals running process, preventing the motor from working correctly, and many times it burns out. And when this happens, it trips the circuit breaker, which many still refer to as the reset button.

Solutions to jamming in a garbage disposal

You can quickly fix the jamming in the garbage disposal by simply reading through the guidelines provided for you in the garbage disposal. Before attempting anything, please try not to use your bare hands to reach for the blades that are not encouraging.

  • Unplug your garbage disposal unit and reset the reset button on the disposal’s underside
  • Wait for 15-20 minutes if the button pops out again
  • Run some cold water in the sink
  • Test the garbage disposal
  • Insert an Allen wrench into the hole underneath the removal and rotate the wrench to turn the disposal’s motor
  • Run cold water into the sink and test the disposal unit
  • Ensure you turn off the room’s electrical supply to avoid any ill incident
  • With a flashlight, look down the sink drain for any blockages
  • Remove blockages with tongs or pliers
  • Spin the blades with a special garbage disposal wrench if they are still stuck
  • You can remove the twist and turn on the disposal to test it

2. Slow draining due to clogs in the drains

Another garbage disposal problem you will likely encounter is clogging in the drain. What causes clogs in the gutter? If the garbage disposal is operated well, let’s say you didn’t flush the food waste after grinding or didn’t give it sufficient flush, it would result in clogging.

In addition, putting suitable material in the garbage disposal can prevent it from developing problems that should have been avoided. Other times garbage disposal is likely to have food waste blocking the drains if it has too much to take in.

Solutions to slow draining due to clogs in the drains

  1. Check what is causing the clogs in the garbage disposal, and use a flashlight and pliers to see the reason for the clog. If it is what you can locate without the hassle, you should insert the pliers inside the unit to get the item out. If there are more clogs, continue until you get all the materials out
  2. If, for reasons, the problem is beyond what pliers can reach, then remove the P-Trap. Remove the drain trap from the disposal by placing it in a catch bucket and disconnecting the slip-nut fittings with channel-type pliers. Ensure you have rags or paper towels around, as you are more likely to encounter accidental spills
  3. Wash the trap: there could be clogs or obstructions in the trap fitting. With just a little scrub, you can dig out any debris. You can also use a straightened coat hanger or other wire to remove the debris
  4. Run a check on the trap arm: do not be deceived if the debris or clogs are not in the trap; check the trap arm for clogs
  5. Use a drain snake: the ideal way to clean the P trap or trap arm is by using a drain snake to clean
  6. Use vinegar and baking soda: pour some baking soda into the garbage disposal, pour vinegar down the garbage disposal, and flush the sink with cold water
  7. Now you can reassemble the drain and flush it again
  8. Leaks from the garbage disposal

If you randomly drop water from the garbage disposal, you might want to pay attention to the scenario; you cannot ignore it. Leaks from garbage disposal are a problem that you cannot overlook as it would lead to several damages;

  • warped cabinetry
  • mold growth
  • pest infestation
  • and also foul odor

What causes leaks in the garbage disposal?

Garbage disposals can have leaks when objects fall into them and crack them open. Many times once the garbage has reached its lifespan; it becomes and begins to develop faults, including leaks.

And if this is the case, your garbage disposal is requesting a replacement.

Solutions to leaks from the garbage disposal

  1. find the leaks
  2. know exactly where the leaks are coming from
  3. you should reseal and tighten the flange if the top of the garbage is leaking
  4. Replace worn gaskets and tighten drain line connections if you see that it’s the side of the garbage disposal leaking.
  5. If the bottom of the units is leaking, replace the disposal
  6. Check the work by running water through your drain
  7. Electrical issues

If your garbage disposal cannot turn on or it turns on and gets off abruptly, then it sure means there’s an electrical issue you should pay attention to. You are more likely to experience this if the garbage disposal is overused.

Solutions if garbage disposal problem is electrical issues

Sometimes electrical issues are more manageable than it sounds; you only need to check for connections to see where the problem is from. Check the circuit breaker; you should reset it if the circuit is tripped.

If the problem persists after this, you should look at the disposal switch or outlet. Remove the disposal switch cover plates, loosen the screws from the box, and check the terminal connections. Tighten them if they’re loose, and replace the switch if needed.

If you think the problem is beyond your control, then you should call on electricians.

These are common garbage disposal problems and solutions. It is important to note that there are common mistakes you should avoid if you want your garbage disposal to experience minor issues.


It is okay for your appliances to experience faults occasionally, but this problem can become a massive problem if you ignore it. In this guide, we revealed garbage disposal problems and solutions to them.

So you can still fix the problem, but if the solution seems far-fetched, consider replacing your garbage disposal.

Remember not to add or contribute to your garbage disposal problems by adding unwanted materials to the garbage disposal.

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