Garbage disposals are the unsung heroes of the kitchen. Their purpose is to shred any food and debris that goes down the drain. It helps keep the pipes clean, preventing anything from clogging them up. They can usually last around 10 to 15 years with regular maintenance. Running cold water down the pipes helps push the debris down, but it can start acting up as the unit ages. Unfortunately, the garbage disposal can malfunction from too much buildup, a mechanism going bad, age, etc. Here are five signs your garbage disposal has reached its end.
Before we start: Do NOT under any circumstances, put your hand down the drain to see what the issue might be, especially if you did not turn off the power. The disposal can start up at any time, and you WILL be traumatically injured if your hand is in there. If there’s an issue, give us a call here at Pulliam Plumbing.
1. An Unusual Sound: Your garbage disposal is going to make noise when it’s in use. Several moving parts cause that noise, but you’re using it for short spurts at a time. Usually, when it makes a weird sound, something could be stuck that shouldn’t be in there like a bone from a chicken wing or a utensil. Cut the power to the garbage disposal and carefully remove it. If that doesn’t stop the sound, something might be wrong further down the disposal unit. You’ll want to give us a call to see what the obstruction is.
2. There’s A Bad Smell: Garbage disposals keep the pipes clean, despite what you’re putting in. Nothing should be lingering to cause a bad smell. If you are noticing a pungent odor, the disposal is not pushing the waste down. Sometimes it might be a stubborn section of the pipe causing a headache. It might also be that part of the garbage disposal has stopped working.
3. It Won’t Turn On: If the disposal doesn’t turn on at all, try pressing the reset button to see if that fixes it. It could have gotten too clogged and turned itself off as a safety measure. If that doesn’t work, make sure the circuit breaker didn’t trip because of an overload. The last resort will be giving us a call to see why it’s not turning on. There might be an issue with the wiring, or the entire disposal went bad.
4. Water Is Leaking: As the garbage disposal ages, it may develop a leak, just like any plumbing component of your home. If it starts leaking or you notice a crack, the unit will have to be replaced. Repairing it will only be a band-aid on the line. You’ll end up spending more money than you need to.
5. You’re Well-Acquainted With The Reset Button: The reset button will need to be used occasionally. It shouldn’t be required every single time you use the garbage disposal, especially if you need to press it a couple of times for it to register. At this point, your garbage disposal is just a few more reset presses away from dying completely. Give us a call! We’ll have you set up a brand new disposal where the reset button will be a distant memory.