6 Customary Garbage Disposal Problems

Sometimes it’s evident why the garbage disposal is not working anymore. Other times, the cause may be a little trickier to determine. If you are having problems with any of the following garbage disposal issues, you may have to repair or replace it.

The Unit Is Not Turning On

Before contacting a plumber, first, flip the garbage disposal off and ascertain whether it is plugged in. Usually, the breaker/fuse is on, and the unit’s “reset” button was pushed by accident. Turn the unit back on to assess if the problem is resolved. If not, the garbage disposal must be repaired or replaced since it may have burnt out.

A Jammed Disposal

If the garbage disposal is still not turning on or it is making a humming noise when turned on, it’s possible that something is jamming the blades. You can turn off the unit at the breaker box, put on gloves and remove the clog from the blades. To avoid a clog in the future, be careful about what has put down the disposal, for instance:

  • Starchy vegetables
  • Oils and fats
  • Eggshells
  • Large bones
  • Non-food items
  • Fruit pits
  • Large amounts of anything

The Unit Is Draining Too Slow

Garbage disposal must work swiftly and be capable of grinding up food as well as draining in seconds. If it takes too long to break the food down, the blades could be dull, or there might be a clog further along the pipe. Call a NYC garbage disposal  plumber to either sharpen or replace the blades if this is the issue.

Bad odors

There are various methods of freshening up the garbage disposal. One of the best methods is by placing lemon or lime wedges and ice down the garbage disposal and leave the cold water running for thirty seconds. You can also try baking soda and vinegar. If it still gives off a smell after you’ve done this, the odor must be coming further down the drain line or is deeply embedded into the unit. Another solution is to call a plumber to disassemble and clean the parts.

Grinding noises

If you hear noises coming from the unit that sound like metal on metal coming from your garbage disposal, it may be that something is stuck, or the parts are not moving as they should be. If you don’t see anything stuck and the noise persists, you need to call a professional plumber. If the parts are too worn, they will have to be replaced.


It happens that the seals of the garbage disposal are leaking. This is not a complicated fix. Disposal leaks generally mean that the O-ring must be replaced, or certain parts must be tightened. It depends where the leak is originating from. If the leak is coming from the sink flange or in another place, the repair may be a complicated and costly one. In such a case, it makes more sense to replace the entire unit.


If your garbage disposal is malfunctioning, don’t take the risk of incurring further damage. Turn it off and wait for a professional to assess the unit before attempting to use it again. Thankfully, if a licensed plumber installs new garbage disposal, it will last for a long time. This machinery is durable, if they are taken care of efficiently.

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