Common Garbage Disposal Problems and their Solutions

Even though modern garbage disposals are designed to last for decades, these devices take quite a bit of abuse. Over the years, you might begin to notice issues such as unusual sounds, a slow drain, or unpleasant smells coming from your sink. These few tips will allow you to take care of those problems as quickly and safely as possible.

Leaking Water

A slow leak under your sink can result in a wide variety of problems including black mold, water damage, and pest infestations. If there is water coming from the top of the garbage disposal, then you will most likely need to replace the top flange and add some more plumber’s putty to the joint. The drain lines that are connected to the side of garbage disposal might also leak at some point, and to fix that issue you must tighten the hose or install a new gasket. Before carrying out those repairs, you should place a bucket under the garbage disposal to catch any water that is still in the pipes.

A Clogged Drain

Clogs generally occur when too much food goes down the drain. Under your sink, there should be an S-shaped trap that catches the debris before it gets into the main sewage line. The trap will be located just under the garbage disposal, and it can easily be removed with an adjustable wrench. Once the trap has been cleaned and reinstalled, you will need to turn the faucet on and run the garbage disposal for a few seconds to clear away any lingering debris.

Strong Odors

Every few weeks, you should thoroughly clean your garbage disposal and sink with a few basic supplies. The easiest way to keep unwanted odors at bay is to flush the pipes with baking soda, vinegar, and an aromatic such as lemon juice. Chemical cleaners can also be effective, but some of those products might damage older pipes and gaskets. Putting a few drops of your favorite essential oil down the drain is another great way to get rid of those smells.

The Blades Stopped Moving

Most garbage disposals can be “reset” by manually turning the base of the motor with a hex key. If the device still won’t turn on, then you might need to replace the flywheel or invest in a new garbage disposal entirely. Installing a new garbage disposal can be tricky if you don’t have the right tools, and that is why you should consider hiring a professional from a company like Knights Plumbing & Drain for this project. A single misstep or mistake could cause thousands of dollars in water damage in the blink of an eye.

The best way to protect your garbage disposal is to keep all food debris out of your kitchen sink. Within a short period of time, that food debris will jam the blades, overwork the motor, and clog the pipes.

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