A Failing Garbage Disposal: What Are the Signs?

Indicators of a Malfunctioning Garbage Disposal in Need of Repair

One of the most convenient devices in the kitchen is the garbage disposal. It makes quick work of food scraps and is a close ally of the plumbing, grinding up food small enough that it won’t disrupt the plumbing and cause problems. Like any other appliance, however, it cannot last forever and may need repair. This article will discuss what a home’s garbage disposal may be doing that indicates it may need garbage disposal repair or replacement.  

Symptom #1: Unusual Noises

noiseGarbage disposals are not quiet machines. They make a rather noticeable grinding sound even when they are working correctly. However, if they begin making other strange noises, there is likely something wrong that may require repairing or replacing the garbage disposal. Some unusual noises a garbage disposal may make when something is wrong includes the following:

  • Humming: If the disposal simply hums when turned on and the blades are not rotating, something is likely stuck inside. It can also be that the blades have just stopped working. Sometimes pushing the reset button will correct this problem.
  • Whining or Screeching: A loud screeching akin to a metal-on-metal sound may mean that something has been knocked out of place or something like a utensil has been dropped inside. 
  • Other Sounds: Other sounds like gurgling may indicate a clogged garbage disposal, and clanging can indicate that something is caught in the disposal's blades.

Symptom #2: Poor Performance 

This symptom may seem obvious, but people tend to deal with an item struggling for a while instead of repairing or replacing it when they should.  This can mean that the garbage disposal doesn’t work as quickly as it should or has trouble grinding up waste. If the garbage disposal’s reset button has to be used frequently, it also shows an issue with the garbage disposal unit, like the machine is wearing out. Some examples of problems that can cause poor performance are:

  • Corrosion on the blades.
  • Dull blades.
  • A jam in the system.
  • Internal problems with the machine.

Symptom #3: Foul Odors

smellsGarbage disposals are famous for not having the best smells when having issues. They can usually be kept fresh with simple maintenance, like using baking soda and vinegar to keep them clean and ice to dislodge food. However, foul garbage disposal smells sometimes indicate a problem with the appliance itself. 

If the machine is worn out, it will not grind up the food as well as it should, leading to clogs, jams in the device, constant resetting, and a bad-smelling drain. A foul smell from the kitchen drain could also be due to a clog in the piping which can indicate issues like garbage disposals not grinding up food waste enough. If homeowners notice these signs, it shows a need for professional help.

About Quahog Plumbing

Quahog Plumbing has over 15 years of experience serving Somerset, MA, and the surrounding communities. They provide same-day services, straightforward pricing, and the latest technology. Call them today for kitchen plumbing and garbage disposal services in Somerset, MA.

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