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Blogs from May, 2024

Some apple peels being put in a garbage disposal.

A well-functioning garbage disposal is a cornerstone of a modern kitchen, making meal prep and cleanup a breeze. However, when it starts to malfunction, it can lead to significant inconvenience and even plumbing issues. That’s why it’s important for homeowners to learn to identify common problems with their garbage disposal and determine whether it needs to be repaired or replaced.

Signs of a Faulty Garbage Disposal

Before diving into the solutions, it's important to recognize the signs that your garbage disposal might be in trouble. Here are some common indicators:

  • Strange Noises: Unusual sounds like grinding, rattling, or humming can signal a problem.
  • Foul Odors: Persistent bad smells that don't go away after cleaning could indicate trapped food or a more serious issue.
  • Frequent Clogs: If your disposal is backing up more often than usual, it may be struggling to handle waste.
  • Leaks: Water leaking from the unit or the surrounding pipes suggests a problem that needs addressing.
  • Unit Not Turning On: If the disposal doesn't respond when you flip the switch, it could be an electrical issue.

When to Call a Professional

For complex issues, it's best to call a professional. These include:

  • Electrical problems that cause the unit to fail to start.
  • Persistent leaks that you can't locate or fix.
  • Mechanical issues that DIY methods can't resolve.

Steps to Determine If You Should Repair or Replace Your Garbage Disposal

A malfunctioning garbage disposal can disrupt your kitchen routine. By recognizing the signs of trouble and knowing when to repair or replace the unit, you can maintain a smooth-running kitchen. The following are the steps you should take to determine if you should repair or replace your garbage disposal:

  • Turn Off the Disposal and Check for Visible Issues – First, ensure the disposal is turned off to prevent accidents. Then, look for visible problems such as loose connections, obstructions, or other types of damage.
  • Test the Reset Button – Most disposals have a reset button located at the bottom. Pressing this can sometimes resolve minor issues. If the unit starts working again, it was likely a temporary overload or jam.
  • Use the Allen Wrench to Manually Rotate the Disposal – Many disposals come with an Allen wrench. Insert it into the bottom of the unit and manually turn it to free any stuck debris. If it rotates smoothly, the problem may be resolved.
  • Assess the Age and Warranty – Check the age of your unit and whether it's still under warranty. Disposals generally last around 8-15 years. If yours is nearing the end of its lifespan or out of warranty, replacement might be more cost-effective than repair.
  • Consider the Cost of Repair Versus a New Unit – Get an estimate for the repair costs. If the repair is more than half the cost of a new unit, it might be more economical to replace it.

Tips for Maintaining a Garbage Disposal

To extend the lifespan of your disposal and keep it running smoothly, follow these maintenance tips:

  • Use Cold Water: Always run cold water while using the disposal to solidify grease and oil, making it easier to chop and flush away.
  • Avoid Hard Objects: Bones, shells, and glass should never go into the disposal.
  • Clean Regularly: Use a mixture of ice cubes and salt to clean the blades, and lemon peels for a fresh scent. Avoid harsh chemicals.
  • Run Frequently: Running the disposal regularly prevents rust and corrosion.

Regular maintenance and proper use can extend the lifespan of your garbage disposal, ensuring it serves you well for years to come.

Need Help Fixing or Replacing Your Garbage Disposal in Los Angeles? Contact Our Plumbing Team at Moe Plumbing Services Today!

If you are having problems with your garbage disposal, reach out to our experienced plumbers at Moe Plumbing Services. We will figure out what the issue is and resolve it in no time!

Give Moe Plumbing Services a call at (818) 396-8002 or contact us online to schedule an appointment with our garbage disposal installation, maintenance, and repair team in Los Angeles.