How Can I Tell If My Garbage Disposal Is Broken?

How can I Tell If My Garbage Disposal is Broken?

An everyday workhorse, the garbage disposal is a fixture of most kitchens that we don’t realize how reliant we are until it stops working. 

So how can you tell if this unsung hero, your disposal, is broken? What about how to fix it or when to replace it? We’ll cover everything in today’s post.

Signs of a Broken Garbage Disposer

Before the disposal completely stops working, there are signs along the way that it is breaking down. If you notice any of the following, your disposal might be on its way out:

  • Lingering Odors. The primary purpose of the garbage disposer is to grind up food particles to help them flow down the drain. A smell that lingers is an indication that bits of food is trapped in the disposal. Regular cleaning can help prevent this, but a plumber can also assist with dissembling the appliance and finding the issue.
  • Unusual Noises. Disposals can be pretty loud when they run, but if you notice a metal-sounding noise (like when a forgotten spoon finds its way into the drain), you’ve got a potential issue. Turn off the disposal and shine a light inside to try and locate anything that might be blocking the blades. Besides an obstruction, sometimes the appliance components can become misaligned and create a grinding metal sound. A quick adjustment of the gears can fix the problem.
  • Frequent Clogs. The disposer isn’t meant to take on large volumes of food, and there are some items you should absolutely never put down the drain. If you find that your disposal is constantly clogging despite keeping bits of food minimal, the appliance may simply be failing.
  • Loss of Power. If you can’t get your garbage disposal to turn on, or it tends to turn off while you’re using it, you could be dealing with a blown circuit. Power issues can indicate the motor is on its way out.
  • Frequent Resets. Disposals often have a reset button to help them recover from clogs or large loads. If everything is functioning correctly, you should rarely need to use the reset button. Frequently resetting is a sign of an aging disposal system, and it might indicate loose wiring. An experienced plumber can assist with fixing this issue.
  • Water Leaks. Garbage disposers have an average lifetime of between eight to fifteen years. Over time, cracks can develop in the unit, or it might even spring a leak. At this point, you’ll want to consider replacing the appliance altogether, as repair may not be worth the cost.

Call Salisbury Plumbing for Your Broken Garbage Disposal!

If you notice one or more of the issues listed above, you’re probably dealing with a broken garbage disposal. While you can usually assess the problem on your own, you’ll likely need a trusted plumber to fix it. At Salisbury Plumbing, our licensed plumbers provide service to residential clients throughout Utah County. Whether you’re located in American Fork or Provo, our experienced technicians can come to your rescue with 24-hour services. Give us a call at  385-375-1207 or contact us online to schedule an appointment.

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