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Common Problems with a Garbage Disposal

Under the sink

A garbage disposal-for some it’s a luxury, but many consider it a necessity. But it’s a mechanical device that needs regular maintenance and, like anything else, is subject to malfunction or breakdown over time. Here are some common problems with garbage disposals and ways to avoid or address them.

Your Garbage Disposal Has No Power

If you turn the disposal on and nothing happens, there are a number of potential sources of trouble. You may have burned out the motor. If so, you’ll need to have a new disposal installed. But you may have tripped a circuit breaker—check your fuse box to see if any breakers need to be reset. If you keep tripping the breaker, you may need to have some rewiring done, so that you’re not putting too much load on the breaker. You may also have tripped the reset on the disposal itself. Most garbage disposals have a button on the bottom of the unit that will shut it off if there’s a jam or if the unit runs too long. Look for a red button on the bottom and push it until you hear a click.

Your Disposal Leaks

Whether it’s a drip or a torrent, the first thing you want to do is determine the source of the leak. If it’s coming from a pipe, you may need a new gasket, or may need to tighten a connection. If the leak is coming from the unit itself, you’ll likely have to bite the bullet and buy a new disposal.

Your Disposal Continually Jams

In most instances, this is because the unit has something in it that it can’t grind up, such as a piece of metal or glass, a bone, paper or cloth, or really dense organic material. Most units have a socket hole underneath, where you can rotate the grinder plate using an Allen wrench. Sometimes this will break loose a jam, but you may have to manually remove the material causing the problem. Two caveats!! Always turn off the power to the unit before you do this, and never put your hand in the unit, even if the power is off. Use pliers or tongs to remove any foreign objects.

Contact Public Service Plumbers

To learn how we can help you, call 214-363-4477 or contact us by e-mail and we’ll schedule an appointment.

At Public Service Plumbers, we answer our phones 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We can send our service personnel to your home or business anytime, day or night.

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Public Services Plumbers Inc.


5610 Dyer Street
Dallas, TX 75206