When your garbage disposal has difficulty doing its job or if it makes terrifying sounds, you probably want to know if there is a quick fix to take care of the problem, or if it will need to be replaced. Garbage disposal repairs tend to be pretty simple and even if it is beyond repair and you need it replaced, it’s a pretty simple process.
Signs Your Disposal Is Having Trouble
- Frequent Slow Drains/Clogged Drains – If the disposal isn’t doing its job, materials will gather and clog the drain so your water fills the sink and either just sits or drains very slowly.
- Scary Sounds – The grinding mechanism can break down and make horrible sounds, or it can be an item stuck in the grinding mechanism; blocking it and making noise. (spoons are a common culprit!)
- Resetting More Often than Usual – If it is tripping the circuit breaker, that is a sign of trouble either with the unit or with the wiring so you will want to know what’s going on.
- Stinky Smells – Bad odors that don’t clear up with usual measures can indicate a blockage or a failure to break down materials enough to be washed down the drain.
- Burning Smells – The garbage disposal motor may be worn and overworking so that it puts off a strong burning, metallic smell when it works. Stop using it and consider getting it replaced as soon as possible
- Leaks – Leaks can be minor, like needing putty or flanges replaced, or it can be more significant, like when seals are damaged inside the unit they will leak out the bottom. In those cases, you are better off replacing the unit. An experienced plumber can easily tell the difference.
How Long Should A Garbage Disposal Last
Your garbage disposal may have a short warranty, but quality disposals typically last about ten years before they start having issues or failing.
Causes Of Garbage Disposal Problems
The most common cause is that of inappropriate items getting lodged in the impellers. People tend to think of the protruding part they can see in the drain as “blades” but they are actually metal pieces that shove the food into the flat plate grinder. Sometimes, a small utensil, non-food item, or just a disposal of forbidden food can get stuck and they tend to make a terrible grinding noise. That’s the quickest fix, just safely fix the jam, reset your unit and you are back in business. For a list of what can’t go down the disposal, check out this Ask Pete session. Other causes of problems include simple wear and tear on the unit (they get old!), problems with seals or mounts inside the unit, and rarely, the inner flywheel can be damaged.
Can Garbage Disposals Be Repaired?
Yes, garbage disposals can be repaired in many cases. When there are minor issues they can be taken care of simply, but you want to be aware that if garbage disposal repairs are needed frequently, that may be a sign that the unit is close to failing. The issue is how often are you going to need to repair it and then compare that cost with replacing the unit.
It is often advisable to save money by replacing before problems become commonplace, but sometimes a good unit just needs a quick fix to give you years more service. Give us a call to see if we can help you make the best decision whether to repair or replace your unit. You can reach us at 480-388-6093. We are here to help.