Top Four Signs You Need to Replace Your Garbage Disposal

Hand of a plumber holding joints and connections of basin

A garbage disposal is a handy appliance to have in your kitchen, but only if it’s working properly. Like any household appliance, garbage disposals experience wear and tear over time. If your unit isn’t working its best, it may require replacement. When does your garbage disposal need to be replaced? Read on to find out what you need to know.

Equipment failure

When it comes to signs that indicate you need to replace your garbage disposal, the complete failure of the unit to turn on is the most obvious of them all. Make sure the power cord is firmly connected and that the reset button on the bottom of the unit is engaged. If the unit doesn’t respond and turn on, check your circuit breaker for a tripped circuit. In some cases, your unit may actually be on, but seem to not be working due to a clog. It’s best to call a professional plumber to see whether you’re facing true equipment failure or to handle the clog if there is one.

Smelly odors

When food waste and moisture combine, there’s bound to be some funky smells going on. Unfortunately for some, garbage disposals aren’t meant to deal with all types of food waste. Sticky and oily foods, grease, nuts, eggshells and stringy vegetables should never go down a garbage disposal. These foods, and many more, can stick to the sides of the disposal or get tangled in the blades.

Usually, running hot water and pouring degreasing soap down the drain can cut through minor clogs. Keep the blades in functioning order by sharpening them regularly. If food particles and clogs get to be too much, though, you may need to replace the appliance entirely.

Poor drainage

Waiting around for water and waste to run down the drain as you’re running your garbage disposal? Poor drainage is one of the tell-tale signs that indicates when your garbage disposal needs to be replaced or repaired. The drainage problems may be caused by a clog in the disposal itself or clogs further down the drain.

See if you can fix the problem by manually turning the blades and plunging the drain. Fill the sink with water and forcefully plunge over the drain. If the water drains, run hot water to further loosen up any clogs. When plunging is unsuccessful, reach out to your preferred plumber to get the drain unclogged or replace the unit if absolutely necessary.

Water leakage

Depending on the source of the problem, a garbage disposal can leak from several different areas. You could be dealing with a damaged flange or seal where the disposal connects to the drain. In this case, count yourself lucky, since these features are easily replaced. Leaks from the bottom are much more serious and are usually caused by damaged seals within the unit. In most cases, it’s more cost-effective to replace the unit rather than repair it.

If you’re currently experiencing any of the signs that indicate you need to replace your garbage disposal, it’s best to give your trusted plumber a call before you make any hasty decisions. The experts at PlumbSmart Plumbing Heating and Air can troubleshoot the unit and perform simple repairs or provide a full replacement, but only if necessary. Reach out to schedule an appointment!