We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.
Cleaning

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

What Are the Most Common Garbage Disposal Problems?

Deanna Baranyi
By
Updated: May 16, 2024

Many people experience garbage disposal problems from time to time. Some of the most common problems include clogs and jams. Other garbage disposal problems include dull blades and leaks. Many times, using the proper maintenance techniques will prevent many problems from occurring.

One of the most common garbage disposal problems is a clogged or jammed unit. A homeowner will know that a unit has a problem if it drains slowly, causing dirty water to flow back into the sink. People who feel confident in their plumbing skills might attempt to remedy the situation on their own. In general, the power should be turned off at the circuit breaker first. Then, the unit should be taken apart, exposing the jam or the clog. In some cases, a plumbing auger may be used to unclog a particularly stopped-up unit.

In some cases, it may not be necessary to completely take the unit apart. In those instances, the clog or jam may be visible with a bright light. Then, the person can simply turn off the power at the circuit breaker to prevent any risk of injury, and using scissors, pliers, or another tool, he can remove the material that is causing the jam or clog. Sometimes the garbage disposal problems are as easy as removing a errant piece of silverware or a thick steak bone from the disposal area.

Another common garbage disposal issue is that the unit will no longer chop up material. In those cases, the garbage disposal blades may need to be sharpened. If the blades are not too dull, they often can be sharpened by putting ice cubes down the drain. If the blades are overly dull, they may need to be sharpened professionally or replaced.

From time to time, the blades may completely break off as well. If that happens, the person might hear a loud rattling sound and see that material is no longer being ground in the disposal. In that case, the blades will need to be replaced. On occasion, the unit may be too old to find replacement blades and the entire unit may need to be replaced.

Leaks also can be common garbage disposal issues. For example, a person might notice that the area under his sink is wet or see water dripping from the unit. In this situation, the joints connecting the garbage disposal to the sink and the dishwasher may need to be re-tightened. If the unit is still leaking water, the rubber gasket may need to be replaced.

Many garbage disposal problems can be prevented. For example, some things should never be ground up in the garbage disposal, such as large bones, egg shells, and coffee grounds. Experts also recommend avoiding harsh cleaning products, such as bleach, to keep the rubber gaskets pliable and free from leaks. In addition, running cold water while the unit is turned on and trying to avoid dumping hot water from boiled pastas, grease, or other potentially clogging materials down the drain may help keep a disposal in working order.

HomeQuestionsAnswered is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Deanna Baranyi
By Deanna Baranyi
Deanna Baranyi, a freelance writer and editor with a passion for the written word, brings a diverse skill set to her work. With degrees in relevant fields and a keen ability to understand and connect with target audiences, she crafts compelling copy, articles, and content that inform and engage readers.
Discussion Comments
Deanna Baranyi
Deanna Baranyi
Deanna Baranyi, a freelance writer and editor with a passion for the written word, brings a diverse skill set to her...
Learn more
Share
HomeQuestionsAnswered, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

HomeQuestionsAnswered, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.