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Common Garbage Disposal Issues And How To Prevent Them

water splashing down drain

We may be a little biased in our opinion, but the garbage disposal is one of the greatest inventions ever created for the kitchen. It's convenience almost rivals the automatic ice maker. Almost. But, as with anything good, it might take a little work to keep it running efficiently. Here are a few things that can go wrong with a garbage disposal.


Over time, a garbage disposal can accumulate food debris and start to emit a foul odor. There a few different ways to combat this:

  • Citrus peels: Cut them in small pieces and run them through the disposal to get rid of the odors.

  • Hot soap and water: Yep, good old soap and water can sometimes help. Just make a big pot of hot soapy water and slowly pour it down the disposal while it is running. Then turn it on for a few seconds with cold water running.

  • Salt and vinegar: Mix salt and vinegar and slowly pour it in the disposal while it is running. Then, rinse it well with cold water.

It won't drain.

If the motor is running and it won't drain, there is a clog somewhere in the pipe. If plunging won't help, a professional will need to clear the drain. Be careful with grease. It's your worst enemy when it comes to kitchen drains. Dispose of all grease and fats into the garbage.

The motor runs but it won't turn on.

It's probably just jammed. There is a red reset button on the bottom of the garbage disposal that will turn it back on. Running it for too long or putting large chunks into it can cause it to jam.

Nothing happens when the switch is flipped.

Check the breakers first to make sure one of them isn't tripped. If that doesn't work, a plumber will need to assess exactly what is wrong with the garbage disposal.

Give us a call today for any your plumbing or appliance needs. One of our highly-skilled professionals will assess your specific concerns and provide effective solutions.