Things To Know About Garbage Disposals
Is your garbage disposal leaking? Alternatively, is your garbage disposal making a humming sound each time it is in use?
A broken garbage disposal can be a surprisingly major inconvenience. Blockages and leaks can put kitchen sinks completely out of action. In most cases, though, it will be possible to repair broken garbage disposals with a little DIY.
Why Is My Garbage Disposal Leaking?
Electrically powered garbage disposals prevent drains from blocking, by shredding food waste present in used dishwater. Over time, motors in garbage disposals do wear down. However, if your garbage disposal is leaking or humming, it may not be time to replace your unit just yet.
How a Garbage Disposal Works
Garbage disposals connect to drains using a sink mounted flange. Below this, disposals connect to dishwasher water inlets.
In most cases, a garbage disposal leaking will be the result of flange mounts coming loose. When this is the case, mounts can be easily tightened or re-secured using plumbers putty.
- Try and visually determine where leaks originate from.
- If leaks start at the top of a garbage disposal unit, a loose flange mount or dishwasher inlet will be the likely culprit.
- For leaks starting lower down on a unit, check your garbage disposal connection to your main drain line.
Typically, garbage disposals last for 5 to 15-years. This being the case, always check flange, dishwasher and drain lines, before writing off a unit. It could be, after all, that lines and flange fittings simply need tightening.
Why Is My Garbage Disposal Humming?
When garbage disposals start making strange sounds, this is usually the result of trapped foreign objects.
Garbage disposal blades are not designed to shred fragments of bone, toothpicks, olive pits, or other hard waste items. The good news, though, is that most food blockages can be easily removed.
- Physically unplug your garbage disposal power supply.
- Visually inspect the drain hole leading to your disposal fan blades.
- If a foreign object is present, try and remove this with a suitable instrument. (Do not use your fingers.) If removal is not possible, try simply dislodging a blockage.
Once a foreign body has been removed plug your garbage disposal into the mains, resent your unit, and test to see if humming sounds have abated.
When is it Time to Replace a Garbage Disposal?
As a rule, always try removing blockages and tightening flange and drain lines, before replacing a garbage disposal.
In cases where no power seems to present, make sure to also check mains power connections and electricity panels for faults and tripped circuits. Only when you are sure that a potential DIY fix isn’t an option should you look for a replacement system.
Can a Plumber Help fix a Broken Garbage Disposal?
A professional plumber can help fix faulty garbage disposals. However, in most cases, calling a plumber will not be cost-effective. Plumbers can charge anything from $20 to $50 per hour. Moreover, even the best plumber can’t fix a worn-out disposal motor.
By comparison, new garbage disposals cost just $175 to $200. This will usually including warranty and installation. It, therefore, always pays to try a spot of DIY, before calling in the cavalry.