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7 Common Causes of a Broken Garbage Disposal
It probably goes without saying that a garbage disposal is an essential appliance in every kitchen.
But when it breaks down, it can be a real hassle. A broken garbage disposal can cause a lot of frustration, and it’s essential to know what causes it to malfunction. There are several reasons why a garbage disposal can break down, and it’s crucial to identify them to prevent further damage.
In this article, we’ll discuss the seven most common causes of a broken garbage disposal. Whether you’re experiencing slow drainage, strange noises, or a complete breakdown, understanding the causes will help you take the necessary steps to fix the problem. So, if you’re tired of dealing with a broken garbage disposal, keep reading to learn more about the seven most common causes of garbage disposal problems.
Cause 1: Overloading the Disposal
One of the most common causes of a broken garbage disposal is overloading it.
It happens when you put too much food waste into the disposal at once. Overloading can cause the motor to overheat, and the blades may become dull or damaged. When the motor overheats, it can trip the circuit breaker, and the disposal will stop working.
By that time, there’s nothing for it but to hire plumbing services to get you up and running again.
So to prevent overloading, only dispose of small amounts of food waste at a time. If you have a lot of waste to dispose of, break it down into smaller pieces and dispose of it in batches. This way, the garbage disposal will work efficiently, and you won’t have to deal with a broken appliance.
Cause 2: Putting the Wrong Food Items in the Disposal
Another common cause of a busted garbage disposal is putting the wrong food items in it.
Some foods are too hard or fibrous for the disposal to handle, and they can damage the blades or clog the drain. Foods like bones, fruit pits, and vegetable peels should not be disposed of in the garbage disposal.
To avoid hiring a plumber to fix this avoidable problem, make sure to read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. Only dispose of food waste that is soft enough to be ground up by the blades. If you’re not sure if a particular food item can be disposed of in the garbage disposal, throw it in the trash instead.
Cause 3: Lack of Maintenance and Cleaning
A garbage disposal needs regular maintenance and cleaning to work correctly. Over time, food waste and debris can build up inside the disposal, causing it to clog or stop working altogether. It’s essential to clean the disposal regularly to keep it in good working condition.
To clean the garbage disposal, pour a mixture of vinegar and baking soda down the drain. Let it sit for a few minutes, then flush the disposal with hot water. You can also use a garbage disposal cleaner to remove any buildup inside the unit. Regular cleaning and maintenance will prevent clogs and keep your garbage disposal working correctly.
Cause 4: Worn-Out Blades
The blades in a garbage disposal can become dull or worn out over time.
When this happens, the disposal may not grind up food waste as efficiently as it should. Dull blades can also make strange noises or cause the disposal to vibrate excessively.
To prevent worn-out blades, avoid putting hard or fibrous food items in the disposal. You can also sharpen the blades by grinding up ice cubes or eggshells in the disposal. And if the blades become too damaged…well, that’s when you may need to replace them to restore the garbage disposal’s efficiency.
Cause 5: Electrical Issues
Electrical issues can also cause a garbage disposal to break down. If the disposal doesn’t turn on or suddenly stops working, there may be an electrical problem. The circuit breaker may have tripped, or the wiring could be damaged.
To prevent electrical issues, make sure to use the proper voltage and amperage for your garbage disposal. If you’re not sure what the correct specifications are, don’t hesitate to consult the manufacturer’s instructions. If you suspect an electrical problem, contact a qualified electrician to inspect and repair the wiring.
Cause 6: Damaged Disposal Parts
The garbage disposal has several moving parts that can become damaged over time.
The impellers, flywheel, and motor can all wear out or break down, causing the disposal to stop working correctly. Damaged parts can also cause strange noises or vibrations when the disposal is in use.
To prevent damaged parts, avoid overloading the garbage disposal and only dispose of soft food waste. If you notice any strange noises or vibrations, turn off the disposal immediately and inspect the unit for any damage. And, of course, If you do see any visible damage—that’s definitely the time to contact qualified plumbing services to repair or replace the damaged parts.
Cause 7: Installation Problems
Finally, installation problems are an often overlooked cause for garbage disposals to break down.
If the disposal was not installed correctly, it may not work correctly or may be more prone to breaking down. Improper installation can cause leaks, clogs, or even electrical problems.
To prevent installation issues, make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. If you’re not comfortable installing the unit yourself, contact a qualified plumber to install it for you. A professional installation will ensure that your garbage disposal works correctly and prevents any issues from arising.
Broken Garbage Disposal? Don’t Despair—Contact Service Plumbing & Systems
A broken garbage disposal can be a hassle, but it’s essential to know why it can malfunction.
Overloading, putting the wrong food items in the disposal, lack of maintenance, worn-out blades, electrical issues, damaged parts, and installation problems are all common causes of a broken garbage disposal. By understanding these causes, you can prevent further damage and keep your garbage disposal working correctly.
But sometimes, despite your best efforts, breakdowns happen. In that case, don’t worry—we’ve got you covered. Just contact us at Service Plumbing & Systems, and schedule an appointment for one of our skilled professionals to come out and save the day! We provide service throughout the Lakewood and Tacoma area.
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