Garbage Disposals and Problems It Can Have 

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A garbage disposal is an important appliance in your kitchen. It grinds food scraps, which makes them smaller and less likely to clog your pipes. 

However, garbage disposals can also have problems. Understanding what to look for can help you troubleshoot and repair a problem before it becomes a bigger issue. 

1. Clogs 

A clogged garbage disposal can be expensive to fix. A clog can prevent water from flowing and cause the sink to drain slowly. 

Garbage disposals grind food waste into fine pieces that are easy to wash down the drain. But some food scraps, like egg shells, potato peels and large bones, are too hard to break down in a disposal. 

Putting these things down the drain can cause a clog, as the materials can’t get through the disposal blades or pipes. 

The same thing can happen if you drop down large bones, greasy food, or even coffee grounds or eggshells into your disposal. These items form a thick gunk that easily clogs the drain and causes the water to slow or stop completely. 

2. Electrical Issues 

If your disposal is not turning on, it may have an electrical issue. First, check that it is plugged in and that the circuit breaker or fuse has not tripped. If this does not work, it may be time to call a professional electrician for help. 

Another problem your garbage disposal could have is an overheating motor. If this happens, the disposal will need to be reset to avoid damage to the unit. This reset button is located on the bottom or side of the disposal and can usually be pushed once the disposal has stopped overheating. 

If the reset button stays in after repeated attempts or you need to push it on every use, this is a sign that the garbage disposal is aging and needs replacement. A plumber can fix this problem quickly and efficiently. 

3. Overheating 

Overheating is an issue that can occur when you use a garbage disposal with too much food waste or with items that are tough and hard. These items can get jammed in the system, which will prevent the grinding chamber from working and cause overheating. 

To avoid overheating, only use the disposal for soft food waste and remove blockages as soon as possible. Then, try to reduce the amount of waste you put into the system and allow it to cool down before pushing the reset button again.

If the reset button doesn’t work, try freeing the grinding plate or wall by pressing a red button on the bottom of the disposal. This will free up the motor and prevent it from overheating and burning out. 

Sometimes overheating is a sign that the motor capacitor has burnt out and needs to be replaced. If this is the case, you will also need to replace the circuit breaker. 

4. Damage 

Garbage disposals are a great tool for getting rid of a variety of food scraps that would otherwise go down the drain and cause odors. But, they can also cause damage if used improperly. 

When you run water down your disposal, it throws solid food waste against a rotating ring of two impellers. It then grinds that food into small pieces. 

However, some foods and other materials are too hard for the blades to handle. Bones, seeds, corn cobs, and even fruit pits can damage your garbage disposal. 

These are just a few examples of items that should be thrown out or composted instead of putting them down your disposal. 

Fatty materials like bacon grease, sardines, and peanut butter should never be poured down the sink or into your disposal, as they congeal in a thick mass that will eventually clog your plumbing system.

Recognizing a disposal problem can save you from a lot of time and money. Most of the time you can identify a leak in the garbage disposal from an odor that is a result of standing water. This odor is from the sewage water of food particles and such that you are disposing down the sink. If a drain is clogged or a disposal is malfunctioning it can lead to more kitchen problems. Notify a plumber in Melbourne if you start noticing foul odors in and around your kitchen sink. A professional plumber can help identify and fix leaks, replace a broken disposal, etc. It is important for the water safety in your home. This will also help avoid bacteria and mold that may grow from these leaks. 

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