Why is My Garbage Disposal Not Working?
Garbage disposals are great for modern kitchens. By providing you with a safe and sanitary way of immediately disposing of food waste, you can prevent pests like ants and rodents from invading your home to feast on the scraps, plus you can keep odors at bay and even reduce the amount of waste you add to landfills! However, they can also be a source of frustration when they stop working. Here are a few reasons why.
The Gears Are Jammed
Stringy foods like asparagus or solid foods like eggshells can actually cause the rotating shredder gears and impeller in your unit to jam. If your electric motor doesn’t have the torque to overcome the jam, it may simply fail to spin up at all. When this is the case, shut your disposal off immediately and do not turn it back on again.
Continuing to try to run an electric motor that can’t spin can cause the motor to burn out. Instead, simply stick a broom handle or another fairly substantial and somewhat lengthy down into your disposal, lodge it into a spot, and use force to try and get the impeller and shredder spinning again. This should cause whatever’s jamming it up to break free and your disposal to work again.
The Motor Has Died
While some modern garbage disposals are starting to use high-torque brushless motors, most units still used brushed motor technology because they’re generally much higher-torque than their brushless counterparts. But this comes at a cost: brushed motors wear out far faster. If you flip the switch and your disposal fails to respond, it could be that the motor has finally given out.
Your Drain Is Clogged
You can’t put just anything down your disposal; grainy foods, fatty foods, or starchy foods can catch in your drain and build up, eventually forming a really pesky clog that’s hard to get rid of. A drain clog behind your garbage disposal can prevent it from being able to properly shred food and dispose of it down the drain. If your sink is backed up, drains slowly, or doesn’t drain at all, then don’t turn on your disposal—you could only make the problem worse. Instead, call a professional Ventura County plumber to have the drain clog removed professionally and you should be free to use your disposal again.
Is your garbage disposal emitting a foul odor that you can’t seem to get rid of? This is usually caused by leftover food sticking in the disposal itself. To resolve this, cut a lemon into chunks and stick them in the freezer for a few hours. Then toss a few of these chunks into your disposal and turn it on while running hot water from your tap. This should help remove some of the food that is stuck in the disposal and make your kitchen smell great!
If you need your garbage disposal repaired or a new unit installed in your home, call Dutton Plumbing at (805) 849-0965 and let our experts take care of it for you!