Identifying Garbage Disposal Issues

Identifying Garbage Disposal Issues

Standard in most American residences are garbage disposals. When they work, food prep and cleanup can be so much easier. But when they do not, smells develop and it’s just all around inconvenient. There are many things that can afflict your garbage disposal, but we want to highlight a few of the most common issues people face, along with how to solve them.

Humming without Functioning

When you flip on the garbage disposal and hear the motor trying to run but the blades of the grinder are not responding, this indicates that your flywheel is jammed somehow. If you keep trying to run the motor without fixing this root issue, you run the risk of your motor burning out. That, of course, will lead to you having to buy a whole new unit. So, what can be done when you encounter this problem?

Often, the thing causing this issue is something stuck that your garbage disposal cannot get rid of. Things like chicken bones, citrus peels, or rogue silverware. The simplest solution is to grab a flashlight and try to locate the offending debris. Once found, use a pair of pliers to remove the hard piece. Finally, run some hot water down the drain and turn the disposal on and off a few times. This will ensure that any remaining smaller bits of debris will be flushed away.

Drains Slowly

The root cause of a slow draining garbage disposal is often the same as other slow draining sinks. The solution is generally the same as well.

If you are faced with this issue, what you want to do is place a bucket underneath the drainpipe beneath the sink. Then disassemble the drain and discharge pipes. From here you should be able to clear any obstructions in the pipes and reassemble. Again, be sure to run some water down the disposal to double check that everything is moving freely through the pipes.


There are several points where a garbage disposal tends to leak. Where it connects to the bottom of the sink, where it leads to the dishwasher, and the connection that directly feeds waste to the drain system. Naturally over time, the grinding and vibration caused by running the disposal tends to loosen connections slightly. This in turn leads to leaks.

The solution is simple. Take note of any loosened bolts and connections. Then taking a wrench, securely tighten them. If the leaking persists, you may need to place a new bead of plumber’s putty along essential connection points.

If you have a plumbing issue, you cannot identify and do not know how to fix on your own, be sure to give us at BL James & Son a call. We can skillfully identify your issue and suggest a solution in an honest and trustworthy way. We would love to be your go-to people to call when you need mechanical help.

By BL James and Son 5-10-2021