Now that a few weeks have gone by after the holidays, here’s a question for you: “How’s your garbage disposal doing?” If you are like most people, it got quite a workout from Thanksgiving through New Year’s, and that can often lead to problems.
Disposals Are Used & Abused
No household appliance lasts forever. That’s especially true for garbage disposals. Think about it. Your disposal is exposed to running water, food waste, soaps, cleaners, and the rare (we hope) piece of silverware that accidentally gets dropped into the drain. That’s a lot of wear and tear for any plumbing fixture/device.
Common Garbage Disposal Issues
The garbage disposal in your Waterford, MI home can have any number of problems. Some can be fixed by the homeowner, but many require the services of a professional plumber.
- Nothing happens when it’s turned on:
- In this situation, start with the basics. Is the disposal plugged in? Check the appropriate circuit breaker to make sure it hasn’t tripped. Still nothing? Nearly every garbage disposal has a reset button. It’s usually red and located at the bottom of the disposal. It will trip if the unit is overworked or overheated. Try resetting it and if that doesn’t work, it’s time for the services of a professional.
- Disposal is jammed:
- In this situation you will hear a buzzing or humming sound when you turn the switch on. This indicates electricity is reaching the motor, but the jam is keeping the blades from spinning. Never try to free the jam without locating and shutting off the correct circuit breaker. You may be able to clear the jam if it’s near the top of the garbage disposal. If it’s deeper in the drain you should call for help unless you are comfortable disassembling the plumbing to remove the blockage.
- Leaking garbage disposal:
- This happens most often because a seal has failed, often around the sink flange where the sink attaches to the garbage disposal. Leaks can also happen where the dishwasher drains into the disposal or the disposal itself is cracked or has a hole in it. Unless it’s as simple as tightening a connection, it likely makes more sense to call a plumber to find and fix the leak.
- Disposal drains slowly
- This is a sign a clog is forming, most likely from food & grease. Kotz urges you to avoid caustic chemical drain cleaners. They can damage the garbage disposal and you often end up with a sink full of toxic chemicals. The best thing to try is the old-fashioned baking soda and vinegar combination to clean the plumbing. If that doesn’t work, call in the pros.
Kotz is Here to Help
If your garbage disposal is suffering from a post-holiday hangover, call Kotz now to schedule an appointment. To learn more about us and the services we offer for your Waterford, MI home be sure to like and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.