Garbage disposals might be one of the most underrated conveniences in modern kitchens — and it’s usually not until something goes wrong that we realize how truly valuable the appliance is. When it comes to garbage disposals, one of the most common problems homeowners report is a leak. But while a leaky garbage disposal is an annoyance, the issue is typically easy to fix. This no-frills guide will help you find the source of a leak and detail how you can remedy the issue with a little knowledge and DIY magic.
Assuming that you have already given the disposal the time it needs to run and clear the garbage, you probably have a congested drain line. We don’t recommend using chemical drain cleaners with a garbage disposal. You will very likely just damage the unit and end up with a sink full of toxic chemicals that you’ll eventually be forced to clean out manually. If the blockage doesn’t go down with the good ol’ baking soda and vinegar remedy, then calling a John Moore professional is your best bet. He or she will know exactly how to properly remove the bolts, disconnect the drain trap and remove the trap and the discharge drain pipe, check for clogs and any other obstructions, and finally clear the blockage with the latest and best tools. (See our previous post about good steps you can take when your kitchen sink is clogged!)
The large-capacity disposer chamber boasted by this GE The large-capacity disposer chamber boasted by this GE 1/3 HP Continuous-Feed Garbage Disposal features a cold-rolled carbon steel armature shaft and dishwasher drain connector. It also has a stainless-steel sink flange ensuring durability and providing ample space for waste disposal. The disposer harnesses the power of jam-resistant dual stainless-steel swivel ... More + Product Details Close
We’re starting with clogs because they’re actually only *kind of* garbage disposal problems. Technically, garbage disposals can get jammed (see below!), but if water stands in your sink and takes forever to drain, it’s probably because the kitchen sink pipe has been clogged. Many different materials can cause clogs, from sediment, to scale, to grease, to food remains. Depending on the culprit, clogs may begin to smell. Ideally, your garbage disposal should have ground up debris enough that it wouldn’t clog anything up, but nobody’s perfect.
Some jams you can free and get the motor to spin and sound like it is working, but the blades are stuck in one position and can’t spin freely to do their job properly. This is very common problem – the motor works so we think everything is working. Not the case! This can lead to stoppages, food trapped in the disposal and a bad smell. These blades can’t be repaired. The disposal needs to be replaced.
If the disposal jams, turn off the power and look underneath the sink. There is a place in the center of the motor shaft, on the bottom of the unit, where you can use an allen wrench to manually turn the motor. Give the motor a few manual turns to get it unstuck. Remove the Allen wrench before you try to run the motor again. Also, press the reset button/ circuit breaker on the bottom of unit, if applicable.
Make sure that there is power getting to the unit. Garbage disposals have an independent cord that is plugged into a wall socket beneath the sink. Unplug the disposal unit and plug another small appliance, like a desk fan, into the wall socket. Turn the appliance on to see if it works. If it doesn't work, check the breaker panel. If the breaker is flipped to the "On" position, there is an electrical problem on that circuit, and an electrician must be called in.
Garbage disposals help us get rid of food waste, so it’s not surprising that the appliance may be susceptible to gross smells. A capful of bleach or grinding up citrus peels can help eliminate any foul odors coming from your garbage disposal. However, if nothing seems to help your appliance in the smell department, it may be catching food particles within its crevices. We recommend disassembling your garbage disposal to clean it, or replacing it if it’s old.
Manufactured in the United States, Waste King garbage disposals have won much praise for their energy efficient design. Waste King offers a wide range of garbage disposers for both residential and commercial settings. In the early 2000s, Waste King refocused their sights on providing unparalleled customer service and quality products, and their warranties are the current industry standard that others are measured by.
A garbage disposal unit (also known as a garbage disposal, waste disposal unit, garbage disposer, or in Canadian English a garburator) is a device, usually electrically powered, installed under a kitchen sink between the sink's drain and the trap. The disposal unit shreds food waste into pieces small enough—generally less than 2 mm (0.079 in)—to pass through plumbing.
Horsepower Ratings – Even garbage disposals that have a basic ½ HP motor are more than capable of handling softer waste and bones; however, if your kitchen’s food waste routinely includes bones, cores, and harder vegetables, like carrots or avocados, then you need to look for a garbage disposal with a 1 HP (or higher) motor. A more powerful motor will be able to grind hard waste finer and faster, which reduces your chances of developing clogged pipes.
The MOEN GX PRO Series of garbage disposals The MOEN GX PRO Series of garbage disposals packs all the standard features and reliable performance into a sleek and compact form ideal for professionals and consumers alike. Installation is simplified with the Universal Xpress Mount which fits on all MOEN and most existing 3-bolt mounting assemblies. Eliminate everyday kitchen ... More + Product Details Close