She knew about the service call fee. The 4 On Your Side Investigation found that’s a common fee. Consumer Investigator Jodi Brooks called around to try to get an estimate from private plumbers for a garbage disposal replacement. None of the businesses we called would give an estimate over the phone. All of them wanted to look at the situation before committing to a price, and all wanted to charge a service fee to come out. Brooks found only one plumber who would come out without charging.
A: A leaking garbage disposal often goes unnoticed until you confront a sopping cabinet, a foul-smelling puddle, or an audible drip-drip-drip from the unit. The fix can be frustrating, too, because the leak can stem from a number of components in the system. Fortunately, with a little sleuthing, you can zero in on the leak and—depending on the exact location—stop the icky oozing and repair the component that caused it. Worst case scenario, if it turns out that the garbage disposal must be replaced, installing a new one is a reasonable do-it-yourself task for those with basic plumbing skills. Read on to keep the cash you’d otherwise hand over to a pro.
If you’re unsuccessful using the wrench, you may need to go in through the drain in an attempt to remove the clog. Disconnect the power to the disposal by unplugging the unit or turning off its circuit breaker, then use long-handled tongs and a flashlight to try to remove the jam. Never use your hands for this task, even if the disposal is completely disconnected from its power source! Fumbling blindly around a disc of sharp blades is asking for injury.
When you buy a new disposal, the box will contain all the parts you need to install it. Before you jump into removing the old unit, take a few moments to familiarize yourself with all these parts. Put them together in the correct order and try out the locking mechanism. Understanding how everything fits together ahead of time will make the job a cinch.
The garbage disposal in your kitchen sink is a convenient way to get rid of scraps and leftovers, but when a foreign object like a glass gets caught in it, it can jam the mechanism and stop it from working. Removing a glass from a garbage disposal involves removing any large pieces of glass; dislodging the glass by inserting a wrench or broom handle into the bottom or top of the disposal; vacuuming the disposal; resetting it; or if none of the other steps work, removing the disposal and shaking out all of the glass. Read the following steps to find out how to remove a glass from a garbage disposal.
If some bad odors are coming from your disposal, it can mean that it is not chopping up the food finely and there are drainage issues. Try putting lemons peels (not wedges, y’all) through it first and see if that removes the odor. If that doesn’t help or if the smell returns frequently, that may be telling you that that the disposal isn’t swallowing and chopping up your leftovers correctly.
While you were testing the red switch at the bottom of the unit, you may have noticed a small opening in the center. If the unit is clogged or humming, you can try to free up the unit by using the wrenchette (Hex-Torx key) that came with your unit or a 1/4 inch allen wrench. Simply place the wrench into the center hole and move it back and forth until the whatever is clogging your unit is dislodged. Once your unit is moving freely, turn it back on to test. If the unit still won't turn on, it may be necessary to take the unit apart.
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.
Another common cause for a leaking garbage disposal is the disposal flange. A leak at the very most upper area of the garbage disposal could be the garbage disposal flange which goes through the sink. A garbage disposal flange should be sealed with Plumber’s putty and then tightened from underneath the sink. If this is not tight enough or if it has managed to come loose (which can happen) then the garbage disposal will have to be taken down so the flange can be resealed and then the garbage disposal can be rehung.