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.
Garbage disposals first appeared in households in the 1930's and 1940's. These appliances, which are installed under a kitchen sink, can make a cook's life easier by trapping and shredding food waste items, allowing it to pass through the plumbing system. Although these popular appliances make cooking and cleaning much more convenient, they do require regular maintenance to keep them running at optimal performance. When it is time to replace your garbage disposal's blades, you can save time and money by doing it yourself.

4. Is installing a garbage disposal worth the additional water expense? On average, a modern faucet runs 2.5 gallons of water per minute, or 900 gallons per year based upon the average annual household usage in the U.S. Depending on how often you use your disposerl, your home’s water usage, and water bill, will rise. This is one factor you’ll need to consider before deciding whether or not to buy a garbage disposal.
2. Can my septic tank handle the load? Septic tanks are essential in the general installation and use of garbage disposals. If your home is hooked up to a septic tank, then the municipality that you live in may require you to upgrade your septic tank system if you decide to install a garbage disposal. A local building inspector will be able to tell you if you’ll need too. Also, you must take into account that you will be required to empty your septic tank more often.
A continuous feed model features a switch that is generally mounted on the wall nearby. In rarer cases, an air pressure switch may be mounted on the countertop. These air pressure switches are considered safer than traditional flip switches because they guard against shock by isolating the electrical system away from the sink’s source of water. Batch feed garbage disposals do not require the installation or use of a switch. Safety codes in your community will dictate how far away from the sink the electrical switch must be located.

There you have it. If you have questions about this or any other home improvement project, be sure to read our list of Frequently Asked Questions for this video. And be sure to print out our Project Instructions, which includes a Tools and Materials checklist, before visiting your local independent home improvement retailer. That’s where you’ll find all the products and helpful advice to complete your project. If you’re not sure where to find your local store, check out our Store Locator.

If your disposal grinds poorly, make sure that you are running enough water while operating the unit and that you are not grinding matter that you shouldn’t. If you can hear the garbage disposal running but it is not grinding, the blades may be broken. It’s usually easier and cheaper to just replace the entire unit. See How to Install a Garbage Disposal.
Keep anything too hard out of the disposal. The shredder will dull and become less efficient. Small hard objects can also get stuck and jam the rotating parts. Each garbage disposal has its own capacity for hard objects. The more expensive models of the same brand tend to have higher hardness capacities. The instruction manual usually specifies a list of objects to avoid. You can also gain experience with your own garbage disposal. Strong vegetable fibres can jam some garbage disposals, as well. If something may be harder than what the disposal handles, just put it in your trash can or think about setting up a worm composting bin. Some items to avoid are:
If you’re like most people who cook, your kitchen probably looks like a disaster zone after preparing a meal for your family and eating it. The cleanup process is going to go much more quickly if you can stuff leftover food waste down the drain. Most garbage disposals have a switch located near the kitchen sink. All that you have to do is turn the faucet’s cold water on, flip the switch, and put the remaining leftovers in the drain.

Only put biodegradable food items in your garbage disposal. The number one rule when it comes to garbage disposals is to avoid putting anything down there which is not biodegradable. The garbage disposal is not a trash can, and using to get rid of unsuitable items is a recipe for disaster. You can minimize damage and cut down on cleaning time by only using the garbage disposal for biodegradable food items. Things you should avoid putting down there include:
Warranty - The average industry warranty on a garbage disposal is one year; however, it is not uncommon to see manufacturers’ warranties that can extend up to ten years. As a general rule of thumb, the more comprehensive and longer a warranty is, the more confidence the manufacturer has in the product they have made, but this is not always the case, so it is still important to do your homework.
I did all the things that you said. I finallyt called the home warrenty company. They said that there was a penny stuck and I had to get a new disposal. He took a pciture so I could see. I asked him why he didnt try to get the penny out and he said that he would just replace After he left, I put my hand in to see if I could get the penny lose. I could not see it so I put my hand in again and got all the food out and there was the penny. I then tried to get it to run and it is still humming. What should i do? Do I really need a new disposal?
Not every garbage disposal was created equal, and it can be difficult to discern which one is right for your home. After all, a quick internet search will show you that there are hundreds of different models to choose from. You shouldn’t automatically choose the cheapest or best rated garbage disposal. You need to find the one that is right for your unique needs.
As a general rule of thumb, the heavier and bigger that a garbage disposal is, the more quietly it will operate – so long as it fits properly underneath your sink. Even though the sound dampening technology used in the design of garbage disposals has improved dramatically in the last 10 years, it is unrealistic to expect your garbage disposal to operate noise free. Under specific sinks, some disposals will be noisier than others due to the amount of vibration they produce. Ideally, you should look for a garbage disposal that features a nylon, insulated grinding chamber, like those produced by WasteKing.
If your garbage disposal just won’t turn at all, then it’s very likely that the disposal has lost power. Your unit may have blown a circuit, or it could be unplugged. First, check the plug for your garbage disposal to ensure that it’s secure. Next, locate the reset button on the underside of the unit, and push it. If neither of these things fixes the problem, look inside your electrical panel for signs of a tripped circuit.
Run a few trays of ice cubes, orange peels and salt through the disposal to remove odors and keep your disposals clean. For really tough odors, add 1/2 cup of baking soda and 1/2 cup of vinegar and let it stand for 15 minutes before rinsing. Also, running ice through the disposal will actually sharpen the teeth, keeping foods from getting stuck in the unit.
This is one of the biggest problems I’ve come across. When you start to notice a leak underneath your sink, it’s very easy to blame the quality of your garbage disposal. As you browse through the reviews on our website, you will probably notice I rarely mention a problem with leaking (if at all). This is because for the most part, the problem isn’t your unit but they way it has either been installed, or you could have a problem with the pipes it’s connected to.
Abt carries both types of garbage disposal systems, continuous and batch feed. Continuous feed disposers are turned on and off with a power switch. They usually have a shield surrounding the hole in the sink so things do not come back out while being ground for disposal. Some continuous feed disposals have a reverse setting to help reduce jamming. Batch feed disposals operate when a lid is engaged, making them safer. They are a good option for families with children because food is unable to fly out of the sink. Batch feed food waste disposals are usually more expensive than the continuous feed disposals.

Garbage Disposal Installation