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Have you been experiencing garbage disposal problems? If so, you might find inconvenience in your household or kitchen. While some of these common issues, such as small clogs or blockage in the drain pipes, can be remedied with simple DIY repairs, some problems may not be something you can fix yourself. 

Everyone deserves reliable plumbing in their homes. While most garbage disposal models ideally separate food waste from the pipes as water runs, each may differ from the other and vary in durability and overall longevity.

Luckily, you can detect these problems easily by paying close attention to any red flags. While people may have trouble with their broken garbage disposals, several solutions to these issues are available. Here are some of the 5 common signs that you have a broken garbage disposal, and should call a Santa Clarita plumber.

Leaking in a Garbage Disposal

If you see a puddle beneath your sink or on the floor near your cabinets, it might be leaking. On average, leaks waste about 10,000 gallons of water per year at about 90 gallons per day. Leaks may occur due to problems with the sealing or connection to the other areas of a plumbing system.

If a broken garbage disposal unit begins leaking water or shows signs of cracks, you should consider replacing it instead of repairing it. Once the inner shell of a garbage disposal cracks, you would have to replace the unit entirely. 

The average cost of garbage disposal repairs is $250. The price increases depending on how much time has passed since the leak started, the garbage disposal system’s age, and the professional plumber’s rate, so it might be more cost-effective for you to replace it as quickly as possible.

Slow Draining in Your Garbage Disposal

If your garbage disposal shows slow draining signs, it may result from a clog or slow drain line within the sink’s drain trap. Fats from certain foods act as a source of clogging. If severe damage isn’t present in your disposal unit, you can fix the draining problem yourself. 

If you want to remove the blockage from a slow draining garbage disposal, make sure you turn the power off and unplug it. When choosing a substance to clear the clogging, don’t use chemical cleaners since it can cause permanent damage to parts of the garbage disposal.

Pour ¼ cup of baking soda and ½ cup of vinegar into the drain as a safer alternative to chemical cleaners. After a few minutes, rinse it by running hot faucet water and keep the water running to clear away the clog. After a few repeated rinse sessions, you should reach inside of the disposal and grab the foreign object for removal. Once it’s clear, plug in the disposal and start running it.

If slow draining occurs frequently or if you can’t remove the clogged objects, consider calling a professional plumber to resolve the issue or replacing the broken garbage disposal. You should also consider buying a replacement model that’s bigger for disposal capacity.

Is Your Garbage Disposal Making Unusual Noises?

Another sign of a broken garbage disposal is if it continues to make unusual rattling, humming, or screeching noises. Metallic rattling indicates that objects thrown, such as stray utensils, down the disposal hit the unit’s blades when in use, and humming indicates a blockage stopping the disposal’s blades.

The unusual sound you should look out for the most is screeching. While it may be a sign that something is stuck, it can also mean that the garbage disposal unit’s flywheel, bearing, or motor isn’t performing and might break. Since the motor, flywheel, and bearing aren’t designed for individual replacements or spares, the unit would have to be replaced instead.

If you’re unsure or unfamiliar with these noises, you might want to seek out a plumber for maintenance. If the screeching sounds continue, you may need to replace your broken garbage disposal if it is irreparable.

Foul Odors Coming From the Garbage Disposal

If you smell foul odors around your garbage disposal, it could be indicative of a broken garbage disposal. The odor source comes from food particles trapped in the unit over a long time, or the unit’s blades are getting stuck and not spinning precisely due to years of wear and tear. This scent embeds itself within the drain line or inside of the unit.

Although most garbage disposals can dislodge and clear out the pungent food and waste odors, there may be a problem if the odor persists for prolonged periods. The development of odors usually occurs in older, worn down garbage disposals after years of labor.

Typically, a professional plumber can efficiently resolve this issue. However, if you’ve been using your garbage disposal for over 15 years, replacing the garbage disposal might be a better decision.

The Need to Reset Your Garbage Disposal Frequently

If your garbage disposal fails to perform correctly, you may have to press its reset button to start it up again. However, it shouldn’t require pressing very often. Some people may also find themselves resetting their units after fixing clogs or putting large amounts of food down it. Constant resets to your disposal may indicate a severe issue. This sign also suggests the possibility of a broken garbage disposal.

The source of this problem might result from faulty wiring or the usual wear and tear. If you find yourself pressing the reset button when its power gives out, consider getting a plumber to find the issue and resolve it, or buy a new garbage disposal to replace the broken one.

Contact Detour Plumbing

If you feel that your efforts to fix the plumbing problems for your broken garbage disposal aren’t practical or too complicated for you, reach out to Detour Plumbing. Our team of trusted Santa Clarita plumbers can provide garbage disposal repair, kitchen sink repair, and garbage disposal replacement services.

Detour Plumbing offers 24-hour emergency repairs and installation, along with free estimates for all plumbing services. Our Santa Clarita plumbing services follow social distancing, sanitation, and no-contact service guidelines for the safety and well-being of all customers and employees.


Call us at 661-424-9820 or contact us online to request plumbing services or a quote.

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