Who Do You Call for a Garbage Disposal Issue?

Garbage disposal repair

Garbage disposals are an essential kitchen appliance. They help us clean plates and bakeware without making trips back and forth to the trash can. But like all appliances, garbage disposals can break down or stop working suddenly. When that happens, who do you call to fix your garbage disposal when it’s not working?

These appliances are unique because garbage disposals require a mix of electrical and plumbing knowledge, which might make you question who to call to fix your issue. However, knowing who to call can save you time and money and get your kitchen operating again in no time.

Chapman Heating, Air Conditioning, and Plumbing specializes in plumbing services with a solid background knowledge of electrical systems. Our team of Indianapolis plumbers have the expertise and know-how to install or replace fixtures, conduct routine maintenance, or fix any plumbing problem, including top-notch garbage disposal repair.

Why You Should Call a Plumber for Your Garbage Disposal Problem

Even though garbage disposals are powered by electricity, plumbers will be the most effective when it comes to resolving your garbage disposal issue. Most likely, a plumber installed your garbage disposal, and they have the knowledge to solve the majority of garbage disposal problems, even electrical ones.

In the event that your garbage disposal is clogged or jammed, an electrician might not know the most effective way to clear the clog or locate and eliminate the source of the problem. Even if you’re sure you have an electrical issue with your garbage disposal unit, call a plumber first. They have more experience with garbage disposals and can provide fast, effective solutions.

Signs You Should Call a Plumber About Your Garbage Disposal

The type of garbage disposal issue you’re experiencing may determine if you need to call a plumber at all. Some garbage disposal problems can be fixed by properly resetting the disposal or removing a clog. However, some issues require the knowledge of an experienced professional.

Your garbage disposal is responsible for processing different kinds of food waste, and as a result, it can wear down and break over time. Here are some of the most common warning signs that it’s time to call in a plumber:

  • Age: Like all home appliances, garbage disposals have a limited lifespan, but many are unsure when to replace their garbage disposal. They typically need to be replaced every eight to 15 years, depending on the brand and model.
  • Ineffective Grinding: If you suspect that there is a garbage disposal issue that needs to be addressed, run the unit and water for approximately 30 seconds. Then, reach into the disposal to check if there are waste items that have not been removed. If so, that might mean your blades have gone dull and need to be replaced.
  • Leaking Under the Sink: Especially as your unit ages, you’ll want to routinely check for leaks under your sink, including any active dripping or puddles. Typically, disposals leak only while the water is on or while the unit is running. A leak usually indicates a hose or seal problem, which requires a plumber to remove the unit.
  • Persistent Odors: Food waste is primarily what goes down your disposal. If it is not functioning properly, you might notice an unpleasant odor coming from the drain and/or garbage disposal. We recommend cleaning the sink and unit with natural cleaners and odor removers such as baking soda. If the odor persists, have the unit inspected by a professional.
  • Unresponsive: If you flip the power switch and nothing happens, that means you may have an electrical issue rather than a plumbing problem. However, it’s still best to have your unit assessed by a plumber who has the knowledge to reconnect the system and restart your unit. Do not attempt to work on an electrical problem in your garbage disposal on your own.

Garbage Disposal DIY Fixes

Here are some common garbage disposal problems and how to troubleshoot them yourself:

  • Garbage Disposal Won’t Turn On: First, make sure your garbage disposal is plugged in. Next, try hitting the reset button on the bottom of the disposal. If the disposal has been tripped, this button will pop out. Popping it back in should help. If neither is the case, check your circuit breaker to see if that has been tripped, or try resetting the circuit.
  • Disposal Is Humming But Does Not Grind: This most likely means your disposal is jammed. Make sure the garbage disposal is off, and then get a flashlight to see if there is something blocking the blades of the disposal. Use a spoon or a long instrument to see if you can clear the blockage. Never stick your fingers down a garbage disposal.
  • Garbage Disposal Drains Slowly: If water is backing up or draining too slowly, this most likely means that your garbage disposal is clogged. Try to remove what waste you can from the disposal. You can also disconnect the drain trap to better remove the clogged items.
  • Garbage Disposal Is Leaking: There are several connections to your garbage disposal that can leak. Find the source of the leak, and get a wrench to tighten bolts.

If you’ve tried to fix it yourself and are still having issues, it’s time to give a professional Indianapolis plumber a call.

How to Avoid Garbage Disposal Issues

In order to keep your garbage disposal in working order, there are a few rules you should live by when operating your garbage disposal:

  • Always run cold water when operating your garbage disposal.
  • Never use chemical drain cleaners to unclog your garbage disposal. Not only are they not effective, but they also add toxic liquids to your kitchen sink and pipes.
  • Grind up lemon peels and ice cubes to keep your garbage disposal from developing odors.
  • Do not grind fibrous foods like coffee grounds, eggshells, potato peels, bones, or onion skins.

Whether it’s repairing your garbage disposal or having a new one installed, Chapman can help. Schedule your garbage disposal service in Indianapolis and the surrounding area with the experts at Chapman today.