Garbage Disposal Repair & Installation
Most garbage disposals last about 10 years — maybe less if you mistreat them. Signs of trouble include:
- Water leaks from the unit. (The seals could be failing.)
- The motor hums, but the blades don’t turn. (The disposal is jammed.)
- Nothing happens. At all. (The motor may have burned out.)
- The disposal makes a loud, strange noise. (The blades may be damaged or worn.)
- The disposal needs frequent resets. (The unit may be overloaded.)
- The disposal smells bad. (Food is trapped in the unit.)
- The disposal doesn’t grind food properly. (Blades could be dull or damaged.)
- Water backs up under the disposal. (The drain pipe is clogged.)
Call us if you experience any of these problems and can’t fix them yourself.
DIY Troubleshooting: What to Do When Your Disposal’s Not Working
Before you call us:
- Look under the sink. The disposal should be plugged in with its power switch in the on position.
- Check your circuit breaker box to ensure the disposal didn’t trip a breaker.
- Use a broom handle or plunger to dislodge whatever has jammed the disposal. Don’t use your hand!
- If the disposal smells bad, run cold water and grind a half cup of ice cubes for about 30 seconds to clean out trapped food.
- If the reset button pops up often, the disposal is overloaded. Use it less often, or consider installing a garbage disposal with more power.
- If the disposal makes strange noises, unplug it immediately and call us. Don’t attempt repairs yourself!
- When in doubt, always call a professional.
Clearing a Clogged Garbage Disposal Drain
A clog is caused by food or other objects stuck in the disposal or drain.
- Run cold water through the drain for a minute or two to see if this clears the clog.
- Grab a plunger and try to force the clog through the drain. Plunge slowly at first and then more forcefully. If that doesn’t work, you’ll need to dislodge the clog manually. (Don’t use chemical drain cleaner — it could damage your pipes.) You may have to unjam the disposal first (see below).
- If the clog occurs below the disposal unit, and a plunger can’t push it through, call for professional help.
Clearing a Disposal Jam
A jam occurs when something prevents the blades from turning.
- Turn off the power switch to the disposal and unplug the unit.
- Use a flashlight to peer into the disposal. You should see a circular object (the flywheel) with blades attached.
- Look for a hole in the center of the flywheel. This is where you’ll insert a hex wrench to turn the flywheel and release the blades. Turn the flywheel back and forth until you feel resistance.
- Finally, turn the flywheel several times clockwise until it’s loose.
- Now, reach in with your hand (wearing gloves!) and remove whatever is causing the jam.
- Once you’ve dislodged the jam, run cold water through the disposal for a minute or two to clear it out.
- Finally, plug the disposal back in and turn it on at the switch.
- Some jams, like those caused by wedged metal objects, may call for professional expertise.
Garbage Disposal Replacement: When Good Disposals Go Bad
Repair is usually the best option for a new garbage disposal (five years or less). Often, we can fix a disposal in less than an hour.
But even the best garbage disposals don’t last forever.
If your disposal is beyond repair, we’ll replace it with a new one. We’ll ensure the new unit is compatible with your plumbing and electrical systems, install it to code, test it, and clean up any mess.
A new garbage disposal may cost between $100 and $250, plus an installation fee.
When to Call Us for Repair or Installation
Even if you’re handy, certain repairs are best handled by experts. That’s certainly true of all but the most basic garbage disposal repairs.
Why? Because electrical work is involved, and one wrong move could result in serious injury — or even death. So unless you’re 100% confident in your ability to repair or replace the unit safely, please call us.
- Replacing a garbage disposal isn’t as simple as it looks. Besides disconnecting the plumbing fixtures and electrical wires, you have to remove the sink flange, which attaches the disposal to the sink. Dealing with disposals mounted under the countertop is even trickier.
- Chances are, you don’t have the right tools — and even if you do, one wrong move could mean a flooded kitchen. Water and electricity don’t mix!
- The unit will leak unless perfectly aligned with the sink drain. And if the electrical wiring is faulty, you could end up with an electrical shock — or even a fire.
What to Expect From Us
When you ask us to look at your garbage disposal, here’s what you can expect:
- A live person will answer your call 24/7 and schedule a service appointment that’s convenient for you.
- A uniformed, professional technician will arrive on time, fully equipped to do the job.
- The technician will diagnose the problem and explain your options.
- If you decide to replace the disposal unit, the technician will help you choose the right model for your needs and ensure the unit is compatible with your plumbing and electrical systems.
- Once the job is complete, the technician will clean up the mess, answer any questions, and haul your old disposal to the recycling center.
- We’ll charge a fair, upfront price. And we won’t add hidden fees.
Our goal is to leave you completely satisfied with our work. Call us today to schedule service!
Frequently Asked Questions about Garbage Disposal Repair
What's the average lifespan of a garbage disposal?
A garbage disposal lasts about 10 years. However, this varies depending on the use and quality of the unit.
How can I tell if my garbage disposal needs repair or replacement?
If your disposal is making loud noises, leaking, or not working at all, it may need to be repaired or replaced.
Is it better to repair or replace a garbage disposal?
Repair may be the best option if it’s been in service for five years or less and the problem is minor. But replacement may be the way to go if it’s been in use for more than five years or the problem is serious.
What ruins a garbage disposal?
Jamming objects such as metal or glass can burn out the motor, making repair impossible. Avoid putting hard items down the drain.
Should I attempt to repair a garbage disposal myself?
Repairing a garbage disposal can be dangerous because of the electrical components. It’s best to call an expert for help with any complicated repairs or replacements.
How do I know if a garbage disposal motor is burnt out?
If the motor is burnt out, it won’t turn on at all. You can check with a voltage meter to confirm. If that’s the case, you’ll need to replace the entire unit.
What should I do if my garbage disposal leaks?
Leaking could be caused by a cracked flange or a loose connection between the sink and disposal. If you suspect either of these problems, turn off the power and call us for an inspection. Don’t attempt to repair it yourself.
What can I put down a garbage disposal?
You should avoid putting fibrous or starchy foods, grease, oils, bones, coffee grounds, and eggshells down the drain. These items tend to collect in the pipes and create clogs. Ice cubes can sharpen the blades and clean out the disposal.
Why is my garbage disposal humming but not running?
The flywheel may be jammed. If you can’t unjam it yourself, the only way to fix this problem is by calling a professional.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call us today.