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Eek! Troubles With Your Garbage Disposal? Here’s Why!

Monday, August 5th, 2019 at 11:00 am

If you’re lucky enough to have a garbage disposal in your home, you know just how awesome these nifty little inventions are — let’s face it: you probably use it just about every day for every little thing! But one thing’s for sure — your garbage disposal was not designed to handle every little thing that’s thrown its way, and therefore, homeowners often find themselves dealing with a troubled disposal.

Not to worry though — below, we’ve explained some of the most common problems that occur with garbage disposal units. That way, you can learn to avoid these issues altogether! All you’ve got to do is keep reading below to find out more! 

Your Most Common Garbage Disposal Problems

Here’s what might be wrong with your garbage disposal in Lacey, WA:

Clogs from Grease, Oil, and Fat

You may have heard our warnings to never pour liquid oil, grease, or fat down your kitchen drains. Unfortunately, people often misinterpret this advice and think that it does not apply to garbage disposals because they are supposed to process food. But garbage disposals still link to a drainpipe, so when those liquids cool and solidify into a waxy substance, they can still end up clogging the pipes. They can also jam the moving parts inside the disposal.

Jams from Solid Objects

Here’s a good rule of thumb for what should and should not go down the garbage disposal: if you can’t chew it, your garbage disposal can’t chew it either. Put food leftovers, like animal bones and popcorn kernels, into the trash can instead.  In general, avoid treating the garbage disposal like it is an actual garbage can.  Non-food waste products—like glass, metals, and paper—should never go down there either, or else the disposal could end up with a serious jam that will require a professional plumber to repair it.


If your disposal is an older unit, loose screws and corroded gaskets can cause it to start leaking. In some cases, a repair technician can refasten the unit, apply sealant, or replace the gaskets to stop the problem. However, if the unit is extremely old, it may be better to replace it entirely rather than make numerous repairs.

Disposal Won’t Run

First, make sure that the unit hasn’t become unplugged. Then check the reset switch along the bottom of the unit to see if it has popped out. If you reset this and attempt to turn the disposal on again, and it still won’t run (only producing a humming noise until the reset switch pops out again) then the flywheel is stuck. Call a plumber to help you dislodge it—don’t put your hand down into the disposal to try to loosen it.

You Need Professional Repairs

If for any reason your garbage disposal starts acting funky, be sure to hire a professional plumber to handle your repairs. Only a certified professional has the tools, knowledge, and expertise to safely and correctly repair your system the first time around.

Be sure to schedule all your plumbing services with the team at Brooks Plumbing Company. Quality in Everything We Do. 

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