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Annoying Garbage Disposal Problems To Watch For

A smoothly functioning garbage disposal is critical to keeping a clean kitchen. It is indispensable since it reduces kitchen odors, gets rid of waste, and saves crucial time. However, garbage disposals are not invincible, and a breakdown can be significantly more irritating than for other appliances. 

A malfunctioning garbage disposal can lead to unpleasant odor, clogs in the kitchen, and mess. You can avoid such conditions and keep your house clean if you recognize the warning signs well in advance. 

We have put together the seven most common garbage disposal problems that you may encounter: 


1. Leaks

One of the most common garbage disposal problems is that of consistent leaks. Most of the time, it occurs due to disturbances in the top flange of the disposal. If you are trying to fix this problem yourself, shut down your garbage disposal. 


2. Not Draining

If your garbage disposal is draining slowly or has stopped, it could indicate a clog in the disposal unit or pipe. To unclog the unit, you can pour down hot water with baking soda and vinegar. 


3. Jams

Jammed garbage disposal systems make a humming sound and cause slow drains or backups in the sink. This problem occurs when things like eggshells, fruit pits, bones, fats, oils prevent garbage disposal blades from turning. Additionally, garbage disposal blades can also become ineffective if you don't clean them daily. 


4. Unpleasant odor

Over time, food particles accumulate in your disposal unit and rot, emitting pungent smells and making your appliance stinky. These odors might not indicate any problem with your garbage disposal but regularly need good cleaning and maintenance. 


5. Smoke

If you notice smoke coming from your garbage disposal, it's a sign the motor inside has failed. The damage occurs when you put any complex object or food that stresses it. Due to this, the engine works overtime, causing overheating or failure of the motor. There can also be a short circuit in your garbage disposal, causing the same issue. 


6. Noises

A garbage disposal that makes unusual sounds often does have a problem. If you hear the sound of grinding metal, it happens when something gets stuck in the blades or a part of the garbage disposal is missing. 


7. Stops working

When your garbage disposal stops working, it can be hard to figure out why. You should first confirm that the plug is not loose or unplugged. If that's fine, check the circuit breaker of your home. 


Tips for the proper use and care of your garbage disposal: 

  • After using the garbage disposal, pour a small amount of soap and drain with cold water. Doing this will combat bad smells and keep your disposal clean.

  • Don't use heavy chemicals to unclog the drain; they can damage your disposal. 

  • Don't put large animal bones, oils, fats, plastic, glass, and metal objects. Also, avoid grinding foods such as rice and spaghetti since they can clog the disposal. 

  • If your garbage disposal begins to smell, grind citrus fruits like lemon or orange peels to freshen them naturally. 

  • To protect the heavy parts and components, you can purchase a home warranty plan. Various home warranty companies cover garbage disposal and other major home systems and appliances. If it breaks down, you can place a service request, and a technician will be at your place to fix it. You would just pay a service call fee ranging from $50-$125. You can avoid unnecessary repair costs and keep your unit running smoothly with a home warranty.



Problematic garbage disposal is hardly any use to anyone and can stink up your kitchen, keep you from doing dishes, and even destroy your sink. If you experience any of the problems mentioned above, turn off the system until a service professional comes. Garbage disposals can be durable, provided they are taken care of properly. 


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