Diagnosing Your Garbage Disposal By Sound

After hosting large gatherings with lots of food, the busy cleanup period will follow. The dishes and glasses fill up the kitchen sink and you rinse all the waste down the drain. That waste can put some strain on your garbage disposal, and if you put it through too much work, it can start having some serious issues.

Depending on what problems you are having with your garbage disposal, you can troubleshoot those problems and fix the problem yourself. Some things might take no time to solve, but others will face you with the decision to repair or replace.

You can tell what might be the problem by the sounds your garbage disposal makes. No sound at all, meaning the motor isn’t running and the blades aren’t spinning, likely means that the garbage disposal is not receiving any power. That might mean that the overload circuit has shut down, or that the electrical circuit that serves the disposal is off.

The simplest solution is just a press of a button. Literally. On the bottom of your garbage disposal is a reset button, and that can help get your garbage disposal the power it needs. If that doesn’t do the trick, be sure you plug it in. If it is hard-wired to an electrical box, you might just need to reset the breaker.

When your garbage disposal hums, but does not grind, you might have a jam. The humming is a positive sound because that means that the motor is running, but you will still need to clear out the blockage. Before trying to free the jam or putting anything else down the drain, turn off the power to the disposal. Only when the power is off, should you attempt to remove a blockage.

What if your motor is humming and the blades are spinning, but not really grinding well? Then your issue is with the blades themselves. If your disposal grinds poorly, make sure you are running enough water while operating the unit and that you are not grinding matter that you shouldn’t. If the disposal is running but not grinding at all, then it could break the blades. 

Broken blades, or any other broken part to your garbage disposal, normally are not worth trying to repair. You might be better off replacing your garbage disposal with a new one, both because it is cheaper and because it can be simpler. 

More often than not, the sounds your garbage disposal makes have something to do with the drain or the blades. However, when it sounds like something else is wrong, or if it makes no sound at all, call a plumber. For help with your garbage disposal, call Sunrise Heating and Plumbing today at (616) 293-9326. We pride ourselves in providing nothing but exceptional customer service.