Have you noticed your disposal is making a strange noise? Is it feeling sluggish when it used to run like it was brand new? Are you experiencing any clogs? It could be time for a repair, so let’s go over a few common problems with garbage disposals and how to troubleshoot and repair them.

If you have noticed your garbage disposal making odd noises, the good news is there’s a chance it’s a simple fix and one you can do yourself.

The most common garbage disposal problem is a jam.

If you suspect your disposal is jammed, the first thing you want to do is flip the switch and listen for the hum. This noise will let you know if something is caught between the shredder ring.

If you do have a jam, you can call a repair service, or you can turn the unit off (at the breaker box.), put on some gloves, and remove the clog yourself. To prevent clogs, the best thing you can do is to be careful what you put down your garbage disposal.

Below you’ll find some of the most common causes of garbage disposal issues, how to resolve them and if you can fix them yourself or call a professional.

The Unit Won’t Turn On

If you flip your disposals switch and it doesn’t turn on it can mean a few different things. The most common one is that it’s not plugged in or the breaker is flipped. So before calling a professional check both of these.

Another common thing could be the reset may have popped out so you’ll want to check that as well. If none of these are the issue, then it’s time to call in a repair service because it could be the electrical switch on the disposal or the motor could be dead. Either way you’ll want to have a professional look at it to diagnose it for you.

The Garbage Disposal Is Leaking

One of the most common garbage disposal problems is a leaky unit. The first thing to check is whether or not your pipes are crimped, which can cause a leak. If this isn’t the problem, then you’ll need to turn off your water supply and remove the drainpipe beneath your sink.

You may find that there’s a crack in one of the pipes or that there’s something lodged inside that’s preventing your plumbing from working properly. In either case, this will need to be repaired before you can use your garbage disposal again.

The Garbage Disposal Is Making Noise

If your garbage disposal makes noise when turned on but doesn’t grind up anything when turned off, this could mean that there’s an obstruction in the drain line. An obstruction can be caused by something like food buildup or grease clogging up the hole where food goes into the disposal itself—but if this is happening often enough to create noise but not enough for actual grinding action, then it might be time for replacement parts or even replacement altogether (if your model has a life expectancy of less than five years).

Your Garbage Disposal Isn’t Draining

If your garbage disposal isn’t draining, it’s probably because something is blocking it. It could be that a piece of food has gotten caught in the drain hole and needs to be removed. Or it could be that something else has gotten stuck in the drain hole and needs to be extracted.

To unblock your garbage disposal, first, try plunging it with an auger. Plungers are available at hardware stores, grocery stores, and home improvement stores. If the plunger doesn’t work, try using a wire coat hanger to dislodge whatever is blocking your drain. If none of these solutions work, call a professional plumber who can remove whatever is blocking your drain.

Foul Odors Are Coming from Your Disposal

Most often, if your garbage disposal stinks, you can simply put some lemon wedges and ice in your garbage disposal and run some cold water, and it will take care of the smell. If you do this and it doesn’t work, then it may be coming from the drain line or be embedded in the unit. If this is the case, then you should call a professional so they can disassemble it and clean it for you. If this does not take care of the problem, you’ll have to replace the garbage disposal.

Things To Avoid Putting Down Your Garbage Disposal

Garbage disposals are often misused which leads to a lot of problems with your unit and frequent repairs. Below are some things people frequently put down their disposal that should be avoided.

● Fats and oils
● Starchy or stringy vegetables
● Eggshells
● Fruit pits
● Bones
● Non-food items
● Large amounts of food.


No one likes a smelly garbage disposal. That’s why it’s important to know what the most common garbage disposal problems are and how to fix them. It’s also important not only to minimize or fix these problems but also to avoid getting them in the first place.

Appliance failure can happen anytime to any home appliance, including garbage disposals. When it happens, you want it fixed quick. That’s where Affordable Appliance Repair of West Michigan can help!

Our trained technicians service just about every home appliance on the market. Just call and schedule a repair service and we’ll be out there in no time to evaluate.

From refrigerators to microwaves, no appliance is too big or too small and our customers are treated like family. When you call us, you will get the best customer service, highest quality work and lowest prices. Questions or need assistance with your home appliances? Call today!