Category Archives: Garbage Disposals

My Plumber CA is a leading Garbage Disposal Repair company. We have fixed, installed, and repaired all garbage disposals. If you are wondering what that sound is from your garbage disposal, or the best ways to clean a garbage disposal, we can help. My Plumber services La Jolla Garbage Disposals, as well as Garbage Disposal Repair in  La Mesa. We can fix or replace any garbage disposal you have. Call us today!

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Why Does my Garbage Disposal Smell Like Sewage?

Is your garbage disposal smelling more and more like the food scraps it’s supposed to be eliminating? A stinky garbage disposal isn’t pleasant, to say the least. A stinky garbage disposal isn’t pleasant, to say the least. First you might catch whiffs of the stench while rinsing dishes, then you might be chopping veggies on the other side of the kitchen, and eventually, the stink can permeate your entire house. But, over time, the smell will grow more powerful and let you know exactly where it’s coming from. If your garbage disposal smells like sewage, it’s time to take action – fast. Wonder why your garbage disposal smells like sewage no more, and instead take action by checking to see if you’re experiencing one of these common problems.

1. There’s a Clog And You Need To Clean Your Garbage Disposal

We frequently get calls from homeowners asking “why does my garbage disposal stink?” Our first suspect is always a clog. Built-up food can start to rot in the garbage disposal, or it may have been smelly when you put it in. Either way, you’ll need to remove the clog, and this will make the smell worse at first.

If your garbage disposal smells like sewage, try clearing out the disposal. It’s really easy for foodstuffs to get stuck to the blades, especially if you’re not running your disposal as often as you should. Try refreshing the disposal by putting lemon slices down the drain and letting the disposal blades grind them up.

If you can’t stomach the smell and lemons don’t clear it up, you can call in a professional. However, if you’re brave enough to unclog it yourself, be sure you turn off and unplug the disposal before you start—so the garbage disposal can’t turn on when your fingers are inside. If the garbage disposal stinks still then may need a clean after the clog is removed.

Garbage Disposal Repair Services2. Your P-trap (or S-trap) Is Dry And Needs Some TLC

The smell may not be from the garbage disposal at all. The P-trap or S-trap form a seal that keeps your plumbing system’s air cut off from the rest of your home. This normally prevents sewer gas from leaving the sewers, wafting up through the garbage disposal, and coming into your kitchen. The trap accomplishes this with water, but if it has run dry, it will stop working.

The p-trap should always have water in it because this water forms a seal that blocks nasty smelling sewer gas from escaping into your home. If the p-trap is dry, it can’t do its job, and your nose will suffer. Only a plumber can check and correct this problem. Give us a call and one of our professional plumbers will inspect the p-trap for leaks, blockages, or air pockets.

3. You Could Have A Sewer Ventilation Problem

There’s another way that sewer smells can get into your garbage disposal. Normally, a plumbing vent carries the smells from your kitchen sink, and your bathroom, out through the roof. Sometimes it gets clogged with leaves and other debris, forcing the air to linger in the pipes and, eventually, push its way into your kitchen. If you find your bathroom or your dishwasher smells like sewage along with your garbage disposal, this is most likely your problem as your sewer line also needs to have proper ventilation.

If you carefully inspect or climb onto the roof, you can see if landscaping debris or other items like leaves have blocked the plumbing vent. You can try clearing it out by hand or try running water down the vent opening with a garden hose.

Clearing out the vent allows your system to maintain the appropriate pressure to seal away the sewer gas smells. If you can’t find it, a plumber will be able to locate the vent and even clean up the clog for you. Then, keep debris off your roof with regular landscaping maintenance.

Brand New Garbage Disposal Installation4. The Garbage Disposal Needs Cleaning

Didn’t find a clog or any of these other problems? Chances are your garbage disposal stinks because it just needs a thorough clean. Films and bits of food can gather in the disposal without actually causing a clog. Read on to find out the best ways to clean a stinky garbage disposal.

How to Remove Garbage Disposal Smell

Once you resolve the underlying problem, you may find your garbage disposal smells bad still. A quick clean should rinse out the smell and make your kitchen a pleasant place to be again. Here are a few ways to remove the leftover garbage disposal smell.

1. Soak with Soapy Water

As part of your usual kitchen cleaning regimen, you should be soaking your garbage disposal in soapy water anyway. Your disposal should have come with a plug, or you can purchase a new one. Place the plug in, draw up some warm, soapy water and let it sit. The soap should help loosen any residual food. After a few minutes, you can put a scrub brush down into the disposal to help remove any gunk. Just be sure the disposal is turned off and unplugged from the wall outlet when you do.

2. Ice And Salt

Sometimes the friction from the scrub brush isn’t enough to clean the blades. You can get better friction from using ice and salt inside the garbage disposal. The advantage of this method is that the ice will melt and the salt is water soluble so neither will cause a clog in the garbage disposal.

Take a handful of ice cubes and mix them with a ½ cup of coarse salt. If you only have normal table salt, that will work fine. Pour the mixture into the stinking garbage disposal. Run a trickle of cold water (hot water will melt the ice—defeating the point), and then start the garbage disposal. Run it until the salt and ice have been processed.

3. Other Deodorizers

After either of those two scrubbing methods, you might want to add something fresh to the garbage disposal to help absorb smell. Your options include:

  • Scented dish soap
  • Lemon or other citrus slices
  • Baking soda
  • Fabric deodorizers lik Febreeze

Prevent the Garbage Disposal Smell

Now that your garbage disposal is as fresh as a daisy, how do you keep it that way?

  • Put spoiled food down the toilet instead of the garbage disposal, as long as the food will fit down the toilet.
  • Don’t put foods that swell up in the garbage disposal. This includes bread, potatoes, uncooked pasta, and uncooked rice. If they swell in the garbage disposal, they can cause a clog.
  • Avoid putting high-fiber foods in the garbage disposal unless you cut them up beforehand. This includes celery, banana peels, and corn husks. The impeller blades will have a tough time handling these foods.
  • Run your garbage disposal longer to be sure the food is properly ground up and passes through.
  • Always run cold water while the garbage disposal runs. Start the water before you put the food in.
  • Wash it regularly with the deodorizers listed above.

Professional Help with Stinky Garbage Disposal

If you’ve tried all of the above and your garbage disposal still smells like sewage, it’s time to call in the professionals. Drain cleaning for your pipes and video inspection can ensure the job gets done right the first time. You could have a larger issue, such as a main sewer line clog, which will require the skills and tools of the professional San Diego plumbers.

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Garbage Disposal Sounds

My Garbage Disposal Sounds Like Grinding Metal

A garbage disposal on the fritz can either be an easy DIY fix, or it can be a more costly repair My Plumber CA Repairs a Garbage Disposal in La Jollathat must be left to a professional plumber. First things first, you need to know how to recognize the signs that your garbage disposal is malfunctioning. If your garbage disposal sounds like grinding metal, then it’s a sure sign that something’s up – and it ain’t gonna be pretty.

Loose Garbage Disposal Blades

Sadly, if your garbage disposal sounds like a rototiller on the loose, then your unit probably has a blade issue. Loose blades will result in a loud, obnoxious grinding sound from your disposal. While you might be tempted to fix it or to have a professional make the repairs for you, think twice about this option.

Loose blades generally require the garbage disposal be removed and taken apart, which ends up being more costly than the purchase of a new unit altogether. We recommend that instead you talk to a professional plumber about purchasing a new garbage disposal – they’ll help you pick out the most affordable option for your needs.

There’s a Fork Stuck in the Disposal

Before you lose all hope, make sure the check for a fork, spoon, or other utensil stuck inside your garbage disposal. It’s extremely common for a metal utensil to make its way down your disposal while you’re washing dishes, and this can not only ruin your disposal but it will create a dreadful grinding metal sound.

Common items that get stuck in a garbage disposal include:

What should you do if you suspect a fork is stuck in your disposal? Follow the steps below to remove it safely.

What to Do if Your Garbage Sounds Like Grinding Metal

  1. Unplug the disposal.
  2. Make sure the power is disconnected.
  3. Shine a flashlight down the sink drain.
  4. Remove any visible foreign objects using tongs or a wooden spoon.
  5. Plug in the disposal and run water.
  6. Test out the unit.

If your garbage disposal now sounds right as rain, congratulations! You fixed it. If the disposal is still making a loud noise, quickly turn off the unit and disconnect the power. If your garbage disposal sounds like grinding metal, it’s not a good sign. Contact your local professional for garbage disposal repair and have the problem diagnosed and taken care of and for any of your plumbing in San Diego needs.

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How to Get Your Wedding Ring from Your Garbage Disposal

We’ve all had that moment. You’re washing dishes and then you go to drain the water only to realize that your wedding ring is missing from your finger and has gone down the garbage disposal or sink drain.

lost wedding ring down garbage disposal drainBut where did it go?

A wedding ring can easily become lost in your garbage disposal or sink drain if not properly sized or if you don’t wear gloves when doing the dishes. Luckily, you might be able to get your wedding ring from your garbage disposal more easily than you think.

With a little bit of stealthy maneuvering (and a bit of luck), you could have your wedding right back on in no time.

If You Can See the Wedding Ring in the Disposal

Using a flashlight, see if the wedding ring is visible inside of the disposal. If so, then you might be able to retrieve the ring without too much trouble. Follow these steps below to attempt to retrieve your wedding ring from your disposal.

1. Unplug the Garbage Disposal

You should never begin work on your garbage disposal if you haven’t first unplugged it. It’s especially unsafe if your wedding ring has gotten jammed in your garbage disposal. Allowing the motor or blade to run with the ring inside will not only damage the ring, but also the disposal’s blade. More importantly, if you are ever reaching inside the disposal, an unplugged unit means that you don’t have to worry about accidentally grinding your hand.

Which leads us to our next point…

2. Keep Your Hands Out of the Disposal

If at all possible, don’t put your hands in the garbage disposal.


It’s difficult to see what is going on inside of your disposal, meaning that you could easily run your hand across the blade or across another piece of sharp metal. This will cause lots of blood, a trip to the emergency room, and lots of cash. Just don’t do it.

image of kitchen sink after a ring was lost down the garbage disposal drain3. Try Using a Magnet

So if you can’t stick your hand down your kitchen drain, how are you going to get your wedding ring out? First, try using a magnet. A long magnet or a plain old refrigerator magnet tied to a string will do the trick. Dangle the magnet just inside the kitchen drain and see if it picks up your wedding ring. Got a ring made out of silver or gold? Sorry, your wedding ring isn’t magnetic. You’ll have to try something else.

4. Try Using Pliers, Tongs, or a Long Wooden Spoon

Shine a light down your kitchen drain. Can you see your wedding ring? If so, try using pliers, kitchen tongs, a long cooking spoon, or other useful device to scoop up the ring. Remember – refrain from putting your hands in your garbage disposal.

5. Check if Your Wedding Ring is Stuck in the P-trap

Still haven’t found your wedding ring? It is possible that your ring went all the way through the disposal and is stuck in the u-shaped pipe below the kitchen sink. Many p-traps have drain plugs or cleanout plugs at their lowest point. This make it easy to open up the p-trap and remove any waste that has collected there. Place a bucket under the pipe, remove the drain plug, and (hopefully) discover your wedding ring inside.

If your p-trap does not have a cleanout plug, you’ll have to remove the slip nuts on either end of the pipe and take out the entire u-shaped section. You can do this yourself, or have a professional do it just to be on the safe side.

6. Still No Luck? Call a Professional Plumber

If you still cannot locate your wedding ring in your garbage disposal, it is likely that the ring is stuck inside the unit itself. In this case, we recommend calling your local plumbing professional to disassemble the garbage disposal and reveal your wedding band.

If You Can’t See the Wedding Ring in the Disposal

If you can’t see your ring but you’re positive that it fell into the sink drain, don’t lose hope. Call your local plumber and have them inspect your garbage disposal. It could be that your ring is stuck somewhere inside the disposal or in another section of easily accessible pipe.

Remember – don’t run the disposal if you think your ring is inside of it. You will only cause damage to your wedding ring and ruin or jam your disposal in the process. My Plumber CA offers garbage disposal repair in San Diego and beyond. Call us today to schedule a plumbing repair appointment ASAP.

How to Get Rid of Garbage Disposal Smells

Garbage disposals are great at getting rid of food waste – but they’re not always ideal at getting rid of the smell. Here’s what to do about it.

  1. Pour a little dish soap down the drain while it runs. Sometimes that’s all it takes!
  2. If the smell returns after a while, before running the garbage disposal again, it may need a scouring. Try grinding up chicken and fish bones, egg shells, or even cherry pits. Your garbage disposal will be able to break down all of these materials with a little grinding, and the action will scrub the interior of the disposal as it runs. This will help dislodge any particles that may be caught in the crevices, or in the blade assembly.
  3. If you need to mask a smaller smell to give it time to dissipate, try grinding a lemon or citrus peel. There’s no benefit from using the whole fruit – and the membrane actually has some small potential to cause clogs – so use eat the fruit first or use it in your cooking. The citrus acidity can also help break down other materials that can clog up a disposal over time.

To learn more about your garbage disposal and how to maintain it, visit our garbage disposal page.

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6 Common Garbage Disposal Repairs

The garbage disposal is one of those modern conveniences that we don’t spend a lot of time thinking about, even though it might only be used for 20 seconds a day. Well those 20 seconds aren’t really that important anyway, right? Well, what happens when those 20 seconds don’t go as planned? You scraped off your dinner plate, turned on the cold water and flipped the switch and…….BAM, nothing. Or maybe something does happen, like your garbage disposal starts sounding like a Rambo movie or dirty water starts backing up into your sink. You could pick up the phone and call us right away for your garbage disposal repair needs, or if you have a little bit of technical skill and a basic set of tools, you can have at it yourself.

Even though we are being a bit casual about garbage disposals, dealing with one is deadly serious. These things exist for one purpose, and one purpose only – to devour anything that is put into them. They don’t discriminate. If you fail to disconnect the power from the garbage disposal, there’s a good chance that your hand might get chewed up.

Unplug your garbage disposal from the outlet below the sink or locking it out at the fuse box. It’s also a good idea to tape the garbage disposal wall switch in the off position. Never put your hand in the machine unless you are absolutely sure that there is no power. Most garbage disposals pack ¾ to 1 horsepower and have steel or alloy blades that can easily take the skin off your fingers, if not remove the fingers completely. Now, if you’re ready to go, let’s talk about what might be wrong with your garbage disposal and how you can fix it.

6 Common Garbage Disposal Repairs

These are not the only things that can happen to a garbage disposal, but they are the most common. If you can’t find your problem on this list, you need professional help to repair it.

Garbage Disposal Doesn’t Run

Most garbage disposals come with an internal breaker system that automatically shuts down the disposal when a certain amount of resistance is encountered by the grinding blades. If your unit shuts down unexpectedly and will not turn back on, you may need to press the reset switch (usually located on the bottom of the unit). This is the problem more than half the time.

If the reset switch doesn’t do the trick, you should check the circuit breaker next. Sometimes the breaker will pop. If this is the case, turn the breaker back on, and again reset the garbage disposal. If the disposal reset pops the breaker, you’ll need a professional plumber or electrician to fix the problem.

If there is not a popped breaker and the reset button does not work, the garbage disposal motor may have failed, in which case you’ll need to purchase a new one.

Disposal Makes a Strange Noise

There are three distinct noise issues that can happen in garbage disposals, a metallic rattling sound (often described like the firing of a machine gun), a whirring (humming) noise and a squealing sound.

If your garbage disposal makes a loud rattling noise

The metal rattling sound happens when a hard object falls into the disposal and is bounced around by the blades. Removing the object will eliminate this issue. Turn off the disposal, unplug it from the socket under your sink, and remove the foreign object from the disposal. If you have unplugged the unit, it is safe to use heavy work gloves to remove the object. You can also use a slender pair of tongs.

If your garbage disposal makes a humming or whirring noise

A whirring or humming noise indicates a stuck flywheel mechanism. This type of issue happens when a piece of debris gets stuck between the shredder ring and the impellers. Using the wrench that came with your disposal, manually crank the gear at the base of the machine until the blockage is dislodged. Run some water into the disposal to clear the block. Reset the unit and use as normal. If the unit cannot be dislodged this way, contact a professional to handle it.

If your garbage disposal makes a squealing noise

If your unit is squealing, turn it off immediately. This can indicate a failing bearing and possible motor failure. It might also indicate a problem with the flywheel drive belt (if your unit is belt driven).

The Disposal Won’t Shut Off

If you have done your own garbage disposal installation and are having trouble getting the unit to shut off, check the plug that you have connected your cord to. When plugs are wired to a switch, sometimes the top half of the outlet is attached to the switch while the bottom received continual power. Try plugging the disposal into the other socket. If this doesn’t work, you have an electric issue, either between the unit and the outlet or between the outlet and the switch. Unplug the machine or shut off the main breaker switch and call a professional.

For batch run commercial garbage disposals, most have an automatic shut-off that will be tripped after 15 minutes of continuous operation. You will need to have the unit professionally serviced to prevent this from happening again.

The Disposal Clogs

When a disposal clogs and water backs up into the sink, the cause is usually a clogged drain line. It is important that you clean this clog manually and not use a commercially available clog remover (Drano, Liquid Plumber, etc.) because the caustic chemicals can damage the unit.

Identify the drain line, place an empty bucket beneath it, and detach it from the main disposal unit. This could require a wrench (if your line is attached with dual bolts) or the release of a pressure joint (simply unscrew it). Use your finger to clear out the drain line opening in the disposal, then clear the drain line of any blockage there as well.

If the clog is further down the line, you’ll need to clear it with a drain snake or call a professional plumber to handle the situation.

Water Leaks Under the Sink

There are three places that a garbage disposal is likely to leak. The first place to check is the garbage disposal drain line. Tighten the drain line bolts or the pressure seal to stop a leak here. If the pressure seal is broken, you’ll need to purchase  new o-ring (available at all major grocery stores, home-improvement  stores, etc.)

Another possible leak location is at the dishwasher connection. The same type of connection that is seen in the drain line will be used here. Either tighten the bolts or replace the gasket.

The worst place to find a leak is in the sink flange. Most of the leaks in this area ore due to failed upper gaskets. These cannot be replaced by the DIYer, and are expensive for plumbers to fix. Unless you have a top of the line commercial disposal, purchasing a new one will often cost the same amount as repair the old.

Still Need Help? Call Our San Diego Garbage Disposal Repair Team Today!

No matter what the problem is with your garbage disposal, the professionals at My Plumber CA can fix it. If it’s going to be more cost-effective to install a new garbage disposal, we’ll let you know that too. Let’s get your sink back in shape and put those dinner scraps back down the drain today. In the meantime, visit our garbage disposal repair page to learn even more about our services.

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Got Problems with a Leaking Garbage Disposal

As a plumber in San Diego, one of the most common questions we field is that of leaking garbage disposals. Garbage disposals tend to get a lot of abuse, are often not well maintained, and frankly, no one really wants to be poking around in a machine designed to chew things to bits.

But, if you have a leaking garbage disposal, the answer may be simple. The first step is to pinpoint where, exactly the leak is coming from. Run some water in the sink, turn on the garbage disposal, and get under the sink with a flashlight and a bucket to see if you can find where the water is coming from.

If the water is coming from the sink flange, that is usually where the garbage disposal unit is mounted, so get a wrench and check that the bolts are tight. The fix might be just that easy! But if that doesn’t work, you might have to replace the seal or add some plumber’s putty. If that doesn’t sound like fun to you, you may want to dial us up, the most reliable plumber service in San Diego.

If it’s not the sink flange, the next most common place for leaks is the dishwasher connection. Check to see whether the clamps may have gotten knocked loose. The hose itself may also have worn out and started leaking, in which case you will have to replace it.

If it’s not the sink flange, and it’s not the dishwasher connection, we’re looking at the bottom of the garbage disposal unit itself. This is often caused by a flywheel seal wearing out, and if it is not fixed immediately, it will result in water getting into the motor and burning it out. Fixing this problem involves the total disassembly of the unit to replace the flywheel seal.

If you have a leaking garbage disposal, don’t hesitate to call your San Diego plumber, My Plumber Heating & Cooling– Same Day Service Guaranteed*! You can also visit our garbage disposal repair & installation page to learn more about how we can help.

Keeping It Clean


Keeping It Clean

Nothing says clean like the smell of fresh lemon. Manufactures know this, it is why so many house-hold cleaning products smell like theyellow, tropicalfruit. The thing is – that wonderful lemon smell isjust the surface, lemon oil and those wonderful acids that the fruit has in abundance really are effective cleaners…cutting through grease and sterilizing.

That is why one of the best ways to clean the blades on your garbage disposal is to simply run a lemon through the hopper andprocess it, like you wouldany food waste. It will cut any greasy build-upand leave your blades sparkling clean.

The side benefit? It will also leave your kitchen smelling lemon-fresh.