Tag Archives: garbage disposals

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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Summer Plumbing Issues

You might not think that some plumbing issues would be seasonal, but they are. Summer has it’s own peculiar trends; the holidays have others.

Here are the top summer plumbing issues and what you can do to prevent them.

Sprinkler Issues

Of course, you might think, that certainly is a warm-weather-only problem. Yes, it is. But that makes it no less common for that. Make sure that your sprinklers are all in the down position before mowing or weed whipping.

Washing Machine Malfunctions

Washing machines get a heavier workload in the summer from all the outdoorsy things we do — going to the beach, working in the yard, and so on. Getting dirty outside is all to the good, but make sure not to overload your machine, use extra rinses, and pull the unit a little away from the wall in order to keep the drainage hose from kinking.

Clogged Disposal

This one shows up during the holidays, too. Why? Because people are entertaining. That’s a lot more plates to scrape and scraps to clean up. To avoid clogging your disposal, avoid putting animal bones down the drain. Add food slowly and run cold water through the disposal between plates. And don’t drain fat down it. That’s the worst offender.

A great summer full of fun outdoors and great dinner parties can be yours, headache free, if you follow these simple guidelines. But if you should run into problems, be sure to call your San Diego plumber My Plumber. We offer weekend and emergency service at a fair price.

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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.