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The term “garbage disposal” gives some homeowners the wrong idea. Unfortunately, many assume it’s a place to dispose of all household waste.

But your garbage disposal isn’t the same as your garbage can, and treating it the wrong way can shave years off the average 15-year life expectancy.

If problems often arise with this appliance, it may be time to repair or replace your broken garbage disposal. But how can you tell when you should be worried? Here are the five most common signs to look for.

1. Your Garbage Disposal Smells Terrible

This is the classic warning flag when it comes to a broken garbage disposal.

However, it’s worth noting that it’s not uncommon for your disposal to smell every now and then. When you’re putting food waste down your sink, it’s only to be expected. A few simple tricks can keep a healthy disposal clean and fresh.

However, if you’ve followed all the best garbage disposal cleaning tips and nothing seems to help, you may need a repair or cleaning to fix worn crevices that catch too many food particles.

2. Your Garbage Disposal Makes Grinding Noises

Garbage disposals are noisy when running, but you should be able to tell the difference between its normal sounds and worrying noises.

Grinding or screeching is a sign that the grates or blades in the disposal have shifted, causing them to move against each other. It might also be a sign that your motor needs repair. Either way, these noises are a sign that you’ll need to take action before the appliance stops working entirely.

3. Your Garbage Disposal Takes Forever to Break Down Food Waste

Your disposal may have a hard time breaking up larger types of food waste, even if you’re being careful not to put the wrong things down your drain.

However, if your garbage disposal struggles even with basic, minimal amounts of food waste, it may be a sign that it’s beginning to wear down. Older appliances, of course, may have more trouble with this than newer ones.

Check to see if the blades need replacement first. If this isn’t the issue, however, it may be time to replace your garbage disposal entirely.

4. You’re Always Resetting Your Garbage Disposal

Every once in a while, you may need a quick reset to get your garbage disposal running up to speed.

But if you’re always reaching for the reset button just to make your disposal work, there may be a deeper issue at fault. Sometimes, this may be a sign of wiring issues or motor wear, but you’ll need an expert to diagnose the cause.

5. Your Garbage Disposal Won’t Turn on at All

When even a reset won’t help your disposal, there may be a more serious problem with the unit. Check the circuit breaker or fuse box in your home to be sure your electricity isn’t at fault. Otherwise, you may have an old, worn-out motor that needs replacement.

Diagnose and Fix Your Broken Garbage Disposal Today

With a broken garbage disposal, even basic kitchen chores can become a headache. Whether you’re looking at garbage disposal repair or replacement, it’s a good idea to tackle this issue as soon as possible. Reach out to an expert in your area to see what your options are so you can get back to making the most of your kitchen!

Looking for more of the culinary and kitchen tips? Check out our other posts for the insights you need.

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