Basic Pittsburgh Garbage Disposal Repairs 101

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It’s just a commonly-held misconception that garbage disposals are also disposable. That once they started to show their age by way of odd noises, vibrations and malfunctions, there was no other choice.

A new one had to be installed as the old workhorse was put out to pasture. Tossed into the garbage can, then set out on the curb without an ounce of sentiment or appreciation of all the service it had given.

So now, thanks to the internet and informative articles, just like the one you’re reading here, the myth has been blown wide open to broadcast the real truth about Pittsburgh garbage disposal repair.

That truth, according to the Pittsburgh plumbers at Kwiatkowski Plumbing, is that almost any garbage disposal can be repaired. If you don’t believe it’s true, you can give them a call at 412-681-9525 and hear it with your own ears.

Is Your Garbage Disposal Not Working?

It may be easier than you expected to get it back up and working again.

A lot is expected from your garbage disposal, and for the most part, it has been prompt and reliable, delivering service without a complaint. The truth is that most people really do abuse their garbage disposal regarding what they shove down it.

Perhaps you had heard your unit groaning under the load when you were putting an excessive amount of whatever it was down into it. So it should come as no surprise then if you flip the switch on the wall and discover your garbage disposal is not working.

Don’t worry, though, because the solution may be as easy as pressing the little reset button located on the bottom of the unit. Particularly if you have been overloading it, this most likely is the fix.

If that doesn’t do it, then the next button to push is on the GFI switch located somewhere on a plug plate on the wall of your kitchen.

GFI is the acronym for ground-fault interruption. It’s a safety backup to shut power off if its capacity is being overloaded.

And if that doesn’t work, your last chance to get your unit running by flipping a switch is out at the power box. So go out there and flip the breaker switch for your kitchen back and forth one time.

Ready to Try Your Hand at Garbage Disposal Troubleshooting?

You need to identify precisely what it is that’s causing the problem.

If none of the quick fix electrical switch tricks did anything to get your garbage disposal up and running, then it’s time to try some garbage disposal troubleshooting techniques.

So the hope here is just like the local doctor, to let the symptoms be your guide in the hopes of finding a cure.

Symptom number one to listen for is a groaning sound coming from the unit when the switch is flipped on. This is the sound of the motor straining to work, which means one thing.

That is, there’s a good chance that something has fallen down into it and jammed it up.

The next symptom to be on the lookout for, is if the unit is working, but nothing is being sent down the drainage line. You put scraps down into it, and it works for all intents and purposes. But whatever is getting ground up just isn’t going down the drain.

If this is the case, then what you have is a clog, and the cure means climbing under your sink to disconnect the plastic drainage system and then removing whatever it is that’s lodged in the line.

Have You Used a Garbage Disposal Cleaner Lately?

Even it can use some TLC from time to time.

There are a lot of moving parts in a garbage disposal. Also, it’s not hard to imagine that germs and bacteria might find a comfortable home down inside it.

So if you haven’t given it a good flush lately, maybe it’s time that you did. Cover the opening, fill your sink with water, then let the water loose as you simultaneously flip the switch to on.

By doing this, you not only wash away any built-up organic matter, but it also helps to prevent rust from building up on and around moving parts. An ounce of prevention is also worth a pound of cure, so be careful what you send down it.

Grease and oil should never be sent down a garbage disposal, but for sure, plastic is also on the no-fly list. Then finally, give some thought to picking up some commercial garbage disposal cleaning products at your local hardware store.

These products are formulated specifically to do the work of cleaning and sanitizing a garbage disposal without removing the lubricants in the moving parts.

Are You Up to Giving Garbage Disposal Removal a Try?

If none of the quick-fix options produced results, then it may be time for garbage disposal removal.

Garbage disposal removal should be easy, but it’s not. This is because it only requires a twist of the unit you free it up but just like a business, its location matters the most.

Your garbage disposal is in the best location to pick for making removing it difficult. Not only is there plumbing connected up to it that needs to be disconnected, but you will have to do it while you’re lying on your back underneath your sink.

There’s just no other way. So, believe it or not, the most essential tool you’re going to need to do this job is a large pillow to cushion your back, or the bottom edge of your sink cabinet will be digging into it the entire time.

You’re also going to need a small flashlight because it’s dark down there. A pair of goggles and large dry towels also need to be on hand to keep the drain water out of your eyes when it gushes out after you disconnect the plumbing. But before you do anything, make sure to unplug the electrical cord from the wall.