A garbage disposal in your kitchen is a modern, fast and convenient way to process food waste without placing it in the trash. If you use your disposal each day, you need to maintain it to keep it in optimal working condition. The following signs indicate there is a problem with the disposal that may require the attention of an emergency plumber.

Constant Resets

All disposals come with a reset button, and if you are pushing it only once in a while, there is probably nothing wrong. If you have to reset it often for normal operation, it could mean that the wiring is faulty or the disposal is simply getting older and needs replacement. While you can do this job yourself, it is better to call in an expert, especially if there are wiring issues that present a risk of fire.


Persistent Odor

Disposals work by grinding up food particles to make them small enough to pass through the water pipes. It is normal to experience an odor immediately after running it, but if the smell persists even if you frequently clean it, the machine may require an inspection and repair. It should be noted that foods such as fish should never put through the disposal because of small bones and a strong, lingering odor.

Lengthy Food Breakdown Time

The reason for having a disposal in your kitchen sink is fast and efficient food breakdown. If it begins taking a long time to complete the process, it may need to be checked. To ensure you get the best operation, run the disposal each day for at least 30 seconds to prevent the buildup of food particles. You should always operate the machine with the water running directly into the drain.


Grinding Sounds

While disposals do make noise when running, they should never grind. In some cases, there could be a piece of silverware stuck in the machine, and removing it will stop the noise. Remember to not put your fingers near the disposal while it is running. If the grinding is persistent and loud, this means something is seriously wrong with the disposal, and it could need repair or replacement.


The disposal is an important part of your kitchen. If it starts making unusual noises or struggles to break down food, contact a plumbing professional for inspection, repair or installation of a new disposal.