Most modern homes are equipped with garbage disposals. Garbage disposals are a great way to grind up and dispose of small bits of food that may get washed down the drain. When used properly, they are very convenient to have. However, problems with your garbage disposal are a very common reason that many homeowners will call a plumber. In this post, we’ll try to troubleshoot a few common issues to prevent them from arising.


There are various reasons a garbage disposal may make you think about calling a plumber. Here are just a few of the most common:

  • Unusually loud
  • Turns on, but you don’t hear the grinding noise
  • Water not draining properly
  • Water leaking under the sink
  • Foul smell/odor from disposal
  • The disposal won’t turn on

In many of these cases, the chances are high that something is stuck in the gears or the pipes. The question is, what is it and how long has it been down there?


There are a variety of things that may have accidentally gone down the train and are causing a jam. This could include:

  • Silverware or plasticware
  • Lids from cans or jars
  • Chunky or hardened food pieces
    • Fruit pits
    • Bones
    • Potato or other vegetable skins
  • Eggshells
  • Coffee grounds
  • Toys
  • Pacifiers/bottle parts

Important safety tips:

  • If you’re going to try to reach down the drain to retrieve the spoon, child’s toy, or whatever else is causing the gears to jam, make sure the disposal is turned completely off.
  • Do not stick anything down the drain, such as a wooden spoon or screwdriver to try to remove the jam.


Your garbage disposal runs off of electricity, and there are a couple of places you can check to make sure it’s getting the power it needs. Most garbage disposals are powered on by a switch on the wall just like a light switch. You can check the circuit breaker to make sure that switch is getting power. Your disposal may also have an on/off switch that needs to be flipped. Electrical issues beyond the basics probably require assistance from a licensed electrician.


Fortunately for you, City Plumbing has a solution for your plumbing problems and projects! Make an appointment online, or call us today at (432) 366-2401. Give us a call, and we’ll come running!