Is your garbage disposal covered by a home warranty?
Having a garbage disposal is an integral part of a comfortable home. With a built-in garbage disposal in your sink, you are able to quickly and easily eliminate the food waste that falls down the sink drain.
It can be a major disruption to have a garbage disposal break. A broken garbage disposal not only causes an inconvenience in your busy lifestyle, but it also can lead to troublesome and costly plumbing issues as well as bad odors due to food waste buildup..
With good maintenance, your garbage disposal can last for years. However, knowing how to properly maintain a garbage disposal and troubleshoot when things go wrong can be tricky.
To help you out, this article will cover common problems associated with your garbage disposal and whether or not a home warranty covers garbage disposal repair or replacement in addition to providing tips for keeping your garbage disposal healthy and running.
The most common problem with garbage disposals
Often, a broken garbage-disposal unit can be fixed by troubleshooting it yourself. Issues usually arise due to bad electrical, plumbing backups or food being stuck in the disposal itself.
Here are some common issues that may affect your garbage disposal and troubleshooting tips you can try yourself:
Issue: Garbage disposal will not turn on
When a garbage disposal will not turn on, it is usually associated with the electrical hookup. To troubleshoot this, switch the unit off, and make sure it is plugged in.
You can then check the reset button at the bottom of the unit. This reset button is like a circuit breaker, and it can be tripped. If it is popped out slightly, then that means the reset has been tripped. Push it back in, and check the power again.
Your home’s circuit breaker can also be tripped. So, if pressing in the reset button does not work, make sure to check your home’s circuit breaker to see if it is also tripped.
If neither of these solutions works, the problem could be loose wiring. Check the wiring at the switch first by taking off the electrical plate. You can also check the wiring that is attached to the garbage disposal unit.
If this solution does not work, then you may need to replace the light switch.
Issue: Slow draining or not draining at all
Your garbage disposal is designed to grind food bits so they can pass freely and drain the water from your kitchen sink quickly. Any slow draining means there is an issue with getting the food and water out of your sink, past the garbage disposal and down into the plumbing system.
Backups like this may occur because of a clog in your plumbing, a clog in the garbage disposal or garbage disposal blades that are not sharp enough.
Shine a flashlight into the garbage disposal to assess whether anything is visibly obstructing the drainage hole. If you see something, do not stick your fingers in.
If it can be safely removed with a tool, such as tongs or pliers, then you can try to remove the obstruction. Otherwise, a technician should come in to assess the situation.
To prevent clogs, avoiding putting certain items down the drain can help. Eggshells, oil, grease, fruit pits, bones, anything inorganic or anything in large quantities should not be put through your garbage disposal.
Issue: Humming but does not grind
If your garbage disposal turns on but the motor does not spin, then it could indicate that the inner flywheel is jammed. This will typically cause the appliance’s reset button or your home’s circuit breaker to trip.
Continually running your garbage disposal like this can wear out the motor. This problem can be resolved by food being removed from between the impellers and the shredding ring that is inside the disposal.
You should be able to take care of this issue on your own. First, turn off the garbage disposal at the switch but also on your circuit breaker. You’ll then need to use the offset wrench that came with the garbage disposal unit and insert it into the flywheel-turning hole towards the bottom of the unit. If you don’t have this wrench, you can try an Allen (hex) wrench or a wooden spoon.
If you’re successful in dislodging the obstruction, the flywheel should be able to turn freely. After that, check the reset and circuit breakers to see if they are tripped, and reassemble any loose parts.
If you troubleshoot the issue and it persists, then you’ll need to bring in a technician.
Over time, the vibrations from the garbage disposal being activated can loosen up some of the connections to the unit and around the sink. You can experience leaks at the sink flange, dishwasher connection and discharge drainpipe.
If you experience any leaking, try to first locate the origination site of the leak. Once you source the leak, you’ll want to check for any loose bolts, moving connections or rusted parts.
In most scenarios, you can troubleshoot a leak yourself. Before troubleshooting, make sure the garbage disposal unit is turned off and no water is running through the sink or dishwasher. Then, go ahead and tighten bolts, replace old parts and fill in any gaps with plumbers putty.
Issue: Loud noises
Loud and unnatural noises that occur when you turn on your garbage disposal could be a sign of a jam in the flywheel, a metal object accidentally falling down into the garbage disposal or a jammed grinding chamber.
In any of these cases, it is easy to shine a flashlight and carefully work on extraction.
If there’s no visible obstruction, then there may be a mechanical issue. The grinding plate, grinding ring or motor assembly could be defective or assembled wrong. In these circumstances, make sure to call in a technician to assess the mechanical assembly.
Sometimes, garbage disposals emit foul odors and require some refreshing. There are a number of options for cleaning your disposal.
You can use vinegar and baking soda to try to freshen up your garbage disposal. Running cold water while putting ice and lemons in the disposal may also dislodge the odorous debris.
If there is still a foul odor after trying these tricks, you may need to call a professional for help cleaning out the plumbing further along the line.
What is typically included in a home warranty with garbage disposal coverage?
A home warranty company that offers garbage disposal coverage typically will cover all the components of the disposal unit. Additionally, if the disposal breakdown involves any plumbing issues, the plumbing issue will usually be covered as well.
Your home warranty contract will outline what is covered by your warranty, so it is important to review the terms and conditions of your coverage. Generally, warranty coverage will protect you when you experience a covered garbage disposal problem that you can’t troubleshoot yourself.
When deciding on a warranty plan, a home warranty company will offer a variety of options for coverage — much like how you choose your home insurance. However, note that while homeowners insurance covers the structure of your home and your possessions, home warranty coverage encompasses your home’s appliances and systems.
With home warranty coverage, your service contract will cover the cost of repair for your garbage disposal and its components due to normal wear-and-tear breakdowns. All you need to do is pay the service fee and make sure to continually maintain your garbage disposal so no major accidents occur, such as plumbing backups.
Your home warranty
Choosing a home warranty company is not a task to be taken lightly.
As a homeowner, you should carefully choose the protection for your home. Your home insurance coverage is based on a number of factors, and choosing a home warranty is no different. You want to ensure you are receiving the best home warranty coverage plan for your particular needs at the best price.
Select a home warranty plan from a warranty company that provides an easy-to-understand service agreement, excellent customer service, and enhanced technology.
If you are having trouble with your garbage disposal — or any other appliance and home system — instead of choosing to repair it yourself, your home warranty will have a technician to your home with a simple service call.
Using the above maintenance tips to help maintain your garbage disposal and prevent breakdowns will prolong the life of your disposal.
With a home warranty plan that fits your home’s needs, you will have peace of mind knowing that you are protecting your wallet from expensive repairs.
For home warranty information, or to learn more about our home warranty plans, contact us.