Garbage Disposals Category

When to Replace an Aging Garbage Disposal

Garbage disposals are sturdy beasts and reliably handle most of the stuff we throw into them. Over time, however, like any mechanical device that incurs wear and tear, a garbage disposal begins to show its age. Statistics show that the average service life of garbage disposals is around 12 years. Your mileage may vary, depending on how often you use the unit and how careful you are about keeping unapproved food scraps and other garbage out of it. Here are some signs that may indicate your disposal needs replacement sooner rather than later.

garbage disposalsFrequent Clogging

The unit is no longer adequately shredding and grinding food. Large leftover particles are causing clogs. This usually means the blades are dull and/or the motor is marginal. In most cases, it’s rarely worth the cost of attempting to repair a worn-out unit by installing replacement parts. Upgrading to a new disposal is usually the most cost-efficient option.

Repetitive Resets

If you frequently have to press the little red “Reset” button on the bottom of the disposal to revive a dead unit, this is usually a sign of a failing motor that’s drawing too much amperage. There’s no fix for this except replacement of the entire unit. If your existing disposal is a small one with minimum power—such as a 1/3-horsepower motor—you may wish to upgrade to a more powerful 1/2- or 1-horsepower unit for better performance in the future.

Perpetual Odors

Sometimes, all efforts to deodorize an old disposal fail. When residual food particles aren’t fully flushed down the drain pipe, odors from decomposing food inside the disposal eventually become permanent. They may be very noticeable when you stand over the sink or operate the disposal. Have a new unit installed by a qualified plumber. Each time you operate it, keep cold water running for 30 seconds afterward. This flushes residual food out of the disposal and down the drain. Once in a while, toss some orange or lemon peels in to clean and deodorize.

For professional advice about replacing garbage disposals, contact Apollo Home Heating, Cooling and Plumbing.


Fixing Common Garbage Disposal Problems

Garbage disposals are built to last 10 to 12 years, so you may not frequently need garbage disposal repair in Cincinnati. However, when you do need the expertise of a professional, nothing less is likely to be acceptable.

Closeup of a plumber using a wrench to tighten a fitting beneath a kitchen sink.

Source: Istockphotos
Someone fixing up their garbage disposal

Except for the simplest malfunctions, garbage disposals aren’t engineered for DIY service. Professional garbage disposal repair in Cincinnati from Apollo Home Heating, Cooling and Plumbing offers quick, qualified response to repair or replace a malfunctioning unit. These common issues may prompt a service call:


When the disposal simply hums and doesn’t grind, the impeller blade may be jammed. You may be able to clear it yourself if you proceed carefully:

  • Turn off the disposal at the switch and also cut off power at the circuit breaker panel.
  • Locate the hex-shaped manual flywheel rotation hole in the bottom of the disposal.
  • Insert the offset hex wrench supplied with the disposal. Attempt to rotate the flywheel clockwise. If you feel it suddenly release and turn freely, you’ve cleared the jam.
  • Using tongs or pliers—never your hands—remove any object inside the disposal that may have caused the jam.
  • Restore power at the circuit breaker, then press the red reset button on the bottom of the disposal. Turn on the disposal and run cold water to flush accumulated matter down the drain.

If the jam won’t clear, go no further. Call for professional garbage disposal repair.

No Grinding Action

Make sure you’re running cold water while the unit grinds. If you hear the motor run but no grinding, broken internal components are the likely cause. A qualified plumbing professional will likely recommend replacement.

Obstructed Drain Pipe

Standing water usually indicates a clogged p-trap or drain pipe. Garbage disposals don’t respond well to common drain-opening efforts like plunging. You’ll probably need a plumber.


Water seeping between the disposal flange and sink opening requires removal of the unit to restore the seal. This is a job for a professional. Leakage from the discharge tube or dishwasher nipple will usually require new fittings.

To schedule garbage disposal repair in Cincinnati, contact Apollo Home Heating, Cooling and Plumbing today.

Avoid Common Garbage Disposal Issues With These Dos and Don’ts

garbage disposals-under sink adjustment, Cincinnati, OhioGarbage disposals are useful kitchen appliances because they mean less food fermenting in your trash can. But there are some best practices for homeowners to pay attention to, as the disposal features sharp blades that chop and grind food waste and can be dangerous if used improperly. (more…)

Plumber’s Tip: Preparing your Plumbing for Super Bowl Visitors

Last year, more than 111 million people watched the Green Bay Packers beat the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XLV, making it the most watched show in the history of television.  And this year promises to have just as many, if not more, viewers.

If you host a party for the Super Bowl, the number of guests watching the game at your home will certainly be far fewer.  But even a small number of extra people using your “super bowl” and other household plumbing fixtures will likely have your plumbing working overtime.  A few simple steps can go a long way (quite a few yards, even!) in preventing unexpected problems during the big game.

  1. First and foremost, always know where your main shut-off valve is located in case something does go wrong.  If your home is on a city water supply line, the valve is usually located near the water meter or near an exterior access point of the home’s crawl space or basement.  Homes using well water usually have the shut-off valve on or near the well pump.
  2. Check the drains in sinks, showers and tubs.  Slow drainage can be a sign of a clog.
  3. Keep your dishwasher clean and drain lines clear by running it empty with a cup of vinegar in the bottom. Do this every few months.
  4. Check water lines and pipes for leaks.  Also check for damp spots on walls that could indicate a leak.
  5. Avoid putting fibrous (stringy) or fatty foods and grease in kitchen garbage disposal.
  6. Place a garbage can in the bathroom to help prevent guests from flushing tissues, hand wipes and hygiene products down the toilet.
  7. Use high quality toilet paper which dissolves easily and is less likely to create clogs than cheap, coarse paper.
  8. Place filters in drains, particularly those in the bathroom to prevent clogs from the buildup of hair and other debris.

If you do these things a few days prior to the game, you will have plenty of time to have any concerns addressed by a plumber before you have a crowded home.  And remember, regular maintenance on your plumbing system will go a long way in preventing problems – especially when you have a house full of guests.