Garbage Disposal Repair in Richmond, VA

There was a time when homeowners thought throwing glass down the garbage disposal sharpened the blades. That’s just one of the items you shouldn’t put in your garbage disposal.

Do you know the number-one clog-causing thing most homeowners toss down their garbage disposals? Those little produce stickers. If that’s news to you, you’re not alone. Here in Henrico County, you don’t think about garbage disposals much … until yours doesn’t work.

All the systems in your home — electrical, plumbing, heating/cooling — work together. That’s why Short Pump Heating & Air professionals are trained to diagnose and repair all major household systems. We’re your go-to for fast and affordable garbage disposal repairs.

We believe the more you know, the better decisions you can make. Quotes and questions are free.

Call 804-364-9040 or contact Short Pump Heating & Air to learn more.

Garbage Disposal Care and Feeding

The first garbage disposal was introduced in 1927. The U.S. has more disposals than any other country, and our disposals work hard! Keeping yours in top working order is important:

  • Always use cold water to wash food waste down.
  • Cut/break all waste into manageable pieces.
  • Never stick your fingers into the disposal unit. Use tongs to retrieve stuck waste.
  • Even if you’re not using it, run your garbage disposal every two to three days.
  • Follow guidelines for what not to put down your garbage disposal. Avoid:
    • Coffee grounds
    • Eggshells
    • Fibrous foods
    • Grease
    • Hard food (bones, pits, nuts)
    • Onion skins
    • Pasta, rice, oats (can expand and clog)
    • Potato peels
    • Starchy foods (banana peels)
    • Stringy foods (celery)
  • If something tangles around the blades, cut the power and use the special wrench that came with the unit to untangle.
  • Never use commercial chemicals or hot water to unclog your disposal drain.
  • Clean every two weeks. To clean, cut the power to your garbage disposal. (It’s usually plugged in under your sink.)
    1. Check the drain with a flashlight. The unit should be clear of debris, and if you see any objects, use needlenose pliers to retrieve anything.
    2. Drop 10 to 12 ice cubes into the garbage disposal.
    3. Add one-half cup of rock salt.
    4. Restore power and turn on disposal, running water down the drain.
    5. Re-check with flashlight to ensure blades are clean, then cut power again.
    6. Pour 1 cup vinegar and one-half cup baking soda into disposal. Let it fizz for about 15 minutes. While you wait, create a vinegar-and-baking soda paste. Use an old toothbrush to scrub the rubber flaps, tops, and bottoms.
    7. Restore power. Plug the drain and fill the sink about three-fourths full of soapy water. Unplug the drain and run the disposal, letting the soapy water wash down.
  • Use the degreaser brands of dishwashing detergents.

Our home service professionals are licensed, trained, insured, and bonded. We’re also up-to-date with the latest technologies for today’s homes.

Call 804-364-9040 or contact Short Pump Heating & Air if you have a home improvement project in mind.

What Can Be Repaired on a Garbage Disposal?

When buying a new appliance, a good question to ask is, “What’s the most expensive thing that can break?” On garbage disposals, it’s the motor. Repair costs can run hundreds of dollars. That’s why good maintenance is important!

Other garbage disposal parts that can be repaired are clogged drains and broken or malfunctioning blades (they aren’t really “blades,” they’re impellers).

Clues your garbage disposal needs servicing are:

  • Frequent resets
  • Humming noise, but blades aren’t turning
  • No power
  • On but no disposal action
  • Poor performance
  • Repeated clogs for no reason
  • Slow draining
  • Sounds different/unusual noise
  • Unusual plumbing odors
  • Water leaking
  • You’re renovating kitchen cabinets

Put our phone number in your contacts list under “P” for “plumber.” When you need help fast, we’ll be there for you.

Call 804-364-9040 or contact Short Pump Heating & Air for more information.

Frequently Asked Questions

Some of the frequently asked questions we receive about garbage disposal repair in Richmond, VA, are:

Can I repair my garbage disposal myself?

It’s never a good idea to DIY an electrical repair. It could void your unit’s warranty, and you’ll need special tools.

By the time you locate the tools, cut your fingers (even when turned off, the blades are sharp), and spend more time than you planned to dismantle your disposal, the previously fast, simple repair has become a bigger problem. It’s not worth it.

How long do garbage disposals last?

Garbage disposals last about 10 years. When well-maintained, they can last a few years longer.

What should I not put in my garbage disposal?

In addition to glass, many people think bones, eggshells, and fruit pits will “sharpen the blades.” They won’t, and they could break your disposal. Other items not to put in your unit are:

  • Celery, corn husks, asparagus
  • Coffee grounds
  • Pasta/rice
  • Potato peels
  • Very hot water: The temperature might melt fat in the disposal, but it will later solidify, causing a clog.

What’s the best way to clean my garbage disposal?

Putting ice, soapy water, and a degreaser into your disposal is good for occasional cleaning. Use the rock salt, vinegar, and baking soda treatment every month.

When is it better to replace rather than repair a disposal?

Some problems warrant repair. Signs you should consider replacing your garbage disposal include:

  • Age: If it’s 10+ years old, replacement is usually best.
  • Food clogs
  • Frequent resets
  • Keeps shutting off: Check your circuit breaker, turn off the unit and schedule a service call.
  • Large leaks
  • Odors: If standard cleaning doesn’t eliminate the smells, you may need a new garbage disposal.
  • Remodeling project: If you’re going to renovate the kitchen (and your disposal is aging), get a new disposal for your new sink.
  • Takes too long to break down food (blade deterioration)
  • Too many repairs: Eventually, it’s more cost-effective to replace the disposal.
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