9 Signs Your Garbage Disposal Needs an Upgrade

Tired of your old, smelly garbage disposal? It may be time to upgrade! Garbage disposals are great when they’re working correctly, but if you’ve experienced any of the following signs that your disposal may need an upgrade, you’ll want to take action to prevent costly repairs in the future! 

Here are some common signs that your garbage disposal may need a repair or an upgrade:

1) Leaky Faucet

As a garbage disposal runs, water can collect underneath it and leak out onto your kitchen floor. A quick fix for a small leak is to put a plastic baggie over it. For larger leaks, you may need to replace seals or O-rings (check your user’s manual). 

2) Odor from the Sink

If your garbage disposal smells like rotten eggs, that’s usually a sign that you need to replace it. Over time, dish soap and food scraps can build up in your garbage disposal and cause odors to fill your kitchen. 

3) Runaway Garbage

Keep an eye out for signs that your garbage disposal isn’t running properly, such as leaking water or a foul odor in your kitchen. Not only does a clogged garbage disposal make for stinky food prep sessions, but it also wastes water and energy and can lead to major repairs down the road. If you notice any signs of trouble with your disposal, don’t ignore them! Fixing it early can save you money on future expenses and unnecessary headaches later on. 

4) Abnormal Noise from the Sink

You may notice that your garbage disposal makes a strange noise or that it doesn’t work at all. This could be a sign that your garbage disposal needs to be repaired or replaced. Consult a local plumber. 

5) Strange Sounding Drains

An odd humming, gurgling or grinding sound coming from your garbage disposal is typically caused by food debris building up in and around its drain hole. This can be remedied by cleaning out or snaking out your garbage disposal with a wire hanger or other long, thin object. Be sure to keep your hand on the end of hanger at all times! 

6) Slow Draining

One of the first signs that your garbage disposal needs replacing is slow draining. Whether it takes two or three cycles to do what it used to take one cycle to do, there’s a problem brewing. Why does slow draining mean that you need a new disposal? It could be as simple as foreign objects clogging your drain holes (something you can clear out easily with steel wool), but if you start experiencing leaks, dripping, or bad smells coming from under your sink, it might be time for a new one.

7) Broken Blades in Your Disposal

The most common sign that your garbage disposal is broken is when you’re trying to turn it on and blades do not spin. You may also hear strange grinding or churning noises from inside of your sink as well. This means your disposal motor may be burned out or short-circuited, meaning you’ll need to replace both. 

8) Water Spills Over the Sink

Water spills over your sink are a sign that you may need to upgrade your garbage disposal. There’s a good chance that leaky pipes are to blame. You may need to upgrade them so you don’t have to deal with any more leaks or water damage. If they haven’t been replaced in many years, it might be time for some upgrades. Think about what parts of your home are leaking and inspect them accordingly.

9) Excessive Buildup of Gunk and Debris in the Drain Pipes

One of your garbage disposals most important jobs is to grind up food and debris that gets trapped in your drain pipes. But if it isn’t able to do so effectively, you could be looking at some serious problems down the road. 


Although it might be tempting to ignore your garbage disposal and wait for it to just magically upgrade itself, that’s not going to happen. As time goes on, your disposal will get older and older, causing you more problems. 

From clogs and leaks to bad smells, there are a lot of reasons why you should consider getting a new garbage disposal at some point in time. 

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