Signs You Need Garbage Disposal Repair in Edmonton, AB

A garbage disposal unit mounted in the cabinet space below a residential sink.

Modern buildings have significantly more room under their kitchen sinks to install a garburator, whether you have a house or a condominium, and who doesn’t like the convenience of garbage disposal in their sink? Many homeowners in Edmonton enjoy their garburator because it efficiently grinds up most compostable waste and sends it down the drain. The convenience it brings also helps reduce smelly garbage buildup in your home. However, that convenience will disappear that moment you find yourself needing an appointment for Edmonton garbage disposal repair.

If you have a garburator that’s not grinding properly, it could be clogged, or it could be suffering from a different issue. There are several ways to investigate and unclog it, but doing so requires the utmost care and caution. Your licensed Edmonton plumbers at Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Edmonton have the experience and tools to safely repair broken waste fixtures.

Our uniformed experts are licensed and insured, making us your most trusted plumbing company in Edmonton and surrounding areas. We can even help you learn how to identify the signs that you need garbage disposal repair, and how to reduce your future repair needs.

What Is A Garbage Disposal?

Also known as garburators, garbage disposals are devices used to grind up waste and flush it down your drain. In many Edmonton households, you will find them installed under kitchen sinks, between the sink and the p-trap. The device consists of many sharp blades designed to grind food waste so that you can safely flush it down your drain. While it can be useful to have, there are many potential problems you could encounter if it’s not used properly. Just like a kitchen sink, there are some things you can flush into a garburator and some things you can’t.

What Can’t You Put In A Garbage Disposal?

Your garburator is connected to the same drain line as your regular sink. There are numerous types of kitchen waste you shouldn’t pour down your kitchen drain in Edmonton, and many of them apply to your garburator as well. Therefore, it’s important that you know what should and should not be flushed into a garburator, so you can treat yours with care to prevent the need for Edmonton garbage disposal repair service in the future.

  • Grease: Grease will solidify when cool and could clog both your garburator as well as the drainage pipes below it. To dispose of grease, wait for it to cool, then throw it in the trash or compost.

  • Vegetable Peels: Starchy vegetable peels can easily jam your garbage disposal.

  • Meat, Skin, and Bones: The best way to dispose of these items is to compost them or throw them in your trash.

  • Eggshells: These can stick to blades and get jammed in drainage lines

  • Coffee Grounds: These significantly increase your risk of getting clogs

  • Rice and Pasta: Water-absorbing foods should never go down the drains as they can expand and trigger clogs.

Note: As a rule of thumb, never dump large amounts of food down your garbage disposal. Doing so could cause clogs or damage to your unit. If you ever find yourself pouring more food waste down the garbage disposal than usual, try to throw it in batches, and remember to run the water for longer to ensure it all flushes down the drain accordingly. This will help prevent any repair needs.

Signs You Need Garbage Disposal Repair in Edmonton

Please note: If you plan to work on your garbage disposal unit yourself, make sure the unit’s electrical circuit breaker is OFF, as well as its power switch. Make sure there is no way it can turn on while working on the unit before starting. Ultimately we recommend that you leave this to the professionals.

  1. Humming Noise

Do you hear a low humming noise that sounds like the unit has slowed down? That could mean that something is preventing your impeller plate or flywheel from turning correctly, or your motor is still running even when nothing else in your garbage disposal is working. If that continues, the motor will burn out or trip a breaker.

If that happens, try to locate your unit’s hex wrench socket on the underside of your garbage disposal. That socket is connected directly to your impeller. Inserting an Allen key (hex key) into that socket and turning it should free up the blades and dislodge whatever is causing them to jam. An alternative is to disconnect your unit from its power source and use a wooden spoon handle to reach down through your drain opening and dislodge a stuck impeller plate by pushing any solid items out of the way.

  1. Leaking Garbage Disposal

This problem might not be immediately noticeable unless you frequently access the cabinet under your kitchen sink. It may take time to troubleshoot this situation too, as you need to determine what triggered that leak. For starters, it could be a faulty part of your garbage disposal itself that needs repair. A faulty sink flange may benefit from a new seal or plumber’s putty, whereas a crack inside the unit indicates an old worn unit for which repairs might not be a long-term option. This problem could also be caused by clogs that simply need to be cleared.

If you are unable to investigate the cause on your own, your best option is to schedule an appointment with a plumber for reliable Edmonton garbage disposal repair. We understand that disconnecting mounts to reach the flange and repairing other issues can be confusing and tricky. Luckily, your plumber is familiar with that work, and the necessary repair options for each potential cause.

  1. Recurring Clogs

If you have people in the family that never finish their meals, you will find yourself grinding up more food waste than anyone else. If you start to notice frequent jams, no matter how carefully you dispose of small amounts at a time, that’s a problem. You might need an upgrade to a bigger model. However, if you have a decent size garburator and these problems still persist, that could be a sign that it needs repairs for a failing part or full replacement.

  1. Persistent Foul Odours

If there are unpleasant odors coming from your garburator, it’s likely that some kind of organic debris is stuck inside it. Check if your regular sink drain is releasing the same odor. If so, you have debris stuck deeper in your drainage line, which could mean that it’s time for Edmonton drain cleaning service. In either situation, the best choice to deal with smells from any kind of drain is to call a local plumber who can safely inspect your garburator—and fix it.

  1. Frequent Resets

You may use the reset button occasionally when the device doesn’t turn on, but if you find yourself using that reset button more than usual, that might be a sign it has reached its maximum lifespan. Your issue could also be related to a power issue with your unit. It’s supposed to recover from either clogs or other incidents that require you to turn off the circuit breaker, but it may not start up again properly if it’s failing because of faulty parts or connections.

Pros and Cons of Having A Garbage Disposal in Edmonton

The benefits of having a garburator in Edmonton heavily depend on your specific plumbing system and how you use it. If you’re not careful with how you use a garburator, or you don’t have the need for one, it could end up causing more inconvenience than it’s worth.


  • Greater waste disposal convenience

  • Environmentally friendly (when used correctly)


  • May increase water and electricity use

  • Requires routine maintenance and careful use to avoid repairs

  • Misuse can quickly clog your kitchen sink drain

How To Properly Maintain Your Garbage Disposal Unit in Edmonton, AB

When you experience a clogged sink, it’s not immediately apparent whether it’s your garburator or drainage pipe. In either case, general maintenance duties for your garburator will help you with clog prevention in the future. There are ways to minimize the need for Edmonton garbage disposal repair and drain cleaning just by regularly cleaning your unit. For best results, it’s ideal to complete this cleaning routine once a month.

Edmonton Garbage Disposal Cleaning Guide:

Correctly maintaining a garburator requires care and patience. As a complicated and dangerous piece of equipment, mishandling your unit could cause injury. If you’d rather leave this job to a qualified repair professional in Edmonton but still want to help with maintenance, you can occasionally throw in a handful of ice cubes to help keep the grinding components sharp.

  • Turn Off Your Unit: Before you proceed, turn off your garburator’s power switch. For safety reasons, we recommend turning off the switch on your circuit breaker panel as well.

  • Clean Your Gasket: Also known as the splash guard—this is a plastic ring with grooves and crevices near the top of your kitchen sink drain. You can easily remove that piece and clean away slime or debris with antibacterial soap or other types of degreaser.

  • Remove Food Debris: After removing the gasket, use a flashlight to check your drain opening. Chances are, debris and mineral deposits are trapped on the unit’s walls. Use pliers or tongs to remove any solid items that haven’t flushed down, but never use your fingers. The system might be turned off, but the garbage disposal blades are still sharp.

  • Use White Vinegar and Baking Soda: This natural home remedy for cleaning never gets old! You probably have unclogged or cleaned sink drains on your own and know the powerful synergy between white vinegar and baking soda. Pour half a cup of baking soda into the garburator, followed by a cup of vinegar. The fizzing carbon dioxide gas helps dislodge built-up sludge and grime. Flush out the remaining debris with hot water

  • Grind Ice and Salt: After reinstalling the gasket, you can continue to clean the blades, loosen up more debris, and keep the blades sharp with ice and salt. Turn the power back on and pour one or two cups of ice down the drain, followed by one cup of salt. Grind everything away until all the ice is gone.

  • Grind Some Small Citrus Peels: Grinding lemon, orange, or lime peels will freshen up your system and help remove any unpleasant odors.

  • Cold Water: Fill up your sink with cold water by plugging in your sink stopper. Then, pull the sink stopper out and turn the disposal unit on. This procedure will force any loose debris remaining in the drain or unit to flush away.

FAQ – All Your Questions About Edmonton Garbage Disposal Repair

Were Garburators Banned?

Garburators were banned in the 1970s when many city sewers were dealing with aging pipes that couldn’t handle food remnants. There is currently no specific ban in place, however, you will find apartment buildings in Edmonton that prohibit garburator installation specifically due to older pipes. If you live in an Edmonton apartment that has no garburator, you can ask your landlord or building manager about the building’s pipe system to determine if having a garburator is possible.

Why Is My Garbage Disposal Not Turning On?

There are various reasons why your unit may not turn on. To investigate and repair this issue, start by checking your unit’s power switch, your kitchen circuit breaker, and your other appliances. See if your kitchen lights or dishwasher turn on. If yes, it’s likely the unit itself, in which case you could try resetting it. Locate the reset button under the sink and press it. If it still fails to turn on, you may need an appointment for garbage disposal repair.

What Do Plumbers Think of Garbage Disposals in Edmonton?

What worries plumbers the most is the misuse that leads to garbage disposal repairs and clogged drains, which can be inconvenient for Edmonton homeowners. As long as you are safely using your unit, it can add convenience to your life. However, if you find yourself needing repairs often, or not using your unit at all, you may want to consider replacing or removing it.

Call Our Team for Edmonton Garbage Disposal Repair Services!

If you notice any inconsistencies in the performance of your garbage disposal that might need repairs or just haven’t had drain cleaning services in a while, then it's time to call the pros at Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Edmonton for help.

Our team of experts will use the most cutting-edge technology and offer the best and most cost-effective plumbing repair solutions. Each of our professional, licensed plumbers has years of experience, in-depth training, and access to the best tools to quickly and efficiently solve your plumbing problems. In fact, we've helped numerous homeowners across Edmonton, from St. Albert to Pleasantview and beyond.

Give us a call to chat with our friendly customer service reps and let us know how we can enhance your plumbing system with repairs, replacements, and much more!