Top Maintenance Call In January: Broken Garbage Disposals

Top Maintenance Call In January: Broken Garbage Disposals

Imagine your tenants switch on the garbage disposal, and instead of hearing the familiar buzz, they hear the bland hum that signals a broken garbage disposal. The next call is to you for repairs.

A working garbage disposal is really important, that is until it’s not working. Broken garbage disposals were the most in-demand maintenance call for Keepe in January.

Tenants calling in to property managers need help immediately. The common message is that their garbage disposal is not working, and their sink is jammed or clogged.

In one instance, a property manager in Phoenix put in an urgent maintenance call to request service as soon as possible. When the technicians arrived, they found a clogged sink and knew that they needed to further examine the garbage disposal to determine the problem.

Let’s Take a Closer Look at the Steps Taken

  • First, they checked the circuit breaker to determine if the power had gone out in the kitchen; they attempted to reset the circuit breaker by flipping it on and off.
  • Next, they looked under the sink to see if the garbage disposal was plugged in.
  • Once the electricity was turned off and the garbage disposal unit unplugged, they needed to unclog the sink.

They removed all the bits in the sink, then used a plunger multiple times to force the drain to unclog. This allowed some of the water to move freely down the drain.

Maintenance technicians understand that garbage disposals are used heavily and can get jammed by stuffing too much down the drain at once. Property managers need to let tenants know and make them aware that stuffing the disposal can lead to a broken garbage disposal.

The maintenance workers started removing any fragments and food particles like raw meat, bones, and vegetable peelings by using tongs, not their hands. Once they finished cleaning the debris out, they pressed the reset button (located under the sink on the unit itself).

When looking under the sink the technicians checked extensively to see if there was a water leak, which can mean a worn-out seal, caused by wear and tear. At this point they did not find any leaks and felt confident that they would not need to replace any parts of the unit, or the unit itself, which saved on maintenance costs.

The technicians were convinced that the broken garbage disposal was now in working order and proceeded to turn the power back on, after ensuring that no one’s hands were in the disposal. At this point, they tested it out to find that their efforts worked.

Video on how to unclog a garbage disposal.

broken garbage disposal

It is important to note:

  • the garbage disposal should be used daily, and never over-stuffed with waste.
  • Grease should never be poured down the drain.
  • Water should be running before using and while using the disposal.
  • Only the right kinds of food waste should be put down the drain.

From beginning to end, the entire process took just 30 minutes. Both the tenant and property manager were both happy with the result.

Top Maintenance Call In January: Broken Garbage Disposals
Wrenches that can be used in broken garbage disposal repair.

Other recent posts by Keepe:

How Can You Detect Faulty Electrical Wiring In A Rental Property?

Leaking Sinks No. 1 Most Popular Maintenance Fix in November

About Keepe:

Keepe is an on-demand maintenance solution for property managers and independent landlords. The company makes a network of hundreds of independent contractors and handymen available for maintenance projects at rental properties. Keepe is available in the Greater Seattle area, Greater Phoenix area, San Francisco Bay area, Portland, San Diego and is coming soon to an area near you. Learn more about Keepe at

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