Garbage Disposal Rattling: 5 Reasons Why and How to Fix! » House Teki Blog (2023)

Garbage Disposal Rattling? You’re just washing dishes when you notice your garbage disposal is rattling. There’s a chance one of the motors of the bearings is loose, but the noise of a garbage disposal bearing is easily distinguished from the noise of hard objects tossing inside the canister.

If your garbage disposal makes a rattling or humming sound, it may result from a congested grinding chamber. Food crumbs and debris can get stuck in this chamber, resulting in a rattling sound. Shut off the power supply of the disposal and inspect the opening to see if there’s congestion. You can use an offset wrench to turn the plates at the bottom of the unit and empty the jam. If there’s no food jamming them, the sound may result from a faulty motor or motor start capacitor.

The noise could also be from a faulty motor assembly, grinding ring or grinding plate. If it’s from these parts, you’ll have to replace your garbage disposal.

Garbage Disposal Rattling? How to Fix!

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When your garbage disposal is rattling, the problem might be from the unit. When this happens, the noise isn’t as jerking as when something falls into the canister, but it’s more continual.

It might be that the garbage disposal impeller is loose. These impellers are made to spin around but not to be moving back and forth. They only start to move to and fro when the screws holding them are loose. These screws can only be tightened when the whole appliance has been disabled.

A rattling sound can also result from a faulty motor; if so, the performance of the disposal will be reduced, and it will often get stuck when working. In this case, it’s easier and cheaper to buy new garbage disposal than to fix the motor.

Garbage Disposal Making a Loud Noise?

Many of us think garbage disposal has a blade that cuts up what you put in. But the truth is, it doesn’t. There are oval metal impellers at the bottom of the canister that fling food against the side of the canister. This is where the real shredding happens.

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The shredder ring about an inch or two works on the principle of a cheese grater. If a hard object gets into the garbage disposal, it gets flung against the shredder ring repeatedly, making a rattling or humming sound.

This, however, doesn’t make the shredder ring to shred, it’s only the impellers that may get a dent, but they won’t be permanently damaged. Once you remove the object, everything will be alright.

How to Remove an Object From A Garbage Disposal

Never put your hand into a garbage disposal. If you need to retrieve something that falls inside and makes a noise, use a flashlight to locate the object and remove it with a pair of kitchen throngs.

If the object breaks while trying to retrieve it, remove every piece you see to avoid small pieces getting stuck in the gap between the shredder ring and the motor.

When a hard object such as a bone breaks in the garbage disposal and small pieces jammed in the gap, stopping the rotator from spinning and shuts up the power of the internal breaker.

To restore it to normal, spin the rotor with a hex wrench from the underneath to dislodge the jamming. Retrieve them, click on the reset button and turn on the tap. Then run the disposal to clear the small pieces that remain.

What are the Signs of a Failing Garbage Disposal

Good garbage disposal like the InSinkErator garbage disposal will help keep your sink and pipes clean. When a problem arises with the garbage disposal, it can impact how you wash up and keep your kitchen clean.

Most garbage disposal problems respond to repairs. However, few indicate you need to replace your garbage disposal. Here are 5 top indicators you need a replacement:

Unusual Noises

If a silver object has ever slipped into your garbage disposal unnoticed, You know how noisy disposals can be. When you start noticing an abnormal sound, use your flashlight and check if there’s a metallic object like a spoon or fork.

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If there’s nothing inside, then it’s probably the misaligned disposal components; therefore, they grind together when the machine is working.

In most cases, an adjustment can solve the issue, while in other cases, you’ve to replace your garbage disposed of, especially if the motor is damaged.

Frequent Resets

Using your garbage disposal reset button is to help the appliance overcome unusual situations like clogs and large loads. When your garbage disposal is fine, you don’t have to use the reset button frequently.

If you’ve to reset the disposal often or even every time you switch it on, it’s a sign your appliance is aging or has loose wiring and needs to see a plumber. If it continues to need resetting even after repairing it, this indicates you need a new garbage disposal.

Unexplained Power Issues

If your garbage disposal refuses to turn on or keeps turning off while working, check if the circuit is blown. If the electrical system is working normally, then you’ll need to see a plumber or electrician as soon as possible.

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Typically, these power issues indicate a faulty motor. The motor may be on its last leg or may have blown out. If the issues persist after many repairs, consider getting new garbage disposal.

Poor Performance

Most food remains will quickly run through your disposal with ease. If it’s taking a long time for your garbage disposal to break down food particles, the blades may need to be replaced or sharpened.

However, if the blade excessively deteriorates, you’ll have to replace the entire unit to be able to dispose of your garbage fast. When changing, consider going for garbage disposal with durable blades like the Frigidaire FF75DISPC1 3/4-HP.

Planned Renovation

While your disposal might not be giving your problem, it’s good you consider changing it when you’re renovating your kitchen.


Old kitchen disposal may not offer you the functionality you expect in a brand new, modernized kitchen. You should consider replacing it, especially if it has been a decade since you last renovated your kitchen or installed a new garbage disposal. Most disposals have a life expectancy of ten years. After a decade, you’ll notice the blades are sharper, the performance is slower, and it gets clogged more often. It’s an indication you need a new baby.

Garbage disposal will not last forever; even the best one will eventually need to be replaced one day. When the time to replace your garbage disposal comes, here are some tips to help you make the right choice.

What Should I Consider When Picking a New Garbage Disposal?

It might not be on your priority list to change garbage disposal, but if you find out your disposal frequently gets clogged, makes a rattling sound or continuously gives a bad odor, you need to replace it.

As you head to the market to choose new garbage disposal, consider these three factors:

The size of the motor:

A smaller motor of about ½ HP is enough for a single homeowner who grinds softer and has fewer food leftovers. A ¾ or 1 HP motor is ideal for a large family that eats at home and disposes of food garbage.

A larger motor tends to work more smoothly, with less jamming and less stress on your water waste system.

The Size and Material of the Grinding Chamber

This also depends on the size of the family. A small size chamber will have less HP and will have motors that can handle a little amount of food.

While chambers with more HP will be larger since the motors can handle more food waste. Also, consider blades and chambers made from stainless steel as they’re more durable and efficient, don’t rust and are easier to clean.

Go For a Garbage Disposal with Extra Features

Every garbage disposal makes noise. However, higher quality and expensive units like the Waste King L-1001 Garbage disposal tend to have insulted grinding chambers that make less noise.

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Moreover, some models offer extra features like sound baffles that lower the unit’s decibel and anti-splash baffles to keep your sink clean and a corrosion shield to prevent rusting. If you have a septic system, consider buying garbage disposal with an enzyme reservoir to help break down food crumbs faster.

Save Money By Replacing Your Garbage Disposer Yourself

A brand new garbage disposer can cost as low as $50 – though it will be small and low powered. There are also high-end disposals that cost about $200 that are more powerful and less noisy, with stainless steel blades and several years’ warranty. After getting new garbage disposal, you can save them hundreds of dollars. You’ll pay a plumber to install it by checking DIY garbage disposed of and installing it yourself. However, you’ll be better off paying a professional to do it for you!

FAQs on Garbage Disposal Rattling

This section will look at some of the commonly asked questions by users about the garbage disposal

How do I Fix a Garbage Disposal Rattle?

If your garbage disposal is rattling, it’s probably due to a hard metallic object that slipped unnoticed. Check the grinding chamber and use tongs to remove the object. If there’s no object inside, then it may be the motor is failing. To fix that, you’ll need the service of a plumber.

Why is my Garbage Disposal Noisy?

If you hear your disposal making too much noise, especially a humming or whirring sound, it’s probably due to an object jammed between the shredder ring and the impellers. A hum indicates that the motor is powered, but the impeller is stuck.

Are the Blades in the Garbage Disposal Loose?

The blades in a garbage disposal are made to move side to side on their rivets, not to and fro or up and down. If the blades are loose, you can tighten them by turning the impeller plate with your hand.

Can You Lubricate a Garbage Disposal?

Yes, you can lubricate garbage disposal with water. It works as the lubricant for the engine and prevents the blades from grinding when you turn on the engine.

If you are not flushing enough water through the drain when using your garbage disposal, it can cause damage to the appliance.

Is it Okay to Pour Boiling Water Down a Garbage Disposal?

Pouring hot water down the garbage disposal will not damage it. You should use hot water, white vinegar and baking soda when cleaning your disposal.

Final Thoughts on Garbage Disposal Rattling

Garbage disposal usually makes a rattling noise to food and debris clogging up the grinding chamber. You can easily fix this by removing the debris. However, if the sound persists, it might result from a failing motor.

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Why does my garbage disposal make a rattling noise? ›

Rattling or Loud Grinding

If your disposal is making a rattling sound, a foreign object is most likely being clanged around by the impellers. Just like we mentioned before, turn off and unplug your garbage disposal and use a flashlight to find the object inside the garbage disposal.

What makes a garbage disposal shake? ›

If a garbage disposal is filled with food garbage it will vibrate under use. That is normal. But if it vibrates when you turn it on and it is empty, you have a problem either with a broken impeller creating an unbalanced flywheel or the mounting bolts are too tight.

How do you fix a garbage disposal grinding sound? ›

If the Disposal Makes a Loud or Grinding Noise

The obstruction must be removed in order for the disposal to function properly. You can check down the opening using a flashlight. You will likely to be able to see what object is causing the obstruction in the garbage disposal.

Can you spray WD 40 in a garbage disposal? ›

You also should not put WD-40 down your garbage disposal in an effort to lubricate it, as this toxic material can cause damage.

How many years should a garbage disposal last? ›

If you should especially consider replacing your disposal if it's been at least a decade since your last renovation or garbage disposal installation project. Most disposals have a life expectancy of about 10 years, after which they may start clogging more often.

How do you know when your garbage disposal needs to be replaced? ›

If the amount of food you're sending down the disposal hasn't changed but the time your disposal takes to grind down the food gets longer and longer, you probably need a new unit. This means that either the blades are getting dull, or the motor is getting weak and can no longer handle the workload it was designed for.

What is dripping sound from garbage disposal? ›

The loud noise you hear is not water dripping. It is air being sucked through the P-trap by water flowing through a choke point somewhere between the trap and the next downstream vented pipe.

Should you put Drano in a garbage disposal? ›

Drano® Max Gel Clog Remover , Drano® Dual-Force® Foamer Clog Remover, Drano® Max Build-Up Remover, and Drano® Liquid Drain Cleaner may be safely used to unclog a kitchen sink. Short answer: Yes, you can put Drano in a garbage disposal, but read the instructions carefully.

Is it OK to plunge a garbage disposal? ›

So, how do you fix a clogged garbage disposal? If your kitchen sink isn't draining and seems jammed, you can plunge it using a kitchen plunger to dislodge the debris that's clogging your disposal. (Note: A kitchen plunger is different than a toilet plunger.)

Why is my garbage disposal making a metal clanking noise? ›

The source of the noise

The loud, grinding sound is most likely caused by an obstruction preventing the blades' smooth rotation. In many cases, the object responsible is glass, a kitchen utensil, a piece of metal, or a bone.

How do I know if my garbage disposal motor is broken? ›

If your garbage disposal has a burning smell or is smoking, the motor or motor capacitor may be burnt out. This can mean it is jammed with food waste, or a stubborn object may be stuck in the grinding chamber, leading the motor to overheat.

Can you remove a garbage disposal and not replace it? ›

Garbage disposals can be completely removed. But doing so isn't necessarily a simple task. Doing it yourself requires at least a basic understanding of both electricity and plumbing. Without that knowledge, it is better to call a licensed plumber.

How do you unclog a garbage disposal without taking it apart? ›

Baking Soda and Vinegar
  1. Begin by pouring baking soda into the garbage disposal.
  2. Next, pour vinegar down the garbage disposal.
  3. Then, wait 20 minutes for the fizz to break down the clog.
  4. Last, wash away the mixture and food waste down the pipe with hot water.
Jun 17, 2021

Is it worth it to repair a garbage disposal? ›

A jammed garbage disposal is one of the top reasons to call a plumber, but should you justify the cost? The answer is yes. As long as there isn't any structural damage to the unit, the disposal should work like new once a plumber fixes it. Expect to pay anywhere from $75-100 to have your system running again.

Does vinegar help garbage disposal? ›

Pour one cup of baking soda and one cup of vinegar into your garbage disposal. This will create a chemical reaction that helps dissolve any odorous bacteria and food particles in your garbage disposal, especially in those hard to reach place.

Can I put Pine Sol in my garbage disposal? ›

Appliances: Wipe down the outside of your appliances with diluted Pine-Sol mixture, per bottle instructions, weekly. Garbage Disposal: Run diluted Pine-Sol mixture, per bottle instructions, down your garbage disposal to eliminate odors.

Does baking soda and vinegar clean garbage disposal? ›

Baking soda and vinegar

Clean your garbage disposal with baking soda and vinegar for a pristine appliance. Sprinkle about a half-cup of baking soda into the disposal, followed by a cup of white or apple cider vinegar. Let the mixture bubble up and sit for five to ten minutes.

Is it better to repair or replace a garbage disposal? ›

A clogged garbage disposal simply needs to be fixed rather than replaced. You can try unclogging the unit on your own. If you can't, you'll need to contact a professional plumber to remove a clog that's further down the pipes. This can cost between $150 and $200, but it's much less expensive than replacing the unit.

What do plumbers think of garbage disposals? ›

Having a garbage disposal unit installed in your home is a great idea, any plumber would highly recommend doing so because it is an effective way to deal with common kitchen waste such as uneaten food by shredding them into small pieces. As a result they can easily pass through plumbing.

What kind of maintenance does a garbage disposal need? ›

Don't overload the disposer; grind no more than about 1 cup of food debris at a time. Every month, clean the disposal with either a disposal cleaner or a mixture of vinegar, baking soda and hot water. Do not put grease, egg shells, coffee grounds, starchy foods, plastic or large bones down the disposal.

How long does it take a professional to replace a garbage disposal? ›

On average it takes between two and four hours for a professional installer to install a new garbage disposal. This includes taking measurements to position the disposal, removing pipes, installing the disposal, and fitting new pipes to make the whole system work again.

How much does it cost to get a garbage disposal? ›

Garbage Disposal Cost

Garbage disposal costs vary from $75 for the smallest, least powerful unit to $1,000 or more for commercial models. Most homes need a disposal with an average cost of $150–$250.

Why would you need to reset a garbage disposal? ›

When the disposal clogs, overheats, or the motor overloads due to other issues, the disposal's internal circuit breaker trips automatically to prevent it from burning out. Press the reset button, which pops out about a quarter of an inch, to restore the garbage disposal's power.

Can I run my dishwasher if my garbage disposal is leaking? ›

Can a broken garbage disposal affect a dishwasher? It's a common misconception that when the garbage disposal breaks, the dishwasher is also broken. The good news is that your dishwasher is fine.

What is the average life expectancy of a garbage disposal? ›

If you should especially consider replacing your disposal if it's been at least a decade since your last renovation or garbage disposal installation project. Most disposals have a life expectancy of about 10 years, after which they may start clogging more often.

Why is my garbage disposal making a buzzing noise but not working? ›

The humming (or sometimes buzzing) sound that your garbage disposal makes is an indication that there is power coming into the unit but the blades are not turning. The humming sound can be a sign that the motor is clogged or jammed resulting in its failure to grind.

How do you know if your garbage disposal motor is burnt out? ›

If your garbage disposal has a burning smell or is smoking, the motor or motor capacitor may be burnt out. This can mean it is jammed with food waste, or a stubborn object may be stuck in the grinding chamber, leading the motor to overheat.

What can damage garbage disposal? ›

These nine items are some of the most common things that go down the drain but can do real damage to your garbage disposal.
  • Vegetable Peels and Fruit Skins. ...
  • Pasta and Rice. ...
  • Celery Stalks or Stringy Vegetables. ...
  • Bones or Shellfish Shells. ...
  • Fruit Seeds and Pits. ...
  • Fats, Grease, or Greasy Foods. ...
  • Egg Shells. ...
  • Tea Leaves.

How do I know if my garbage disposal is clogged? ›

The signs of a clog in your garbage disposal are easy to spot. First off, your unit drains at a snail's pace or maybe not at all, leaving standing water to fill up your sink. You may notice bad smells coming from the garbage disposal unit when it's not in use, or the garbage disposal may not even turn on at all!


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