Appliance Appointment

Why Is My Garbage Disposal Smoking?

Garbage disposals are tricky things. They're a pretty simple appliance, but their issues can be mysterious and more than a little bit dangerous considering the nature of what they are. And nothing is more alarming than a burning smell or seeing smoke anywhere in your home, especially from an appliance. This is often an emergency that requires you to shut off power to the appliance immediately before you start hunting down a culprit.

Garbage disposals are unfortunately susceptible to user error. While the burning or smoking isn't necessarily from something you did, it can be a symptom of an issue that came from long-term improper use. We like to think we can toss whatever we want down garbage disposals, but there's only so much they can handle — and plenty of items can cause them to have problems.

A burning smell

Usually, smoke won't be the first sign of a problem. The smell of something burning, specifically metal or plastic, tends to come before outright smoking, and it can be an early warning sign of a larger issue to come. A burning smell comes from overheating or overworking, and this indicates something is wrong with the motor itself. Is your garbage disposal not working properly when you turn it on? Does it fail to grind, but you can smell burning? This means something is going on with your motor, and it needs to be looked at by a professional.

Smoke from the garbage disposal

Sometimes it's more than just the odor of something burning, and you actually see smoke coming from inside your garbage disposal. This can be alarming, and you should shut the power to the garbage disposal off immediately. Smoke often indicates the same motor problems as a burning smell, but this time the issue is worse. The motor will need to be looked at, as well as the grinding chamber, to find whatever is causing the motor to jam and burn out.

Smoke from below the sink

Sometimes the garbage disposal itself is not to blame, but the power supply it is connected to. If there's an electrical fault with the outlet the garbage disposal is connected to, and you smell burning or see smoke, then you're likely smelling the burning insulation or the melting of the outlet's faceplate. You'll need to immediately shut off power to that socket and call a professional for help.

Get a Garbage Disposal Repair Technician in Your Area

Local & Qualified
Rapid Connection by Phone
Commitment-Free Calls
Services We Provide
Services We Provide