Find out how to fix a garbage disposal that shakes. Learn why it's probably a balance issue, and get tips on getting it replaced under warranty.
LESLIE: Travis in Des Moines, Iowa is on the line with a garbage-disposal situation . What’s going on?
TRAVIS: Well, I’ve got a GE garbage disposal. We just had it installed when we remodeled our kitchen. And we do our dishes out of our sink and so we fill the sink base up and then when we drain the water out, we kick the garbage disposal on just to eat up all the stuff going down.
TRAVIS: But once it gets about halfway down, this garbage disposal just shakes like crazy and it’ll shake the whole entire sink and …
TOM: Wow. If it’s shaking, it’s out of balance. And so why could it be out of balance? You said it’s a new unit?
TRAVIS: Yep. It’s brand new. The thing is is when we turn it on, it runs just fine.
TRAVIS: And then about halfway down, it starts to shake and then it stops. And then it goes back to just a clean operation.
TOM: Hmm. I suspect – now inside the unit itself, there are these sort of paddles that swing around and help mash up the garbage.
TRAVIS: Yep. Yep.
TOM: I suspect that something is wrong there and they’re getting stuck in a position opposite than the other two. Because if that happens – it’s just like balancing a tire: if you don’t have the weights in the right place, you start to get a vibration.
So I suspect that either something is wrong with one of those paddles or this just has a bad bearing. And a bad bearing can actually work really well and then when the weight distribution gets a little bit different because all the water’s going through there, it can kind of like catch an edge, so to speak, and work really poorly. But I think you need to replace that.
TRAVIS: Mm-hmm. OK.
TOM: I’m assuming that the bracket was installed properly and it’s secure to the bottom of your sink. But it really should not be shaking like that. The only time I’ve ever seen them shake is that one of those little paddles got stuck; sometimes it gets rusted shut. But if it’s brand new like that, that can’t be the case.
TRAVIS: Yeah, that’s kind of what I was thinking. But I figured you guys would know.
TOM: Yeah, it’s a balance issue and if it’s not working, I would replace it while it’s under warranty . It probably has a year warranty on it.
TRAVIS: Yeah, well, we just put it in a few weeks ago, so …
TRAVIS: Excellent. Well, thank you very much.
TOM: You’re very welcome. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.