Garbage Disposal Loose Blades (Why & Solving)


Wondering why garbage disposal loose blades? Are loose blades inside it causing disruptions when the disposal is turned on? Don’t panic – we have all the solutions to help you get your garbage disposal back in action!

If you have noticed that your garbage disposal blades are loose, it is important to address the issue as soon as possible. Loose blades can cause the unit to not grind up food properly and can even lead to malfunctions.

In this blog, we will explain why blades become loose, how to prevent their loosening and what to do if they do become loose. So let’s get started!

How a Garbage Disposal Works

A garbage disposal, also known as a waste disposal unit or garburator, is a device that is installed under a kitchen sink and is used to grind up food waste. When you turn on the disposal, the motor starts and a spinning plate, called the impeller, begins to rotate. The impeller is attached to a series of sharp blades, which chop up the food waste as it falls into the disposal.

As the food waste is ground up, it is forced through a small opening and into the drainage pipe, which carries it away to the sewage system or septic tank. Some garbage disposals also have a grinding chamber that is separate from the impeller, which helps to break down larger pieces of food waste.

It is important to use caution when operating a garbage disposal, as the blades are sharp and can cause injury. It is also important to avoid putting certain items, such as bones, grease, and fibrous materials, down the disposal as they can damage the unit or clog the pipes.

Common problem on Garbage disposal

Garbage Disposal Loose Blades

Garbage disposals are a vital part of keeping your kitchen clean and free from odors, but can present problems if not correctly maintained. There are several common problems that can occur with a garbage disposal. Some of the most common issues include:

1. Overfeeding

The most common cause of broken blades on a garbage disposal is overfeeding it. Too much food can result in the blades becoming overloaded and breaking when attempting to reduce it to smaller pieces. To ensure this doesn’t happen, avoid putting too much food in the disposal at any one time.

2. Clogs

A clogged disposal can prevent your kitchen sink from draining properly and can even cause the unit to malfunction. Food waste, grease, and other materials can build up in the disposal or the pipes, causing a clog. Look also why plunging shower drain made it worse.

3. Jammed blades

There are several reasons why the blades in a garbage disposal may become jammed. One of the most common causes is attempting to grind up large pieces of food or other debris that are too hard for the disposal to handle. Non-food items, such as silverware or glass, can also cause the blades to become stuck.

Pouring grease or oil down the disposal can also lead to jammed blades, as these substances can harden and stick to the blades. Allowing too much food waste to accumulate in the disposal can also cause the blades to become stuck.

4. Leaks

One of the most common causes of garbage disposal leaks is a cracked or worn out seal, often located at the bottom of the unit. This seal helps keep water from escaping around the sink flange and entering your cabinet space below. Other potential causes include corrosion on pipes or connections, broken hoses or pipes, blockages in drain lines, loose screws or clamps, and improper installation.

5. Strange Noises

Most often, strange noises from a garbage disposal are caused by something stuck inside it or because it needs lubrication. If there is something stuck in your garbage disposal, you may hear a loud humming sound along with vibrations coming from the appliance as it struggles to break down and grind up whatever is stuck inside of it.

6. Electrical issues

Electrical issues can be a common problem with garbage disposals. If your disposal is not turning on, is making a humming noise but not spinning, or is sparking, it is important to address the issue as soon as possible. These problems can be caused by a malfunctioning switch, a tripped circuit breaker, a problem with the electrical wiring, a foreign object stuck in the blades, or a malfunctioning motor.

Why Garbage disposal loose blades?

Why Garbage disposal loose blades

Garbage disposals are mechanical devices that grind up food waste and other materials so it can be easily passed through a drainage pipe to the sewer system. In order for the garbage disposal to work correctly, the blades must be secure. If they become loose, grinding and draining may become difficult or impossible.

There are several reasons why the blades in a garbage disposal may become loose. Some of the most common causes include:

  1. Worn or damaged mounting bolts: The mounting bolts that hold the blades in place can become worn or damaged over time, which can cause the blades to become loose.
  2. Improper installation: If the blades were not installed properly, they may become loose over time.
  3. Heavy use: Constantly grinding up large or hard pieces of food waste can cause the blades to become loose.
  4. Age: As a garbage disposal ages, it may become loose due to wear and tear.

How to fix Garbage disposal loose blades

How to fix Garbage disposal loose blades

When your garbage disposal’s blades become loose, it can make the unit less efficient or even cause it to stop working altogether. Fortunately, with a few supplies and some simple steps, you can easily fix the loose blades in your garbage disposal.

Total Time: 2 hours

Step 1: Turn off the power

Turn off the power

Turn off the power to the garbage disposal. This is usually done by flipping the switch on the wall or by unplugging the unit. Then transfer all items from around and under the sink cabinet into a bucket or bowl so you can access all areas of the disposal unit easily.

Step 2: Tighten the mounting bolts

Tighten the mounting bolts

The blades of your garbage disposal are attached to the motor by mounting bolts. These bolts can become loose over time, causing the blades to become loose. To fix this, you will need to locate the mounting bolts and use a wrench to tighten them.

Step 3: Replace the mounting bolts

Replace the mounting bolts

If the mounting bolts are damaged or stripped, you may need to replace them. You can find replacement mounting bolts at a hardware store or online.

Step 4: Check for foreign objects

Check for foreign objects

If you can see or feel foreign objects stuck in the blades of your garbage disposal, they may be causing the blades to become loose. To remove the foreign objects, you can try using a pair of pliers to carefully remove them.

Estimated Cost: 150 USD


  • Wear eye protection
  • protective gloves for safety


  • a pair of pliers
  • adjustable wrench
  • Phillips screwdriver

Materials: Impeller blades

Fixing garbage disposal impeller came off

Fixing garbage disposal impeller came off

If your garbage disposal impeller (or blade) has become loose or even detached, you will need to take action in order to repair it and restore the disposal to working order. This process is relatively straightforward and can often be completed without specialist tools or assistance.

To begin the process, unplug any power source from the disposal unit and ensure that none of its electrical components are exposed. After this, use a towel or protective glove to reach into the unit and remove any foreign objects that may have caused damage or contributed to the loosening of the impeller – for example, bones, large pieces of food waste, silverware etc.

With all objects removed from the disposal unit, you will need to locate the impeller itself. Depending on your model of garbage disposal this can be either located at the bottom of the unit beneath a removable plate or within an externally accessible compartment on its side.

Once you have identified and accessed the area in which the impeller is located (likely held in place by a screw), unscrew it as gently as possible in order to extract it gently before inspection. Check also how to replace dishwasher air gap alternatives.

If there looks to be any damage e.g broken blades then we recommend replacing it outright with a part sourced from your manufacturer’s website or a local appliance store before following steps 1-3 again in reverse order until fully reassembled and powered up for testing once more!

Can garbage disposal blades be sharpened?

The blades on a garbage disposal can become dull or rusty over time. This can cause the unit to run less effectively and can even result in jams or restricted movement.

It is not generally recommended to try to sharpen the blades of a garbage disposal. The blades of a garbage disposal are made of hardened steel and are designed to be replaced when they become dull or damaged. Trying to sharpen the blades yourself can be dangerous, as the blades are sharp and can cause serious injuries.

If the blades of your garbage disposal are not cutting food waste effectively, it is usually a sign that they are dull and need to be replaced. You can purchase replacement blades for your garbage disposal at a hardware store or online.

If you are not comfortable replacing the blades yourself, you can hire a professional plumber or appliance repair technician to do it for you.

Are garbage disposal impellers supposed to spin?

Garbage disposal impellers, or blades, are an important part of any garbage disposal’s operation. The blades are designed to break down food scraps and other materials so they can be more easily disposed of. The blades themselves should spin freely when the disposal is turned on, cutting up any material that gets caught in their path. If the blades are not spinning correctly, it could indicate a number of issues with your garbage disposal.

In order for garbage disposals to work properly, the impellers need to be in a tight circle and held firmly into place. If the blades become loose or misaligned they can cause larger chunks of food and other debris to remain in the disposal rather than being chopped up as intended. Loose blades can also make it difficult for motor current to pass through them which causes them to vibrate noisily within the unit itself instead of being efficiently driven by its motor.

What is the typical lifespan of a garbage disposal?

Garbage disposals typically have a lifespan of 8-12 years, depending on the quality of the appliance and how it is used and maintained. Substandard quality models may not last as long, while good-quality models will usually provide more adequately for a longer period of time.

Garbage disposals that are kept clean of solid materials, used regularly and properly serviced should last their expected duration; however, if they are misused or neglected they may breakdown much sooner than usual.

Why does my garbage disposal sounds like grinding metal?

If your garbage disposal sounds like grinding metal, it usually means that the flywheel and/or impeller blades are loose. The flywheel is located in the center of the disposal unit and spins on a shaft. The rotating action creates centrifugal force which helps to break down food waste into smaller particles. When these pieces become loose, they cause the machine to wobble, producing the sound of grinding metal when it’s running.

If you are experiencing this noise from your garbage disposal, it’s important to have it checked out immediately to ensure that there is no damage or wear on the motor or other parts. If you choose to try and fix it yourself, unplug your unit before attempting any repairs as there is a risk of electric shock due to exposed connections within the disposal unit.

Can you remove a garbage disposal and not replace it?

Yes, it is possible to remove a garbage disposal and not replace it. However, keep in mind that removing a garbage disposal can be a complex and time-consuming process, and it is usually best to hire a professional plumber or appliance repair technician to do the job.

If your garbage disposal is just loose or no longer working, you may be able to remove it from under the sink and inspect it for any worn out parts or accumulated debris. If any parts are no longer functioning properly, then they can be replaced with a simple replacement kit from your local home improvement store.

However, if there is extensive damage or corrosion in the disposal motor then it will need to be completely replaced. Professional plumbing services can safely remove your old garbage disposal and install a new one at an affordable cost.

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