How to Fix a garbage disposal smoking

Have you ever smelled smoke coming from your garbage disposal? I have, and let me tell you, it’s not pleasant.

Unpleasant odours, weird noises, and even smoke can be alarming signs of trouble in your kitchen. Don’t ignore these signs as I did! It’s crucial to tackle the issue promptly before it worsens.

In our chat today, I’ll share helpful advice to address this smoky situation. Stick with me, and we’ll turn your garbage disposal woes into a thing of the past.

Ready? Let’s dive into understanding why your garbage disposal smoking and what you can do about it.

Causes of a Smoking Garbage Disposal

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A Jammed or Overloaded Disposal

At times, we tend to overload our garbage disposals with too much waste, leading to a jam. The disposal’s blades aren’t designed to handle large amounts of waste at once. If the disposal becomes jammed, it may overheat, resulting in smoke. So remember, moderation is key when feeding your disposal.

A Burnt Motor or Motor Capacitor

A burnt motor is another common culprit behind a smoking garbage disposal. Like any device, the motor in your disposal can wear out over time, especially if it’s used heavily. If the motor or its capacitor burns out, it may cause the disposal to smoke. Regular maintenance can help prevent this.

A Foreign Object Stuck in the Disposal

Sometimes, we inadvertently drop something into the disposal that doesn’t belong there, like a piece of cutlery or a hard object. This can jam the blades, causing the motor to overheat and produce smoke. Always be mindful of what goes down your disposal to prevent such incidents.

A Power Outage

You might be wondering, how can a power outage cause your garbage disposal to smoke. Well, if there’s a sudden power surge when the electricity comes back on, it might cause an overload, leading to smoke. Surge protectors can help safeguard your appliances from such situations.

So, you’ve encountered the dreaded smoking garbage disposal. Don’t worry! This may seem like a tough situation, but together, we can tackle it head-on. Let’s roll up our sleeves and get started on troubleshooting and, hopefully, resolving your issue!

How to Fix a garbage disposal smoking

How to Fix a garbage disposal smoking
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1. Investigate a Jammed or Overloaded Disposal

The first thing you want to do is see if your garbage disposal is jammed or overloaded. Overstuffing our disposals is something many of us do without realizing it. And let’s face it, that can lead to unpleasant outcomes like smoke and strange sounds.

1.1 Clearing the Jam by Hand

One effective way to handle a jam is to clear it by hand. But remember, safety first! Always disconnect the disposal from the power source before attempting any repairs. Use gloves and carefully extract whatever is causing the blockage.

1.2 Getting Professional Help

If you’re unable to clear the jam, there’s no shame in reaching out for professional help. An experienced plumber can safely resolve the issue and get your disposal back in tip-top shape.

2. Inspect the Motor or Motor Capacitor

The motor or motor capacitor could be another culprit if your garbage disposal is smoking.

2.1 Replacing Burnt Out Parts

A burnt-out motor or capacitor will require a replacement. Fortunately, you can find these parts in most hardware stores. Make sure to consult the disposal’s manual to get the right components.

2.2 Seek Expert Assistance

Not everyone is comfortable messing with electrical components. If that’s you, call a pro! They’re trained to handle this sort of thing safely and efficiently.

3. Look for Foreign Objects

A rogue foreign object could be causing your garbage disposal smoke problem.

3.1 Removing Objects Safely

Using a long tool like a broomstick, you can attempt to dislodge the object. Remember, never put your hand inside the disposal unless you’ve unplugged it first.

3.2 Calling in a Pro

Just like with a jam, if you can’t remove the object safely, it’s time to call a professional.

4. Dealing with a Power Outage

A power outage can also cause your garbage disposal to stop working.

4.1 Power Outage Impact

During an outage, your disposal won’t operate. But don’t worry, it should return to normal once the power is restored.

4.2 Restoration of Power

Once the power’s back on, you can safely turn on your disposal. If it’s still smoking, it might be time to seek professional help.

Remember, it’s always better to be safe than sorry when dealing with appliances. Don’t hesitate to reach out to a professional if you’re unsure or uncomfortable handling these issues yourself. Keep your kitchen safe and odour-free by maintaining your garbage disposal properly.


To sum up, a smoking garbage disposal can spell trouble, and it’s a problem I’ve faced myself. This situation signals that there’s likely a serious issue requiring prompt attention.

You don’t have to struggle with this alone! Reach out to a professional to ensure safety and efficiency. After my own ordeal, I highly recommend calling an expert if your garbage disposal starts smoking.

This way, you can get back to a smoothly functioning kitchen, just like I did. Act now and avoid potential hazards. Remember, safety and peace of mind are priceless!

About Author

this is john Andrew from Australia, I am an architect I have worked for the home improvement company Bunnings. I am a home improvement specialist as well as a part-time blogger. Where I will keep giving you tips on soundproofing, you follow our blog.

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