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Burning Smell Coming From Garbage Disposal

When I run my garbage disposal I notice a burning smell coming from underneath the sink. This has been happening since I have lived here (4 years). What is causing this?

Pam from Chicago, IL


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August 29, 20060 found this helpful

Is this an OZONE type smell or is it more like BURNT RUBBER/PLASTIC?

If it's the former then it's likely nothing to worry this type of smell often goes along with certain motor types. Though, you should likely still keep an eye on it (as I could be wrong).

If it's the burnt plastic/rubber smell then that is generally not normal as far as I know. You should likely have someone check it out as it could be literally burning up & that could be a fire hazard, or be a cause for electrical shock.


You should make sure that when it's running no water is running onto it's electrical that could be a cause.

Lastly, whatever the cause, there should likely be NO SMOKE. So watch for that...

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August 29, 20060 found this helpful

If you have a landlord, have him check it out. It it's your home you should have it looked at. A garbage disposal that is running properly should not have a burning smell. Something is getting hot somewhere in there. Have it checked!

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By guest (Guest Post)
September 5, 20060 found this helpful

I'd be inclined to suspect the hidden restart switch

located towards the back of the disposal unit under the sink. It could be trying to short out or has already done so. Also, there could be something coming from the dryer element, like a bottle cap, if your dishwasher adjoins the same cabinet as the sink. Just an idea that happened to us. Dishwashers

really go out sort of a piece at a time, but disposals

usually go out all at once. Don't ignore it, regardless.

God bless you.

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