Can Garbage Disposal Catch Fire? – [Detailed Information]

Can Garbage Disposal Catch Fire?

If someone asks whether the garbage disposal can catch fire or not, there are two types of opinions about it. In the opinion of some people, it may catch fire while others say that it can’t. However, we can clear this ambiguity by critically examining the structure and working mechanism of garbage disposal.


Working Mechanism Of Garbage Disposal:

Garbage disposal is an electrical device generally implanted in the lower part of the kitchen sink. The basic purpose of this device is to avoid the blockage of water in the sink pipe by crushing the larger food particles into smaller ones, so that they may easily pass through the drainage pipe of the sink.

Garbage disposal usually consists of a shredder and an impeller. The shredder chops the larger food pieces and clumps them into smaller ones. And at the same time, the impeller further grinds these smaller pieces into tiny particles.

The impeller consists of an impeller disc along with teeth-like structure. The powerful rotatory movement of the impeller disc easily splits the food pieces into tiny granules. These tiny particles can easily cross the drainage pipe of the sink without causing any blockage. Sometimes the garbage disposal gets overheated and starts emitting smoke.

Can Garbage Disposal Overheat?

A garbage disposal can obviously get overheated sometimes due to certain reasons. There are several reasons behind the overheating of garbage disposal.

Can garbage disposal overheat?

For example, when there is any tough or hard food passing through the garbage disposal, it is certain for it to get overheated. Because it will definitely push that food harder against its walls to grind it into smaller pieces. Which will result in heating of the garbage disposal.

Another considerable reason behind the overheating of garbage disposal is the time it is continuously working for. If you are continuously using it for hours, it will automatically get overheated. So, it is necessary for you to know how long can you run a garbage disposal. So, we can say that the overheating of a garbage disposal can be considered one of the major reasons behind garbage disposal catching a fire.

Garbage Disposal Shorting Out:

As we know that the working of garbage disposal is being done in an environment flooded with water almost each and every time. there are chances of water getting into the electrical wires and even inside the garbage disposal.

Once, water gets into the electrical wires or garbage disposal, it may cause problems. The most common of which is the garbage disposal shorting out. The garbage disposal will short out and trip suddenly. Thus, the short-out garbage disposal is at more risk of catching fire, and it can even cause the spreading of fire in the whole electric circuit but it happens rarely.

So, it is obvious that the garbage disposal shorting out can also be among the reasons behind the catching of fire by garbage disposal.

New Garbage Disposal Smoking?

New garbage disposal smoking

In both of the above-mentioned conditions, the garbage disposal can be likely to emit smoke along with a burning smell. This can indicate that either the garbage disposal is overheated or shorted out. You can fix it as soon as possible.

Or you can even avoid such conditions by keeping in view certain things like not putting tough foods into the sink, using the garbage disposal for a limited time and etc.


In light of the above discussion, the answer to the question, of whether the garbage disposal can catch fire or not, is that it may catch fire but in very rare cases. In the only cases of garbage disposal warm to touch or shorting out of garbage disposal, there are chances of its catching fire.

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