A broken garbage disposal can create a frustrating and unpleasant kitchen experience. Garbage disposal problems are common and at some point, every one of us has had to deal with one. If you experience this problem, you should resolve it immediately to avoid more inconveniences as you use your kitchen.
Various issues can cause your garbage disposal unit to fail. These problems range from general wear and tear to electrical and mechanical malfunctions. Depending on the issue, you may be able to fix it at home on your own, or you may need to call in assistance from a professional plumber.
Learning common issues that cause the garbage disposal to stop working and what to do to fix the issue can be helpful. This knowledge will help you quickly troubleshoot the problem and fix it yourself. This article will cover all the common issues associated with garbage disposals, why they might stop working and how to fix the problem.
Garbage Disposal Not Turning On
This is the most common issue that causes garbage disposal to stop working. The power to your garbage disposer will usually be interrupted, meaning that the disposer has either broken or has been overloaded, causing its reset switch to trip to prevent damage to the unit. In many cases, you can resolve this issue yourself.
Start by verifying that the garbage disposal unit is plugged in. Next, check the electrical switch and make sure that it is on. If it is plugged in, the electrical switch is on and it still isn’t working, verify that the outlet is working by plugging another working device into the outlet and flipping the switch. If the outlet does not work, you will need to call for assistance from a professional electrician.
If the outlet works and the garbage disposal doesn’t work, check if its reset button has tripped. The reset button is usually located beneath the disposer and can be pushed by hand. If the button has popped out, your garbage disposal stopped working because it tripped the circuit breaker. You can resolve this error by pressing the reset button. If the button does not stay depressed, check your main circuit breaker and flip the switch to your kitchen if needed.
If your garbage disposal does not turn on after taking these steps and resetting it, you will need to call a professional plumber to assess the unit and fix the problem.
Garbage Disposal Doesn’t Drain
If your garbage disposal stops clearing waste down the drain, it obviously isn’t working correctly. In most instances, the garbage disposal turns on, but water doesn’t flow into the drain or water backs up into the sink, indicating a clog within the sink’s drain piping or the garbage disposal.
To troubleshoot and fix the issue, remove the waste left in your sink. With a few inches of water filled in the sink, use a cup plunger to see if you can clear the clog down the drain. After clearing the obstructing material, run water and turn the garbage disposal on to see if the obstruction is cleared and if it drains smoothly.
If it is not working, disconnect your garbage disposal drain trap and remove the disposal trap together with the discharge drain line. Check for any clog blocking the drain system and clear it out. If no obstructions are found in the discharge drain line, the clog is likely in the sink’s plumbing.
You should use an auger to remove the obstruction from the drain. If you succeed in clearing the clog, reassemble the discharge tube line and drain trap, switch on the garbage disposal and run water to test it.
Garbage Disposal Hums but Doesn’t Turn
If your garbage disposal is making a humming noise yet doesn’t do anything, it is likely that the flywheel within the disposal is jammed. If the disposal continues to run while there is a jam, the motor may burn out. The good news is that you can fix this problem yourself.
First, ensure you turn off the power to the garbage disposal and unplug it to prevent accidents. Next, use the wrench that is usually included with your disposal. Insert it into the turning hole located at the bottom of the lower grinding chamber, and turn it clockwise to dislodge the jam. If the jam is dislodged, you will be able to freely turn the wrench.
If using the wrench doesn’t work, you may need to use a pair of needle-nose pliers. Ensure that you are careful when using the pliers to prevent injury. Use the pliers to grasp and remove foreign objects that may be causing the jam and clean out any food that may still be in the drain. If this works, the flywheel will rotate freely and you will be able to use your garbage disposal as normal. Once this is done, you can reset your garbage disposal and try again.
Garbage Disposal Smoke
If you experience the situation explained above, the garbage disposal may start to smoke and stop working. The smoke may have been caused by a fried circuit or motor frying. A fried circuit can be fixed, but a fried motor cannot be fixed and requires the replacement of the garbage disposal.
If your garbage disposal smokes when you turn it on, immediately unplug the power and remove the lower cover of the disposal. Examine the wires that connect to the disposal for any burnt wires. If any of the wires have a burnt or fried appearance, cut them out with a pair of pliers and replace them. Replace the lower cover, restore power and test your garbage disposal by running water through it.
Your Dependable Garbage Disposal Service Team
At Black-Haak is a BBB accredited company with an A+ rating and has been providing the residents of Greenville, WI, and surrounding areas with quality HVAC and plumbing services since 1956. If you need a plumber or HVAC repair expert, you can rely on our team of experts to provide the quality service you deserve. We have over 25 years of combined experience helping homeowners with their plumbing needs.
What sets us apart from the rest of the competition is our commitment to maintaining our customers’ happiness and satisfaction by providing same-day service, 24/7 emergency services, and priority scheduling. We also care about safety, so each of our team members is fully qualified and certified. Other services include heating and AC installation, repair and maintenance as well as drain repair and cleaning, toilet and shower repair and installation, electrical wiring, surge protection and generator maintenance.
To learn even more or if it’s time for your system or plumbing repair, give us a call today to schedule an appointment!