Tips and Tricks

Tips and Tricks
Garbage Disposal Repair Tips

Garbage Disposal Repair Tips

Disposal won't turn on

When a disposal doesn't run, try some of these troubleshooting techniques.
  • Check to make sure that the disposal is plugged in and the outlet is receiving power.

  • If there is not power to the outlet, check for tripped or blown breakers.

  • If there is power to the disposal and you do not hear the unit turn on, it is possible that the unit is burnt out and needs to be replaced.

Garbage disposal is jammed or clogged

If the disposal is making a humming noise, like it is trying to run, there is a good chance that there is something jammed in it, preventing it from running properly or at all.
  • Start by turning the unit off completely and sticking your hand down into the disposal and removing anything that is stuck.

  • If you can't remove it with your hand, try using a garbage disposal key that you can purchase from your local hardware store.  Insert it unto the key hole under the disposal and turn it.  This will most likely get whatever is stuck removed quickly.

  • Make sure that you are thoughtful about what you put in your disposal in the future to not have this problem again.  Try and avoid the following items from going down your disposal:
    • bones
    • non-food items
    • starchy vegetables, like potato skins
    • fruit pits
    • fats and oils
    • large amounts of anything.  Give your disposal a chance to dispose a little at a time.

Disposal is draining slow

When a disposal drains slowly, usually it is because there is a clog further down your pipes. Try using a plunger to remove the clog and restore your disposal back to working order. If you can't remove the clog, it might be too far down for your to remove. Call a plumber or appliance repair technician to help resolve the problem.

Garbage disposal is making grinding noises

When a garbage disposal is making grinding noises, it is usually either a piece of metal that is stuck in the disposal or the disposal itself if grinding it's own parts. If you determine that there is nothing jammed in the disposal, call an appliance repair technician to either turn the disposal up, or replace it altogether.

Disposal is leaking

When a disposal is leaking, try these tips to help diagnose the problem and fix it.
  • Determine where the leak is coming from.  Make sure that it is actually the disposal that is leaking and not some other plumbing issue.

  • Locate the O-ring and make sure it is not leaking,  If it is, go ahead and replace it.

  • Check to make sure that the disposal is not cracked.  If so, you will need to replace the entire unit.

Disposal smells bad

When a garbage disposal smells bad, try some of these quick tips to see if you can fix the problem quickly.
  • Put lemon or lime wedges and ice in your disposal and run the cold water for 30 seconds while running your disposal.

  • Try using backing soda and vinegar.

  • If this does fix the odor, it is most likely deep down in your disposal or pipes.  Call a plumber or appliance repair professional to take apart your disposal and clean out your pipes.  You may just want to consider replacing the unit altogether.

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