The garbage disposal is a crucial kitchen workhorse, and when it stops working, it can grind everything to a halt. If you find your garbage disposal not working, here are a few solutions you can try to help get it working again.
Check the Outlet
Whenever an appliance like a garbage disposal isn’t working, it’s best to start at the beginning. And the beginning is to check whether it’s still plugged in. Seem a little too simple? Think about the space under your kitchen sink. You may keep a trash or recycling bin under there or all of your cleaning supplies. If you jostle them around, they could easily knock the plug loose out of the socket. So, check and see if the garbage disposal is still plugged in. If it is, but it isn’t working, head to the next step.
Check the Electrical Circuit
Another reason your garbage disposal isn’t working may be because the breaker tripped. In older homes, additional outlets are typically put on the same circuit. So, if you run your garbage disposal while something else is operating, it can cause the breaker to trip. Go to your home’s main electrical panel and see if a breaker is tripped. If it is, flip it back on and test to see if your disposal is working again.
Reset Your Garbage Disposal
Garbage disposal not working still? It may need a reset.
Most garbage disposals are equipped with a reset button located on the bottom of the appliance. If your disposal stopped working due to a jam, overload, or other minor issue, pressing the reset button can often resolve the problem.
To reset your disposal, first make sure the power is off. Then, find the reset button on the bottom of the unit and press it. If it pops back out or clicks, then you know that the reset was successful. Power the disposal back on and see if it works. Just be cautious and avoid putting your hands or other foreign objects into the disposal during this process.
Rotate the Flywheel and Impellers
If you flip the switch to your disposal and the system hums but doesn’t work, you may have a jam on your hands. Sometimes pieces of metal or other materials that are too hard for the impeller arms to break down become caught, jamming them. If you notice this issue, it’s important to fix it right away, as ignoring it could result in the motor burning out (which means a costlier and more involved repair).
To fix it, here’s what you do. First, cut the power to the garbage disposal. Next, take an Allen wrench and insert it into the flywheel turning hole located on the bottom of the unit. Don’t have the wrench? No worries – most hardware stores sell them. You can also use a garbage disposal unjamming wrench (found online or in hardware stores), and it will be inserted into your disposal through the top. Whichever tool you use, you’re going to turn it clockwise to dislodge the stuck impeller. Once the item is dislodged, take a flashlight and some needle nose pliers to find it and remove it. Then, you can connect the power, turn on the faucet, and test the garbage disposal. You may also need to press the reset switch before the garbage disposal will come back on.
Contact a Professional
If you’ve tried these solutions and your garbage disposal still isn’t working properly, it’s a sign that the issue may be more complex. At this point, attempting to fix the issue, such as a motor malfunction or a severe clog, without the necessary knowledge and tools could lead to further damage or injury.
This is the time to reach out to a professional plumber so they can diagnose and repair the problem safely and efficiently. This will also ensure the long-term functionality of your disposal and save you from more extensive and costly repairs in the future.
Preventing Future Problems
Dealing with a garbage disposal not working can be a pain. The best way to ensure you don’t deal with your garbage disposal not working is to do your best to prevent problems from happening. Here are a few tips to prevent future problems:
- Only put food down your garbage disposal. Don’t pour hot grease, oil, or fat into the disposal, as this can harden once cooled and clog your system.
- Break up larger items. Your garbage disposal is not indestructible, so break up bigger items into smaller pieces to make the job easier for your disposal.
- Keep it clean. Debris can get trapped and cause your disposal to stop working, so clean out your disposal regularly so waste can drain without any issues.
- No harsh cleaners. Drain cleaners meant for bathroom drains often have harsh chemicals that can damage the interior of your disposal, so it’s best to steer clear of them.
Let Us Help You with Your Garbage Disposal
When you’ve tried these solutions and are still dealing with a garbage disposal that isn’t working, it’s time to call up the team at City Plumbing Services. We will get to the bottom of the problem and fix it quickly so you can get back to using your kitchen sink without trouble. We also provide residential plumbing services and drain cleanings and will answer all your questions. We’re located in Cave Creek but are ready to help those in Phoenix, Paradise Valley, Chandler, Surprise, and most of the East Valley of Arizona.