The kitchen is always the heart of the home, and keeping things in working order is essential to your daily life. When your garbage disposal isn’t working, however, it can throw a wrench into your kitchen routine. Thankfully, many disposal issues can be fixed quickly and easily. Read on to learn more about common garbage disposal problems and how to fix them.
Common Garbage Disposal Problems
No matter what issues you’re experiencing with your garbage disposal, there’s a solution for your problem – whether a part needs tightening or whether you need an all new garbage disposal.
Problem #1: Disposal Won’t Turn On
If you flip the switch and hear nothing, the problem is most likely electrical. First, check that the plug has not come loose from the wall. Then, find the red reset button located at the bottom of the unit, which serves as an internal circuit breaker. If it is slightly raised, simply pressing it could reset the disposal. If neither the plug nor the reset button solve the problem, and if the main circuit breaker hasn’t tripped, you may need a new garbage disposal.
Problem #2: Disposal Hums, but Won’t Turn
This is a common garbage disposal problem, and it typically means something is blocking the blades, preventing them from turning. Turn off the unit and remove any standing water from the sink. Insert an Allen wrench into the blade access hole at the base of the unit and rotate it in both directions several times to clear the jam. You can also insert a wooden spoon handle or the end of a broomstick into the drain, and attempt to free the jam by rotating the blades. If you cannot free the jam on your own, you may need to contact a licensed plumber.
Problem #3: Disposal is Leaking
A garbage disposal leak can occur in a number of places. If water is dripping where the sink and disposal meet, the flange may need to be tightened. Remove the disposal by turning the unit counter clockwise, then tighten the three mounting screws at the flange. If the leak is occurring along the hose that connects to the dishwasher or the drain hose, either the hose or gaskets may need replacement.
Problem #4: Disposal Frequently Clogs
The easiest way to solve frequent clogging is to avoid clogs altogether. While a disposal’s primary job is to grind up food, not all foods should be put down the drain. Things like banana peels, egg shells, and grease could easily clog the disposal. If clogs persist, you may need to disconnect the drain pipe and clear it, or use a solution of hot water, vinegar, and baking soda. Always avoid chemical cleaners in your sink drain.
Get Your Garbage Disposal Up and Running Again
A broken garbage disposal can be a major inconvenience. Fortunately, fixing your disposal is often quite simple, and prevention is even easier. However, if DIY solutions don’t work, you may need a new garbage disposal, especially if you’ve had your current unit for ten years or more. A licensed plumber can assess your disposal problems and install a new unit if needed.