Help my garbage disposal is not working!

The garbage disposal is one of my must-have kitchen appliances. We don't spend any time thinking about the garbage disposal until it's not working, then wow, call the plumber now! Right??

It never seems to fail, I get a lot of panic calls stating that the garbage disposal is sounding like a Rambo movie, not turning on, or dirty water is backing up into the sink!

Here are some common problems and how to troubleshoot them.  First things first... ALWAYS UNPLUG the unit before trying any of these remedies.

  1. There could be several reasons that trigger your unit to automatically shut down from its own built-in internal breaker. Pressing the reset button on the bottom of the unit is often a simple fix when this happens. Try that first. Sometimes though when this happens it will cause the main electrical breaker to trip off. Check there too. If that doesn't restart your garbage disposal, give me a call.
  2. If your garbage disposal is making a loud rattling noise chances are you accidentally dropped something down there. Unplug unit under the sink first before reaching in there to remove the object. I would put on a pair of kitchen gloves, or even try using a thong to retrieve the object. Plug back in and give it a whirl.
  3. If your garbage disposal in making a humming noise chances are the flywheel mechanism is stuck. Most units are sold with a tool to use for just such instances. Crank the gear at the base of the machine until the blockage is dislodged. Run for about 20 seconds with cold water.
  4. If the line clogs, water will back up into the sink. I recommend you never pour commercial clog removers (Drano, Liquid Plumber, etc.) down the drain because the chemicals can damage the unit and the pipes, and still not clear the line.

    Depending on the unit, it can be detached with a wrench (if your line is attached with dual bolts) or the release of a pressure joint (simply unscrew it). Use your finger (yuck) to clear out the drain line opening in the disposal. If the clog was pushed down the line, you’ll need a drain snake or call us to run the entire line through and prevent another back up down the road.

Because I love a good garbage disposal, we install Badger 5 Insinkerator 1/2 HP units. Complete for $249!

Ready to upgrade? Call me, I'll get you right on the schedule.


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