How to Repair Your Garbage Disposal

A garbage disposal in the kitchen sink can be a convenient and helpful addition – but it can also become a problem if something breaks down. Luckily, many of the issues a disposal unit can experience are easy enough to address. All you have to do is keep safety in mind and be a little patient. Keep reading to learn how to repair your garbage disposal

Common Garbage Disposal Problems

  1. Unit Won’t Turn On

Do you flip the on switch to your unit and hear no humming or grinding? That means that electricity is most likely not reaching the unit. 

  • Check that the unit is plugged in. 
  • If the unit is already plugged in, use the reset button on the underside of the disposal. Press the button to reset the tripped internal breaker. 
  • If the reset button doesn’t fix the issue, check the main circuit breaker and reset it if it has tripped. 
  • If the breaker isn’t tripped or turning it on doesn’t fix the disposal, turn off the breaker to cut power to the unit. Then, make sure that the switch powering the unit is wired correctly and that all connections are secure. 
  • Turn on the breaker and the switch to check the disposal. If it still is not working, there is an internal problem. You may need to hire a professional or purchase a new disposal unit. 
  1. Unit Turns On But Doesn’t Grind

If there is only a faint humming sound coming from the unit when you turn it on but no grinding sound, the inner flywheel is likely clogged or jammed. This happens when food or non-food items get stuck in the shredder. 

  • Do NOT put your hand into the disposal unit. 
  • Turn off power at the switch and breaker. 
  • Insert an offset wrench into the flywheel hole at the bottom of the garbage disposal. Turn it to unstick the flywheel. You will feel the flywheel loosen and turn easily when it is freed.
  • You can also use a flashlight to look into the top of the disposal to identify the object causing the issue. Remove it with a wooden spoon, set of pliers, or another long object. Remember: don’t use your hands!  
  1. Unit Leaks at the Sink Flange

The flange is part of the mounting that connects the disposal unit to the sink. When a garbage disposal is in use, its vibrations can cause the flange to come loose, leading to leaks. 

  • Turn off power at the switch and breaker. 
  • Remove the unit by turning it counterclockwise, then tighten the flange bolts.
  • Add plumber’s putty if needed.
  • Replace the disposal unit and turn the power back on. 
  1. Unit Leaks at the Discharge Pipe

The pipe that removes wastewater away from the garbage disposal to the sink drain can leak if there are disposal issues. 

  • Make sure the bolts attaching the unit to the pipe are tightened. 
  • If the leak persists, remove the bolts and replace the gasket seal. Then, put the bolts back in and tighten. 

The above tips for repairing your garbage disposal should help you get your unit back in working order. However, if you’re stuck with an issue you can’t fix, the professionals with ASAP Drain Guys and Plumbing is here to help. Whatever the problem is with your unit, we’ll be able to get it sorted out quickly and efficiently. Give us a call today to see how we can help.