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garbage disposal not working

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Your garbage disposal isn’t just a convenience, it’s also an important part of your home’s plumbing system. When your garbage disposal is not working, you’re faced with two choices. You can call a plumber or try to fix it yourself. Of course, we would suggest that you call the professionals. Garbage disposals can be dangerous to tinker with. Just in case you still want to try it yourself we have prepared this article for you. Be sure to follow our step-by-step guide to troubleshooting common issues and getting your disposal back up and running again.

What Should You Do When Your Garbage Disposal Stops Working?

Check the power

First, make sure the circuit breaker hasn’t tripped. If it has, flip it back on and try your disposal again.

Next, check if there is anything wrong with the power cord or outlet. If you are using a GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) outlet, which is required for many kitchen appliances, make sure that it is working properly by plugging in another appliance like a lamp or blow dryer. If the lamp comes on but your garbage disposal doesn’t work after resetting it, then you have a problem with either your cord or outlet.

After trying those steps and nothing is obviously wrong with those items then move on to check out what might be happening inside of your disposal unit itself (if anything). The first thing we would always recommend doing when diagnosing a non-working garbage disposal unit is checking whether or not there’s an issue with its reset button. This can usually be done by pressing down hard just above where this button sits while holding down any other buttons located around there as well.

Garbage disposal - Dion's Complete, Brighton
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If a wire isn’t connecting, reconnect it

If you’re struggling to get your disposal working and it’s not due to a clog, then there could be something wrong with the wiring.

The first thing that you should do is remove the disposal. Inspect all of the wires that are connected to it. If one of them looks like they aren’t connected very well or if they are frayed. You may need to reattach them so that they don’t touch each other. If they do touch each other, then an electrical short will occur. This can result in a fire or shock hazard.

Once you have reconnected any loose wires (if necessary), check your circuit breaker for any tripped switches before turning it back on again. This will ensure that the problem doesn’t come from further up than just your garbage disposal itself. If nothing happens when turning on your circuit breaker, then either call an electrician or a plumber.

Reset the disposal

The disposal may need to be reset if it’s been overworked. Or, maybe it’s stuck in the process of trying to grind something up. If you’re able to turn on your garbage disposal, but it’s not performing as expected, try pressing the reset button on the underside of the unit for three seconds. The reset button should be located right underneath where your power cord connects to your disposal. 

If your disposal still isn’t working after being reset, call a plumber immediately. If water has leaked into any part of your home due to clogs or other issues related to plumbing, there could potentially be serious problems that require immediate attention.

Clean out the disposal

You may need to clean out your garbage disposal if it isn’t working.

Remove the disposal using a wrench. Remove any food scraps or debris from inside of it with a brush and water.

Put the disposal back into place. Turn on cold water while you run the disposal for 5 seconds at a time until you hear it working. After running for several minutes, turn off power. Test whether or not the problem has been fixed by flushing out leftover scraps.

Garbage disposal - Dion's Complete, Brighton

Check for jams

It’s a good idea to turn off the disposal before you start looking for anything, as it will make it much easier to see what’s going on. Then, use a flashlight or even better, an extension cord with a light on the end of it, to look down into the drain. You should be able to spot any jams from here. If you do see something that looks like it could be blocking your pipes or causing problems with drainage, use tongs or pliers (or whatever works) and pull out whatever is causing the issue.

Once you’ve cleared any objects from your disposal unit and turned it back on again, try running hot water through it for about five minutes. This should help loosen up any leftovers that may still be clogging things up inside the unit itself and get everything flowing normally again.

A jammed flywheel can be manually turned by using a hex key wrench

If the flywheel is jammed, you can use a hex key wrench to manually turn it. You must turn the flywheel clockwise and the hex key wrench counterclockwise. If this doesn’t work, you may need to pry open the top of your garbage disposal with a flathead screwdriver so that you can remove any blockages.

Is your garbage disposal not working because it needs a new splash guard?

If the splash guard is loose or damaged, you can replace it yourself with a new one. You can find the part online or at your local hardware store. If you buy the part from a home improvement store, make sure to look for a replacement splash guard that matches your model of garbage disposal.

If you have a garbage disposal that’s leaking, first check the seals around the sink flange. The flange is the round piece sticking up from the bottom of your sink that connects to the drainpipe. If any of these seals are damaged or broken, you may need to replace them before replacing the splash guard.

Garbage disposal - Dion's Complete, Brighton

Check if your disposal is leaking

If your disposal is leaking, there are steps you can take to clean up and fix the problem yourself.

First, use a wet/dry vacuum to suck out any remaining water in the drain. If all of the water hasn’t drained yet, keep running your disposal and use a wet/dry vacuum until no more water comes out.

Next, if your drain is partially clogged with food or other debris, use a plunger or plumber’s snake (a long metal rod) to remove it. 

Try using both methods at once if neither works on its own. Sometimes two different types of drains get clogged together by accident, so plunging and snaking may be necessary for success here.

If the garbage disposal is still not working, try restarting your home’s power supply and circuit breaker box

If the disposal still isn’t working, try restarting your home’s power supply and circuit breaker box. There’s a good chance that a simple reset of these two things will solve the issue. If that doesn’t work, don’t worry, we can help! Just call us to inspect and fix your garbage disposal today.

With these steps, you may be able to fix your garbage disposal that’s not working

With these steps, you can fix many garbage disposal problems. It’s really not as hard as it seems and you are likely to save money by doing it yourself. These steps are also easy to follow, even for those without any experience repairing or installing appliances.

Garbage Disposal still not working? Call DION’S COMPLETE Plumbing, Heating & Cooling

When your garbage disposal isn’t working, it can be the source of a lot of frustration. But there are many things you can do yourself to fix the problem and keep it from stalling out. Plus, if none of these steps work, don’t worry—you can always call us.

DION’S COMPLETE Plumbing, Heating & Cooling serves the Brighton, MI area with excellent Plumbing and HVAC services. Call us at (734) 352-9736 or browse this website for more information.

 

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