How to Fix a Garbage Disposal

A garbage disposal is handy, but it can be a hassle if it refuses to run. However, there are ways to fix a garbage disposal and get the device working again.

Required Tools and Materials

Offset wrench (this comes with the garbage disposal)
Hex wrench (optional)
Wooden broom handle (optional)

Humming Noise but Doesn’t Work

Step 1

Turn the circuit breaker off. This is on the electrical panel.

Step 2

Put the offset wrench in the flywheel. This is at the bottom of the unit. If the wrench doesn’t fit, you will have to buy one in the store.

Step 3

Turn the wrench in a clockwise manner. This will remove the object blocking the flywheel. If you don’t have a wrench, use a wooden broom handle or hex wrench. Apply some elbow grease so the flywheel
loosens easily.

Step 4

Power up the garbage disposal after the obstruction is removed. Hit the “reset” button below the garbage disposal.

Step 5

Turn the water on. Press the on and off switch a few times. This will get the flywheel moving. The object that was dislodged will end up in the drain.

Garbage Disposal Produces No Sound When On

Step 1

To fix a garbage disposal, press the reset button. This is below the garbage disposal. Press the button if it isn’t depressed. Try this a few times. If it does not work, go to step 2.

Step 2

Examine the circuit breaker. If it has been tripped, turn the breaker off. Turn it on. If it does not work, proceed to step 3.

Step 3

Find the switch that provides the power for the garbage disposal. This will be below the sink or at the wall. The culprit could be a malfunctioning switch. Turn the circuit breaker off on the service panel. Install or repair the switch. Turn the power on.

Tips and Warnings

If it isn’t grinding food but you can hear the flywheel spin, the blades are probably damaged. Repairing the blades is very expensive. It is cheaper to buy a new unit.

Your drain is clogged if the water on the sink isn’t draining. The clog is on the disposal or the drain itself. The problem is with the plumbing and not the garbage disposal. Use pliers or tongs to remove items you accidentally put in the disposal. Do not use your hands.

Before you fix a garbage disposal, look at the warranty. If service and replacement components are included, get a new one.

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