25 September Why Your Garbage Disposal Isn’t Working - PlumbWize

Why Your Garbage Disposal Isn’t Working

Posted by PlumbWize

A garbage disposal (also popularly known as a garburator) is one of your best friends in the kitchen, especially after dinnertime.

They help us save time and even contribute to better waste management. Located under the kitchen sink, right between the sink drain and drain trap, this essential appliance offers optimal levels of convenience.

So, when the day comes that you find your sink garburator’s not working, try not to let your world crumble. That heart-stopping feeling that washes over you when you flip the switch and you don’t hear that sink-clearing sound is a nightmare come true. But don’t fret, because, like any kitchen appliance, they just need the occasional maintenance or repair session to stay in top shape.

An essential part of solving plumbing problems is finding the root cause, so if you’re dealing with a broken garbage disposal right now and you’re full of question marks, you’ve come to the right place for answers.

Potato peels being thrown down a garburator that’s not working

Why Is My Garburator Not Working?

1. Electrical Issues

If your garburator doesn’t make a peep when you switch it on, you’re most likely dealing with an electrical problem.

To start the troubleshooting process, check if the garbage disposal is plugged in correctly. If it is, locate the reset button on the bottom of the garbage disposal. If you find it popped out, it means that the built-in safety feature tripped and shut the power off. To restore power, all you have to do is press the button back in.

If your garburator’s not working after the steps mentioned above, then check the circuit breaker next. Look for the circuit marked with the garbage disposal on the diagram. Is it tripped? If yes, then try resetting it. If that didn’t do the trick, let’s circle back to the garburator unit.

Remove the disposal switch cover plate and unscrew the switch from the box to inspect the terminal connections. Tighten or replace as needed.

If it seems that these electrical issues are beyond your DIY powers, we recommend that you recruit the superpowers of a professional for instant garbage disposal repair.

2. Overheating

Does your garbage disposal shut off at random during use? This could be a sign of overheating caused by frequent usage.

To confirm your suspicions, press the reset button underneath the disposal. If the corresponding breaker has tripped, it’s definitely an overheating issue. A quick solution would be to let your garburator cool down before switching it back on again.

3. Faulty Motor

When garbage disposals habitually reset or fail to turn on, that’s most likely a sign of a faulty motor. If this is the case, then you can check if the warranty is still valid to avail of a replacement or repair.

4. Jammed Garbage Disposal Flywheel

If your garburator’s not working even after following the tips above, consider checking the flywheel.

In its most basic sense, a garbage disposal operates via a motor with a grinding chamber. This central component of the garburator consists of a spinning metal plate (flywheel) and a shredding ring that collectively rips food waste up and sends it down the drain.

In other words, this is the part where your hand should not be.

If you hear a humming noise sans the whirling blades, this could be a sign of a jam due to trapped food waste or other solid objects. (Be mindful of the things that you should never throw down the garbage disposal.)

To solve this problem, begin by turning off the power to the disposal. Find the flywheel wrench hole beneath the unit and insert either the wrench that came with the garburator or a ¼” Allen wrench. Then, turn it clockwise to loosen up the impeller.

Once you’ve cleared the obstruction, switch the power back on, jot the reset button, and run cold water down the disposal to flush out any leftover residue.

How to Clean An Insinkerator

If you have a brand-new garbage disposal from Insinkerator (one of the most popular brands of garbage disposals) you might be wondering how to clean it.

While garburators are relatively low-maintenance appliances, it’s important to clean them every now and then, especially when they start to give off a foul smell caused by food buildup.

Before your garbage disposal stops working due to poor maintenance, clean it at least once a week to once a month, depending on the frequency of usage.

Here’s how it’s done:

Step 1: Switch off your garbage disposal.
Step 2: Remove the sink baffle.
Step 3: Clean the bottom of the sink baffle with a scouring pad.
Step 4: Put the baffle back in the drain hole.
Step 5: Switch the unit on and run cold water through it.
Step 6: To freshen it up even more, place ice cubes mixed with lemon or lime wedges down the drain. However, use lemon or lime wedges sparingly as their citric acid content may eventually corrode your appliance’s material.

A plumber repairing a garbage disposal unit

Call PlumbWize to Throw Out Your Garbage Disposal Problems

“Why is my garburator not working?” is a problem you can throw out when you call in the plumbing experts.

PlumbWize has been in the business of repairing garburators, installing bathtubs, maintaining sump pumps, cleaning drains, and repairing kitchen sinks for over six decades now, and counting. No matter what type of residential plumbing services you need, we’re here for you.

Request a quote today!


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