The garbage disposal can bring convenient to a kitchen. There are so many reasons to have one of these fancy units in your home. But what do you do if it stops working? There are a few things that you can check at home to see if you can fix the problem yourself before calling a repair professional to come out and fix it for you.
A Note about Safety
It’s important that you always use precautions when working on a garbage disposal unit, even if it is not turning on. Always keep your hands out of harm’s way because you never know when it will start working again. To check down the disposal, always use a broom handle or another object that is similar instead of your hands.
Common Garbage Disposal Problems
There are two issues that are the most common when it comes to garbage disposals.
Issue #1: The unit doesn’t work at all – First you will want to check and make sure that the unit is actually plugged in to an outlet that is functioning. Find the reset button and push it to ensure that the power has an open connection. Check the fuse box to ensure that there is power going from the fuse to the circuit of the unit. If this doesn’t solve the issue, there may be an electrical problem including an issue with the motor that is not allowing it to get connection. You need to call a professional.
Issue #2: The garbage disposal becomes stuck. When a blade gets stuck, the motor is not going to work as it should and the unit will not grind. You will first want to unplug the disposal unit. This will ensure that once the blade becomes moveable again, it won’t hurt you. Now, you will need to attempt to clear up the jam. You can do this by using a hex wrench to turn the impeller or sticking a broom handle into the drain in order to dislodge the item and free the blades. In some instances, the disposal will need to be unbolted and the disposal removed in order to retrieve the item that caused the jam.
Other Garbage Disposal Problems
There are other issues that can occur when a garbage disposal goes on the fritz. This includes:
#1: A clogged drain – In this instance, things could get really messy so you want to plunge the sink using a plunger to help plunge the particles loose from the unit and go on down the drain.
#2: A leaky disposal unit – when the disposal starts to leak from underneath, this could mean that the installation bolts are not as tight as they need to be or that the gasket inside the sink drain is bad. First remove the appliance and replace the gasket. Reinstall the disposal and check to be sure that all the bolts are tight again. Turn on the unit and watch for any leaks. If the leaks don’t stop, you need to contact a professional.
#3: The garbage disposal doesn’t grind that well – Once you have checked everything to ensure that it is working as it should, but the blades still won’t grind as they should, you may want to consider the fact that the blades could be broken. The blades can be replaced or you can replace the unit depending on how much that particular part will cost you.