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Why Is My Garbage Disposal Not Working?

Why Is My Garbage Disposal Not Working?

Garbage disposals not only help us in the kitchen, they also help with waste management. A lot of trash that would be thrown away goes into the garbage disposal. When they stop working, the amount of time and effort that goes into simple household chores will increase.

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If your garbage disposal is not working, it helps to know what has gone wrong. If it requires repair, one of our licensed plumbers will happily get your garbage disposal working again. 

6 Possible Reasons Why Your Garbage Disposal Isn’t Working

The garbage disposal is a handy household appliance that helps make doing dishes a breeze. You should always know what to put in the garbage disposal and what foods you shouldn’t.

There are all kinds of reasons why your garbage disposal may not be working. Here are several possibilities:

1. Garbage Disposal Won’t Turn On

If your garbage disposal doesn’t turn on when you flip the switch, it could be due to the unit’s power source. Another possible reason is that the garbage disposal’s reset switch tripped due to an electrical overload. Check to ensure the plug for the garbage disposal is still secure. Next, find the reset button and push it. If the garbage disposal still doesn’t turn on, check for a tripped circuit in your electrical panel.

2. Humming but Not Working

If there’s a humming noise when you turn on the garbage disposal, and it isn’t working, then your appliance may have a clog. While the garbage disposal is still receiving power, something is preventing the blades from spinning.

You might also hear a humming noise without the garbage disposal working if it has overheated or has a worn grinder. Hitting the reset button will fix the overheating issue. A worn grinder means the blades have become dull, which makes it difficult to chop up food, and the blades get stuck in place.

3. Doesn’t Drain

If your kitchen garbage disposal isn’t able to clear food waste down the drain, it might be a clog. This clog could be in either the drain piping of the sink or of the garbage disposal itself.

You can troubleshoot this issue by removing all the leftover waste in your sink. Then, use a plunger to see if you can get the clog loose. If the water drains out, turn on the faucet and check to see if the garbage disposal will now run.

If the garbage disposal still won’t turn on, you can try disconnecting the drain trap of the garbage disposal along with the drain line. Check through both of these to see if there’s any blockage. If there aren’t any obstructions, the clog might be further along in the sink’s pipes.

4. Garbage Disposal Smokes

When the garbage disposal smokes, this is often due to the motor frying or a fried circuit. If it’s the motor, it’ll require a full replacement. If it’s the circuity, it’s fixable.

Start by shutting off the power to the garbage disposal. Now, remove the cover of the garbage disposal and check to see if there are any burned wires. If you locate any damaged wires, replace them and put the cover back on. Finally, turn the power back on and check to see if the garbage disposal now runs properly.

5. Garbage Disposal Water Leaking

Sometimes, you’ll find you have a water leak after looking into why your garbage disposal isn’t working. A water leak can occur in a variety of spots, such as:

  • Gaskets
  • Drain lines
  • Reset button
  • Cracks

If you’ve spotted a pool of water, investigate each of these locations closely to identify the source. If it’s something simple, like a small crack, you can use epoxy to patch it. Otherwise, you may require the services of a professional to tackle the job.

Remember, there are several items to avoid putting down your garbage disposal. One of those includes never pouring large amounts of boiling water or hot grease down your drain. At such extreme temperatures, the seals around your sink’s pipe joints can soften and loosen, allowing for a leak to occur.

6. Totally Broken

If you’ve gone through every possibility and nothing fixes your garbage disposal, then it may be outright broken. Like all appliances, your garbage disposal wears down over time until key components stop functioning entirely. At this point, you’ll likely need to get a garbage disposal replacement.

How to Reset Your Garbage Disposal

Resetting your garbage disposal can be tricky if you’re new to it. You should follow these steps to ensure you’re able to safely reset your garbage disposal:

  1. Turn the power to the garbage disposal off.
  2. Push the red button on the garbage disposal.
  3. If the button pops back out immediately, wait 10 minutes before trying again.
  4. If the button remains pushed in, your garbage disposal should now work.
  5. Run water in the sink and flip on your garbage disposal to see if it will run.

If the reset button isn’t staying popped in or the reset didn’t fix the garbage disposal, you’ll probably need to turn to the help of an expert. A garbage disposal repair professional will be able to diagnose the problem and let you know what the next steps need to be.

Call Maitz Home Service for Garbage Disposal Repair

When your garbage disposal is not working, don’t go without because you’re unsure of what’s wrong or how to fix it. Leaving a garbage disposal broken can actually lead to a health risk for you and your loved ones. When the garbage disposal isn’t in active use, it allows bacteria to breed. On top of that, rust can develop on the blades, and mold can start to form in the disposal drain.

At Maitz, we’ve been offering kitchen plumbing services and garbage disposal repair for over 50 years. All of our plumbers are licensed and insured, and our work is always code-compliant.

To have experts handle your garbage disposal repair or replacement, schedule online with Maitz today.