How To Fix A Garbage Disposal

garbage disposal repairPerhaps one of the most glaring ironies in all things kitchen-related, is the unparalleled convenience offered by a garbage disposal, only to be rivaled by the lack thereof when it ceases functioning properly. Fortunately, there a few things you can do before it’s time to call in the professionals. Most garbage disposal issues are simple fixes that require only a few tools. These easy solutions address the most common problems that come with almost any brand of garbage disposal. Before you attempt to fix your garbage disposal, make sure it’s completely off and disconnected from its power source. IMPORTANT: Never, place your hand down the disposal itself — or you might have bigger problems than a clogged drain.

Troubleshooting Your Garbage Disposal

If the disposal is not turning on at all, make sure it is plugged in. If your disposal has a reset button, press it. Make sure the circuit breaker has not been tripped and check the service panel that powers the disposal. You can also try replacing the switch to the disposal.

If the disposal is on and humming, it’s likely that the flywheel is stuck, which can cause permanent damage if not fixed quickly. The most common cause for this, is an object lodged in it’s grinder, impeller or shredder ring. It’s very important that you not put your hand down the grinding chamber to remove anything stuck in it. You will need a wrench to insert in the flywheel. As always, make sure the disposal is off. Move it around clockwise to dislodge the impeller or the object stuck in it. If you don’t have a wrench handy, try using the end of a wooden cooking spoon or broom handle. Once the obstruction is removed, the flywheel should rotate freely and your garbage disposal will once again be running smoothly. Run your tap through the disposal, while turning the switch on for a short period, then off again to flush down the obstruction into the drain.

How To Fix A Leaking Garbage Disposal

A leaky garbage disposal is very common as well, and can happen in a number of locations throughout the disposal. If the leak is at the sink flange, you will need to remove the unit from the mounting flange, and then tighten the mounting bolts if they are loose. If not, make sure the putty around the flange is not leaky or compromised, and if it is, replace it completely. To repair leaks at the dishwasher connection, tighten the clamp around the dishwasher hose. If the hose itself is leaking, you will need to replace it, available at any hardware store.

For a slow draining garbage disposal, never use chemical drain cleaners like Draino. These can cause serious, toxic damage to your entire sink. Disconnect the drain tap and garbage disposal and then empty the drain pipe, making sure there aren’t any clogs or obstructions. Run water down once you’ve reconnected the drain tap clear the last of any gunk.

There won’t be any need to run to the plumber for costly repairs or even worse, buy a whole new garbage disposal. Once you’ve fixed your garbage disposal, keep it running smoothly with a few simple tips like grinding up ice cubes regularly, and treating the disposal chamber with baking soda and vinegar. When well taken care off, a garbage disposal system can last a lifetime.