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Garbage Disposal Is Not Working? 3 Things to Fix It

Nothing can be more frustrating than flicking the switch to grind up food scraps and discover that your garbage disposal is not working. We want to help you eliminate costly service calls with a couple troubleshooting tips.

Power Supply

The first thing you will want to check is whether the unit has power. Newer models have plugs and plug into the outlets under the sink. If this is the case with yours make sure that the cord is plugged in. So was it? Great, the next step is to make sure the switch on the breaker panel is in the “on” position. In most cases, your breaker panel will be clearly labelled. Find the corresponding switch and make sure it is flipped to the same side as the others.

garbage disposal is not working
                   Breaker panel

Free Up The Blades

Sometimes thin, hard food waste such as egg shells can get trapped underneath the blades. This is one of the most common causes why a garbage disposal is not working. A symptom of this is a loud hum like the unit is trying to work but can not. In order to move the seized blades, the drive shaft must be worked free. If you look at the bottom of the unit you will see an Allen wrench slot in the middle of the unit like the one pictured below:

garbage disposal not working
           Bottom of the garbage disposal

Insert the appropriately sized Allen wrench. All garbage disposals come with a custom Allen wrench. Hopefully, you kept it. Move the Allen wrench in a circular motion until it moves freely. At this point, the debris has been dislodged. Make sure to rinse the culprit down the sink before trying to use the garbage disposal again.

Hit The Switch

Most new garbage disposals have a reset switch. It is a little red square button located beside the Allen wrench slot on the bottom of the unit. This is a common problem when the blades get seized. So if it still does not work after freeing the blades this would be the next step. Simply push in the little red button and the unit should work after that.

Still, The Garbage Disposal Is Not Working. Now What?

If you have tried the above solutions and the garbage disposal is not working, then it is beyond repair. There are some appliance repair technicians who can repair garbage disposals but most of the time it is best to buy a new one. If you need a quote on having your garbage disposal replaced or any other plumbing needs, Contact us today for a consultation.