Read the directions for your model before attempting a home repair. Most disposals have an electrical reset button, and a manual hex key for un-jamming. If the disposal stops working, its internal circuit breaker may have shut it off. Turn the switch definitely off, and try to pull out the hard object that may have jammed it. Then use the right-sized hex key to manually turn the rotor parts (usually directly under the unit in the center). If it turns, then push the reset button. It usually clicks in. Then, turn on the water and try the power, again.
But there is really only one rule you need to follow: Never put your hand or fingers down into the disposal, even if you think the disposal has been unplugged or its circuit has been shut off. If a disposal gets turned on accidentally while your fingers are in the opening, the likelihood is that you will end up with bruised fingers, not bloody amputation. But this is not a risk that is necessary in any way.
However, if your garbage disposal is fairly new, having the reset button repaired is a better choice, especially if your unit is still under warranty. If your unit is under warranty, the company will probably send out a repair man to fix the job. On the other hand, if your unit isn’t under warranty, it’s best to have a skilled technician complete the job unless you have experience doing this.
Throw some ice down once in a while. While ice will not sharpen the shredders (as is commonly believed) it does knock off any debris buildup on the sharp edges that keeps them from grinding food properly. For better results, make special ice cubes from pure lemon juice or vinegar, or alternate with biodegradable cleanser (label them in your freezer!) Cover and seal ice trays used in your freezer for cleanser, and do not reuse trays for food or drink after having been used for cleanser. While using the disposal, be sure to run cold water at the same time.
STEP 4 – If you must use your hands (again, not advised) to pull out all that funky goo, see STEP 2. The disposal must be powered off and unplugged. No exceptions. Not even on a double-dog dare. Also, make sure your hand will actually fit into the opening so that you can eventually remove your hand from the opening. You may need your hand later. If you think it is going to be a tight fit, I’d suggest that you not try it all. You’ve been warned.

We hate to say it, but stoppages in garbage disposals are generally due to “operator error”. Either we have put too much in at one time or tried to force something through, smashing it with a spoon (there is that pesky spoon again!). Pasta, rice and salad are killers of garbage disposal drains and really need to be put down the drain in small amounts; if you put half a pot of rice in at the same time you definitely stand the change up plugging up the pipes under your sink.
Your garbage disposer is not draining, has water leaks, creates weird noises, or has horrible odors? Troubleshoot your Faulty Disposer. If you are experiencing garbage disposal problems, you will find solutions on our checklist below to help you repair it. Before going out and spending a few hundred dollars on a new one, troubleshoot your existing sink garbage disposer to find the problem.
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Dishwasher Connection: Some disposals are connected to the dishwasher drain pipe, which drains leftover food removed from dishes going through the wash cycle. Leaks can sometimes occur in the hose connections where the disposal hose attaches to the dishwasher.Leaks can also happen if the seal on the hose is compromised or the clamp on the hose isn’t tight enough. If the connecting hose seems to be the source of the leak, try tightening the connection or replacing the seal. If neither solutions work, or the hose is obviously cracked, you will need to replace the hose.

I thought that this might be underpowered (my last one almost had double the power, after all), but it has plenty of power to eat through whatever you throw at it. I don't dump EVERYTHING down the drain, but it takes what I give it with no problems. And the last garbage disposal was loud and raucous--yes, raucous. But this one is a pleasure. When you flip the switch, it makes a reassuring hum. It sounds more like a fine piece of machinery than a couple of animals fighting to the death inside my sink (like my old disposer).
No need to worry if your garbage disposal is on the fritz—installing a new one is a straightforward project that you can do yourself in just a few minutes. Start by switching off the power to the disposal at your home’s breaker box to ensure that you can work safely. Next, remove the old unit by detaching it from the mounting ring directly beneath the sink drain. Finally, install any necessary new mounting hardware, fit the new disposal into place, and turn on the water to test for leaks before giving it a trial run.
Turn off the garbage disposal at the breaker box. Remove the drain pipe if it is leaking there. Most attachment clamps are wire clamps with two protruding wires that are pushed together to release the drain pipe. Push the wires together and remove the clamp. Pull the pipe off and inspect the seal for any debris that may have lodged between the seal and the pipe. Wipe the seal with a damp rag to remove any dirt, debris or food particles. Sometimes the wire clamp loses tension. In that case, tighten the hose clamp down in its place, which may secure the pipe leak-free.
Plug the disposal and fill up the sink with hot water and detergent. Unplug and run the disposal. The spinning disk forces the water down the drain like a pump. This should clear the disposal and the drain line. If not, you'll need to inspect the plumbing. Old pipes made of iron clog easily due to internal corrosion and should be replaced with copper.
One result is larger amounts of solid residue from the waste-water treatment process. According to a study at the East Bay Municipal Utility District’s wastewater treatment plant funded by the EPA, food waste produces three times the biogas as compared to municipal sewage sludge.[32] The value of the biogas produced from anaerobic digestion of food waste appears to exceed the cost of processing the food waste and disposing of the residual biosolids (based on a LAX Airport proposal to divert 8,000 tons/year of bulk food waste).[33]
After using the lowest cost disposers for over 20 years now, I find the newest models have not withstood regular use for more than 5 years. The older models had a blue housing where this next step-up model has a black housing which I am hoping for at least 5 years use. Our oldest (blue housing) disposers have lasted at least 5 years and some are now almost 20 years old.
Your garbage disposer is not draining, has water leaks, creates weird noises, or has horrible odors? Troubleshoot your Faulty Disposer. If you are experiencing garbage disposal problems, you will find solutions on our checklist below to help you repair it. Before going out and spending a few hundred dollars on a new one, troubleshoot your existing sink garbage disposer to find the problem.
Once you have a garbage disposer installed, maintenance is what keeps your unit going. By following this link, you will find a very easy to follow video which details some simple steps to help keep your disposal unit clean, and your kitchen free of bad smells and harmful bacteria. You see, my website isn’t just about telling you to buy this model or that right now or you’ll miss out on some good deals (although I have mentioned a couple of places you can take a look at if you’re interested), it’s about making sure you get the best from your garbage disposer.
Many localities in the United States prohibited the use of disposers.[8] For many years, garbage disposers were illegal in New York City because of a perceived threat of damage to the city's sewer system. After a 21-month study with the NYC Department of Environmental Protection,[9] the ban was rescinded in 1997 by local law 1997/071, which amended section 24-518.1, NYC Administrative Code.[10]
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