Garbage disposals are fairly straightforward machines. When something goes wrong with your garbage disposal, there are aren’t very many things you can do to troubleshoot your unit. This makes repairing your broken garbage disposal a relatively simple task. If your garbage disposal has broken, you can follow these tips to attempt to repair your unit.
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Rotate the disposer to align the disposer with the drain or the discharge tube, slide the flange over drain pipe or discharge tube and insert the gasket into the discharge outlet. Then screw in the bolts that secure the flange to the disposer. Reconnect all the plumbing connections as well as the dishwasher inlet hose. Then turn the power back on at the electrical supply panel and test the unit for leaks, making sure to run cold water while the unit is running.
Loosen the nut securing the rest of the assembly. Just below the sink flange where the drain empties into the garbage disposal you’ll see a circular plastic piece similar in appearance to the mounting ring. Insert the tip of a screwdriver into one of the lugs on this piece and rotate it in a counterclockwise direction. Pull the nut away and set it aside.
Leaks from the bottom of the garbage disposal (often from the reset button) commonly indicate that at least one seal on the interior shell of the unit that protects the motor has deteriorated, or that the shell itself has cracked. These vulnerabilities can cause water from the sink to seep into the shell of the disposal and leak out of the base of the unit. In an old garbage disposal, one compromised internal seal is often accompanied by others, so your best bet is to install a new one.
Wrap plumbing tape around the threads of the sink drain where the disposal crews to the sink and the drain threads on the side of the disposal for the drain pipe. Screw the disposal back in under the sink. Screw the drain pipe back to the disposal. Tighten with the pipe wrench. Turn on the water to check for leaks and plug the disposal back in. Turn on the power switch to make sure disposal is running properly.
If the disposal jams, turn off the power and look underneath the sink. There is a place in the center of the motor shaft, on the bottom of the unit, where you can use an allen wrench to manually turn the motor. Give the motor a few manual turns to get it unstuck. Remove the Allen wrench before you try to run the motor again. Also, press the reset button/ circuit breaker on the bottom of unit, if applicable.
There you have it. If you have questions about this or any other home improvement project, be sure to read our list of Frequently Asked Questions for this video. And be sure to print out our Project Instructions, which includes a Tools and Materials checklist, before visiting your local independent home improvement retailer. That’s where you’ll find all the products and helpful advice to complete your project. If you’re not sure where to find your local store, check out our Store Locator.
I think those are all the important items I wanted to share. The removal of the old one, cleaning the sink hole, and putting in the new box took about 35 minutes start to finish. I wasn't rushing but I was well prepared and had everything ready to go. Plumbers Putty was needed for install. Make sure you have that on hand. There was a thin rubber gasket that went under the flange (between the top flange and a stainless steel sink) that I didn't use because I didn't have a stainless steel sink. The one tricky thing I recall from the directions is that the same procedure is repeated twice in a couple of places - one for using the existing Badger mounting hardware and one for if you are using the EZ Mount system. If you are using the EZ Mount, make sure to SKIP the paragraph that is describing the work as it applies to the Badger mount. That's about it. I had to cut 3/4" off the black waste discharge pipe (90 degree elbow piece that screws into the new disposal) so that everything fit with my old plumbing. I loosened up all the slip joints on the old plumbing so I could wiggle things around as needed, aligned everything, and tightened the plumbing back up. New install was completed in well under 20 minutes after the removal and outlet installation.
Run a few trays of ice cubes, orange peels and salt through the disposal to remove odors and keep your disposals clean. For really tough odors, add 1/2 cup of baking soda and 1/2 cup of vinegar and let it stand for 15 minutes before rinsing. Also, running ice through the disposal will actually sharpen the teeth, keeping foods from getting stuck in the unit.
If there is nothing visible clogging your disposal unit, the flip switch on your garbage disposal unit may have turned the unit off. This little red switch is located underneath your unit and protects against overheating and arcing situations. You can try pushing the red switch to reset the garbage disposal unit. Test your unit by turning it on. If it still won't turn on or makes a humming noise, unplug the unit or turn it off at the breaker box, and move to step 4.
Look for a jam. Something too tough to grind, such as a piece of glass, could be jamming the motor. Turn off the power and water, then unplug the disposal. (If it’s hardwired, turn off the breaker.) Remove the rubber baffle inside the drain-most just lift out-and shine a flashlight into the hole. Fish out the obstruction with a pair of tongs or needle-nose pliers.
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