Make sure the reset button on the bottom is not popped out. If your disposal has a cord, make sure it is plugged in and there is power to the disposal. If your disposal has a cord, and there is no power to the disposal, check the breaker or GFI on the wall. If your disposer is hard wired into the wall, check the circuit breaker behind the electrical panel. If humming it is probably jammed. Use the small wrench that can with your disposal to unjam it and stop it from humming.
I'm not what you'd call a handyman, although I've been working to get better at that. I will now at least try a home project before passing on it. So, when our 15-year garbage disposal died I had another opportunity. I determined our old unit to be a Badger 5 1/2 HP (this exact item). I didn't have time to wait for the item to arrive from Amazon so I went to Home Depot and coughed up an extra $20 for the Badger 500 - Home Depot's branded version of this item. They are identical except for the name & sticker.
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.
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.
If the source is not a connection from above then your disposal needs to be replaced. Try cupping your hands around the very top under the sink while running water. The ring that seals the gasket turns clockwise to tighten. The only other repairable leak would be where the piping comes out the side. There can also be a smaller dishwasher drain hose above that.
The horror movie image of victims having hands and arms severed in a garbage disposal is entirely a Hollywood invention. In reality, the blades inside a garbage disposal are rather dull grinders, not gleaming, razor-sharp sabers. That is not to say that a disposal should be taken lightly—it is indeed possible to be painfully injured if you don't practice basic safety measures.
Jarred Connections: Considering the garbage-disposal systems is located under the kitchen sink, and since the area under the kitchen sink is a common place for storing all sorts of things, it is fairly common for the unit to get bumped.If it gets hit hard enough, the unit can actually shift so that it is no longer sitting straight. Pipes can also get knocked around, causing the seals to lose effectiveness.
Like most appliances with moving parts, all kinds of stuff can go wrong in your disposal, for all sorts of reasons. Luckily, unlike many appliances, most disposals can be quickly and relatively easily fixed, as long as you’re careful and do your research. The next time you experience one of the following problems, follow these instructions and see if you can’t get things moving again.
Turn off the switch, unplug it, clear any debris inside the disposal, and rinse with warm water. Many times there is something stuck in the blades that they can't handle (citrus peels, meats, stringy vegetables, etc.). You may need to turn the blades manually to find a lodged object, and it may even be under the blade. Find the reset button (usually red) and hold it for 1 minute. Plug it in, try again. Some newer models do not have the reset button, there is an opening on the bottom of the disposal to insert an allen wrench. If not, look up your model by manufacturer or Google for further instructions.
Aside from the reviews I’ve put together, I haven’t forgotten about people who are having issues with their current food waste disposer. Below you will find some links to the information pages I’ve put together that will help you fix problems you might already have. For those of you that are confused over how to unclog a waste disposal unit, take a look at this page. On the same page, we also discuss waste disposal units that won’t power up and units that are leaking.
Flip the disposer over and unscrew the electrical cover plate on the bottom of the disposer by removing the cover plate screw. Again, be sure the power to the unit has been turned off at the electrical supply panel. Then disconnect the electrical cable connector. Pull out the wires and remove the wire nuts. Also unscrew the ground wire from the green ground screw. Be sure to save the electrical cable connector so you can use it again.
Watch the video below for tips on fixing your garbage disposal unit, including instructions for how to take it apart. If your unit still won't work, then you probably have a burned out motor or an electrical problem, which requires the expertise of a professional. This is when you'll want to call a plumber to replace your garbage disposal unit. It's a fairly difficult DIY project to replace your garbage disposal unit, but if you're up to it, here is a DIY guide for garbage disposal replacement.
If there is no item stuck in the blades of the disposal obtain the Allen wrench that should be attached to your disposal or that came with it. There is a breaker socket located on the bottom of most disposal brands. Place the Allen wrench in the breaker socket and turn it back and forth. By doing this you may be able to unlock the source of the problem. Just be certain that the disposal is not turned on when doing this.
If the disposal’s still leaking, loosen the mounting bolts and push the sink flange up until it’s slightly higher than the surface of the sink. Apply fresh plumber’s putty to the threshold between the flange and the sink. When you’ve applied enough, re-attach the unit by putting the bolts back and tightening. Wipe away excess putty that squeezed out. Finish re-installing by replacing the disposal unit on the mount. Turn the disposal back on and look for leaks.
This is a heavy-duty stopper that does the job well for my light use in the kitchen. The only remark I'll make is that I always lift out garbage disposal stoppers and strainers after each use and keep them inverted with the concave side down over the drain so they dry out completely. The stopper isn't doing anything for you in between uses, so there's no sense in keeping it seated tightly in the drain. Keep it inverted and dried out to prevent disgusting scum from accumulating rapidly.
As it's a direct replacement, I didn't even bother to go through the hassle or removing the old sink flange and having to putty in a new one as the existing one was just fine. It took me about 5 minutes to replace old with new - that's why I didn't bother with a different make. I'm an average Joe who does a few things around the house - mostly accompanied by a lot of cussing - so anything that makes such work quick and simple results in less swearing - which is a good thing right?!