Assuming that you have already given the disposal the time it needs to run and clear the garbage, you probably have a congested drain line. We don’t recommend using chemical drain cleaners with a garbage disposal. You will very likely just damage the unit and end up with a sink full of toxic chemicals that you’ll eventually be forced to clean out manually. If the blockage doesn’t go down with the good ol’ baking soda and vinegar remedy, then calling a John Moore professional is your best bet. He or she will know exactly how to properly remove the bolts, disconnect the drain trap and remove the trap and the discharge drain pipe, check for clogs and any other obstructions, and finally clear the blockage with the latest and best tools. (See our previous post about good steps you can take when your kitchen sink is clogged!)
Most garbage disposals are sealed using plumber’s putty. You’ll need to detach the garbage disposal, clean off the old putty and reseal. Other types of disposals use only a flange that is tightened and compressed with screws. This may need to be replaced. Either way, this can be a big job if you don’t know what you’re doing (requires removing and replacing drain pipes, as well).
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.
I bought this two years ago when planning a kitchen remodel for our retirement home. Since I was doing the remodel myself, it took two years, working part time. During that period I managed to lose the instructions for this air switch. Thank you for providing them. Now I can install it on the front of my Ikea kitchen sink cabinet. When/if I ever am in a wheelchair or walker, I will still be able to easily reach the disposal switch. WARNING: If you have a toddler, mount this where they can't easily reach it and send a matchbox car down your sink disposal in an imaginary carwash.
While it certainly isn’t always necessary to replace your disposal just because you’re getting a new sink or updating your kitchen appliances, it may be a good time to do so, especially if your unit is over ten years old. Since you already have professionals on the site, it may be more cost efficient and convenient to go ahead and replace an older unit instead of waiting for it to fail at a future date.
To reseal the leaky flange, you must first detach the garbage disposal. Start by loosening the screws securing the main drain pipe to the disposal, then loosen the screws in the metal clamp securing the dishwasher hose to the disposal and detach the drain pipe and dishwasher hose from the disposal. Loosen the screws in the mounting ring that connects the disposal to the metal mounting assembly beneath the sink, then pull down the disposal and carefully set it on a clean, dry surface. Loosen the bolts in the mounting assembly with a wrench, then pull down the mounting assembly and set it near the disposal.
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Inspect each of these locations while gliding a light-colored rag over the unit; the dyed water will readily show on the rag and reveal the location of the leak. If a leak isn’t immediately apparent, remove the sink stopper and pour a few more cups of dyed water down the sink drain, then check for leaks again. Leaks near the top of the unit are more likely to show themselves while the sink is plugged, while side and bottom leaks are more noticeable while the sink is unplugged.
Most people don’t think about the fact that garbage disposals are eco-friendly. By investing in a sink food disposer, you’ll be reducing the amount of trash that you leave on the curb for pickup. This means that less trash will be buried in your town’s local landfill. Conserving landfill space is a national concern, and it is one of multiple reasons why recycling is so important. Even though it might not seem like a lot to you, every conservation effort matters.

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.
STEP 7 – You may have stubborn object stuck in the blades that is preventing the motor from rotating. This means it is time to apply a little muscle. Get your handy allen wrench out and insert the tip of the short end into the hexagon shaped hole at the bottom center of the disposal. If it doesn’t fit, find or buy one that does. They usually come in multi-pack sets with various sizes to choose form. Your disposal might have had one packaged with it. if so, find it and use that one. Once inserted, rotate it a half-turn clockwise and then a half-turn counter clockwise to see if the mechanism inside the disposal will move at all. If so, it will help to move the blades back and forth a few times to force through the obstruction. After you’re done, restore power to the disposal and turn it on. At this point, your efforts may have helped your disposal to work again. If not, try one more time.
Hang the disposal by aligning the three mounting tabs with the slide-up ramps on the mounting ring. Holding the disposal in place, turn the lower mounting ring until all three tabs are locked into the mounting assembly. The disposal will now hang by itself. Tighten the three mounting screws, ultimately tightening each screw a few turns at a time until the mounting assembly is evenly and tightly seated against the bottom of the sink.
Knowing the difference between what can go down the disposal and what should go into the trash can save you an emergency call to the plumber. This is especially pertinent during the holidays when the kitchen is filled with people and the sink with dirty dishes. Practice these three everyday maintenance tips to help you maximize the lifespan of your garbage disposal.
Energy usage is not high; typically 500–1,500 W of power is used, comparable to an electric iron, but only for a very short time, totaling approximately 3–4 kWh of electricity per household per year.[34] Daily water usage varies, but is typically 1 US gallon (3.8 l) of water per person per day,[35] comparable to an additional toilet flush.[36] One survey of these food processing units found a slight increase in household water use.[37]
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.

Keep anything too hard out of the disposal. The shredder will dull and become less efficient. Small hard objects can also get stuck and jam the rotating parts. Each garbage disposal has its own capacity for hard objects. The more expensive models of the same brand tend to have higher hardness capacities. The instruction manual usually specifies a list of objects to avoid. You can also gain experience with your own garbage disposal. Strong vegetable fibres can jam some garbage disposals, as well. If something may be harder than what the disposal handles, just put it in your trash can or think about setting up a worm composting bin. Some items to avoid are:
Garbage disposers address the often disparate demands of convenience and conservation by grinding up kitchen scraps, especially non-compostable leftovers like meat and poultry or fat, and sending them down the drain to a sewage-treatment plant or septic system for handling, rather than to the landfill for slow decomposition. Our tests show that some disposers grind more quickly and finely, and are better at resisting jams.

One last thought - Beef bones? I see that Consumer Reports tests these things by measuring the fineness of the grind using beef bones. Do people really put beef bones down a garbage disposal on purpose? You might think I'm babying mine, or maybe that's why I didn't have excessive vibration when I use it, but I'll put the beef bones in the trash and grind up the rest of the stuff with this and be just fine for many years to come, I hope!
However, homeowners are often cautioned against using caustic drain cleaners. Some professional plumber believe that it will not always remove clogs and may even be quite harmful. The caustic nature of this and similar products should be a cause for concern because aside from not really needing it, the ingredients known as lye or caustic soda can result in severe burns and may cause damage to the pipes.
Manufactured in the United States, Waste King garbage disposals have won much praise for their energy efficient design. Waste King offers a wide range of garbage disposers for both residential and commercial settings. In the early 2000s, Waste King refocused their sights on providing unparalleled customer service and quality products, and their warranties are the current industry standard that others are measured by.
If you have a broken seal on the inside of your garbage disposal, you will see leaking coming from the bottom of your unit. Leaks that come from the bottom of your garbage disposal are usually attributed to cracks on the inside of the device. This is due to basic wear and tear overtime. To fix this issue, you’ll need simply invest in a new garbage disposal.
Jump up ^ Specter, Michael (22 June 1992). "Only in New York: Garbage Disposers, Banned, Stir Debate". New York Times. Most major cities banned garbage disposers after World War II, driven by worries that ground food would clog sewer pipes beneath their booming neighborhoods. ... But a series of studies from universities and the not completely disinterested plumbing industry showed that the additional waste from ground food scraps would rarely harm a city sewage system.
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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