While inspecting your unit, if you see leaking, you will need to equip yourself with a screwdriver and tighten up the clamp that’s holding the garbage disposal to the dishwasher. The smaller drain line is attached by screws. Tighten up these screws and if the gasket is worn, replace this too (Careful not to overtighten). You should be able to purchase gaskets at your local home improvement store for a fairly inexpensive price.

Cecilia Harsch has been writing professionally since 2009. She writes mainly home improvement, health and travel articles for various online publications. She has several years of experience in the home-improvement industry, focusing on gardening, and a background in group exercise instruction. Harsch received her Certified Nurses Assistant license in 2004. She attended Tarrant County College and studied English composition.

Garbage Disposal Repair


The easiest way to apply that force is to squeeze them together using tongue-and-groove pliers, such as Channellocks. You’ll need medium or large pliers to do this. Unlike prying on the lower ring with a screwdriver or hex wrench-the method recommended in most instruction sheets-squeezing can’t disturb the position of the sink flange and cause it to leak. Plus, it’s easier on the wrists.

When something blocks your disposal unit’s flywheel, you will start hearing a low humming sound, and you know you’ve got a jam. Un-jamming a garbage disposal is something that depends on the specific unit you own. Every single one has a function to shut off when they are stuck to the point of stalling the motor. This is so the motor doesn’t burn out. However, they are also designed so that anyone (and we mean anyone!) can remove whatever it is that is blocking your unit. Underneath every unit is a small slot, and pretty much all of them come with a tiny little wrench to match it. These are most commonly called hex-head wrenches. Yes, that little tool that you probably have no idea where it could possibly be has a very specific and important purpose. Mind blown, right?

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.


If your garbage disposal is making a clicking or rattling sound, there may be some food particles that will not grind up inside. Remove power from disposer, reach into the sink hole with a pair of tongs and remove anything that is still down in the disposer. Test your disposer to be sure the noise is gone. If not continue troubleshooting your disposer issue (see below).

Garbage Disposal Replacement

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