Has this ever happened to you? It’s the end of the day and you are dutifully washing your evening dishes. Your sink isn’t draining quickly, so you flip on the switch of your waste disposer expecting to hear the satisfying sound of your meal remnants being ground into a pulp. Instead – to your shock and dismay – the disposal only hums, or even worse, does nothing at all. Frustrating, right?
If this sounds familiar, you'll be happy to know that replacing a disposer is really fairly simple. With today's plastic waste kits, leaks are seldom a problem and the electrical connections are similarly quick and easy. Finally, retail outlets sell good disposers for every household budget. Before you buy, though, it pays to check out your old unit to make sure it's not simply jammed.
Before your garbage disposal installation appointment, please have on hand the garbage disposal you purchased, including all screws and other pieces that came with it. If the job isn't a standard garbage disposal installation project, and requires additional parts or labor to complete the service, additional fees may apply to cover the cost of the garbage disposal parts and the garbage disposal installation work.
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.
Should your disposal suddenly cease to work, check its overload protection. A red button on the bottom of the disposal trips when the disposal becomes jammed or overloaded to prevent damage and motor burnout. Unplug the disposal, push the button and remove the jam. Some high-end models can sense a jam and will automatically reverse the direction of the blades.
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.
You should first find out whether only the disposal is broken, or if the power has gone out completely in the areas near your kitchen sink. Try resetting the circuit breaker that leads to the kitchen, or replacing a fuse if you have an older electrical box. If the garbage disposal makes no noises at all when you flip the switch, you might also want to check under the sink to see that it’s plugged in.
If your garbage disposal just won’t turn at all, then it’s very likely that the disposal has lost power. Your unit may have blown a circuit, or it could be unplugged. First, check the plug for your garbage disposal to ensure that it’s secure. Next, locate the reset button on the underside of the unit, and push it. If neither of these things fixes the problem, look inside your electrical panel for signs of a tripped circuit.
Garbage Disposal Repair or Replacement