STEP 1 – Many garbage disposals (a.k.a electric pigs) have a reset button located at the bottom of the unit that behaves likes a breaker switch or the reset button found on some electrical outlets. You may have to feel around for it if you can’t see it. While the disposal is off, press this button and then try to activate the disposal. If this works, skip the remaining steps and get back to doing your dishes! You solved the problem!
Modern food waste disposers are often connected to your dishwasher’s drain pipe. This connection enables your dishwasher to rid itself of any leftover food scraps or residue that it might accumulate while washing your dishes. Where the dishwasher hose and the garbage disposal connect is a common source for leaks. The leaks most often occur when hose’s clamp is not secure enough. Leaks also develop when the dishwasher hose cracks. In order to fix this type of leak, you should either replace the cracked section of hose or tighten the clamp down.
With the garbage disposal shopping, I quickly learned that the big brands are Waste King and Sinkerator and that those were the two best places to start. After going over several models and two trips to two separate best buys (who, by the way, really need to amp up their customer service model) I cheated and had my mom choose one for me. Sue me. So she chose this particular brand, and wow—it works really well, I can’t believe how easy it makes my life. I can put bones, and tough food products down the disposal, and it makes cooking really simple. Go figure.
Use a wet-dry vacuum cleaner to remove any smaller shards of glass. Simply hold the opening of the hose over the top of the garbage disposal and allow the vacuum to run until you can't hear anything be sucked up anymore. If the sink isn't particularly wet, you can use a regular vacuum, covering the end of the extension tube with a nylon stocking secured with a rubber band.
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.
Garbage disposal units have standard hook-ups that are present on all models from every manufacturer. They all have an inlet and an outlet and a dishwasher inlet on the side, and a disposal unit can leak in those areas. If the body of the unit is leaking, the unit must be replaced, but other leaks in a disposal unit can be repaired by a do-it-yourselfer who has basic skills.
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What's up with that scary loud noise when you turn it on? There are some reviews that make this sound like it is eating a spoon (a LOUD, disturbing, and/or startling snap or click noise, etc.). I have to say that was one of my biggest reservations when I ordered this thing, having read the reviews. A fairly large slice of reviewers commented negatively on it. Here's my take... The motor is 3/4 HP compared to my little dinky 1/3 HP motor on my old one. That is a lot more horsepower and, consequently, a lot more torque. The little "teeth" that do the waste grinding that sit in the base of the chamber spin freely. When you turn it on, the little grinders snap into place like how your head gets whipped back on one of those crazy spinning carnival rides. It's just from centrifugal force setting the blades into place. The fine print in the directions tell you that it is part of the anti-jam mechanism. It's not startling or even disconcerting to me or my wife. We didn't blink an eye. I couldn't scare my children by turning it on. It just makes a bit of a click when you turn it on. No biggie. Full disclosure here - ours is mounted to the bottom of a heavy, porcelain coated cast iron sink. Our sink may be better at handling the torque and may dampen the sound and vibration more than a thin stainless steel sink. Our sink weighs probably 75 pounds. A stainless steel sink weighs 7 pounds. A heavier sink can probably handle a garbage disposal operating under full load better than a flexible, lightweight sink. That's not why we got the sink but I think it's probably a benefit to damping sounds and vibrations.
As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure; in other words, take care of your garbage disposal to prevent leaks from happening. Proper use, regular maintenance and frequent inspections for leaks will keep your disposal in top working order. If you experience any water leaks or burst pipes, please call us and we will be happy to help.
Many localities in the United States prohibited the use of disposers. 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, the ban was rescinded in 1997 by local law 1997/071, which amended section 24-518.1, NYC Administrative Code.
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In the United States, almost all garbage disposals on the market are manufactured by a handful of companies; although, many are branded under different names. For example, out of the top ten highest rated models on the market, InSinkErator makes eight of them. Whirlpool and WasteKing are the other two most well-known brands in the U.S. There are a wide range of models to choose from, ranging from basic $50.00 models to models equipped with all of the latest bells and whistles that can cost as much as $600.00. In most cases, you get what you pay for in terms of quality. Here is a brief overview of the top brands in the U.S.
Make sure that there is power getting to the unit. Garbage disposals have an independent cord that is plugged into a wall socket beneath the sink. Unplug the disposal unit and plug another small appliance, like a desk fan, into the wall socket. Turn the appliance on to see if it works. If it doesn't work, check the breaker panel. If the breaker is flipped to the "On" position, there is an electrical problem on that circuit, and an electrician must be called in.
Save yourself a lot of hassle and go with the same brand & model. By doing so you'll avoid having to remount and mess with the drain & sink connections. Save the old power cord so you don't have to buy a new one. You'll need to do some very minimal wiring work to pull the wires from the terminals in the old disposal and attach them to the disposal. Make sure to attach the green grounding wire to avoid getting shocked when you switch on the disposal!
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