Running the garbage disposal without water or accidentally dropping items, such as flat wear or jewelry, can cause the disposal to jam. Food items, such as corn husks and potato skins, can also cause your disposal to jam. When the disposal motor jams, it can overheat quickly and cause the red button to pop from the bottom of the disposal. This stops the flow of electricity to protect the motor. When the reset button doesn’t work, you need to free the grinding plate or wall to release the jam.
Update: As an aside, I also learned from my research that the best way to clean my disposal is to use citric acid. Having previously had no idea what citric acid was used for, I decided to order some from Amazon, going with the brand my sister uses: Citric Acid Powder - Ultra Fine Pure Powdered Crystals - Natural Preservative Food Grade Quality (16 oz) and gave it a whirl after 3 months of using my disposal. I let the citric acid sit with some water in the disposal for about ten minutes, and then I let it run for a solid 2 minutes. I repeated the procedure a few times and after about 30 minutes—wow, all the leftover gunk and food was flushed out of the disposal, leaving it clean with a very mild citrus scent. I feel like I’m becoming a real DIY at home kind of guy.
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.
Roll out a generous amount of Plumber’s putty to a uniform width making a nice snake-like gasket out of putty. Wrap the putty onto the rim of the flange. Push the flange back into position and put the bottom flange on with the clip holding it into place. Tighten the three screws evenly until all three are tight. Scrape off any extra putty from the inside of the sink. Now you are ready to lock the garbage disposer back in place, reconnect the drains and test for leaks.
Another common cause for a leaking garbage disposal is the disposal flange. A leak at the very most upper area of the garbage disposal could be the garbage disposal flange which goes through the sink. A garbage disposal flange should be sealed with Plumber’s putty and then tightened from underneath the sink. If this is not tight enough or if it has managed to come loose (which can happen) then the garbage disposal will have to be taken down so the flange can be resealed and then the garbage disposal can be rehung.
FYI: I don't believe ISE is using the same quality metal causing these newer models to rust out quicker but, in my recent experience, I found that people who use their disposer properly will get at least 5 years service...that is acceptable for my purposes in the apartments. I did have 2 ISE disposers that only lasted about 2 years. One was from a tenant who almost never used it and allowed it to rust extensively and corrode from non-use. Using it helps keep it clean too. The second one, I determined was not being used properly, i.e., the tenant was not running water before turning on disposer causing food debris to accumulate in the small chamber below the blades/masticator.
Disposers fasten to the sink drain fittings in a number of ways--some use threaded plastic nuts, others large hose clamps--but the mounting-ring assembly shown here is the most common. To remove the disposer, support it from below and rotate the large, 3-tab mounting ring at the top counterclockwise until the unit falls away. Remove the remainder of the drain assembly by loosening the three bolts and prying off the retaining ring. Push the drain out through the sink hole and clear away any old caulk or putty.
Throw some ice down once in a while. While ice will not sharpen the shredders (as is commonly believed) it does knock off any debris buildup on the sharp edges that keeps them from grinding food properly. For better results, make special ice cubes from pure lemon juice or vinegar, or alternate with biodegradable cleanser (label them in your freezer!) Cover and seal ice trays used in your freezer for cleanser, and do not reuse trays for food or drink after having been used for cleanser. While using the disposal, be sure to run cold water at the same time.
As advertised, it does come with a corded plug so it will need an outlet. My old Badger was a direct wire. Some folks tore out the cord and the strain relief as a fix and hard wired it like their old one. Some folks put an outlet in, which I found that to be a 15 minute job. I didn't want to mess around with chopping out the stock cord and putting in a new one and messing with the strain relief replacement. I thought the new outlet process was much easier because, heck, the wire's already there and that's always the hardest part of wiring a box! I shoved some of the extra length of the existing wire back into the hole in the wall that it came out from. I thought carefully about where the new box should go so the body of the disposal didn't hit it. I screwed it to the back of the cabinet, poked the wires into the box, screwed them to a new receptacle and, voila!. NOTE: IF YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT YOU'RE DOING WITH ELECTRICAL WIRING, DO NOT ATTEMPT THIS YOURSELF. If you do, be sure to kill the power at the circuit breaker and it is probably the easiest box you will install. Just make sure it is securely mounted into something besides the flimsy back panel of the cabinet.
Waste disposal units may jam, but can usually be cleared either by forcing the turntable round from above or by turning the motor using a hex-key wrench inserted into the motor shaft from below. Especially hard objects accidentally or deliberately introduced, such as metal cutlery, can damage the waste disposal unit and become damaged themselves, although recent advances, such as swivel impellers, have been made to minimize such damage. More problematic are drain blockages caused by shredded waste that is fibrous, e.g., artichoke leaves, or starchy, e.g., potato peelings.
If the leak occurred under the sink and at the top of the disposal before you unplugged the sink drain, your leak is in the sink flange. This indicates that an improper seal exists between the unit and the sink, which can occur from corrosion or the disposal being bumped hard and out of place. This fix requires you to move the disposal altogether. Then apply a generous amount of plumber’s putty to the flange. Finally, replace the disposal and retighten the flange.
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.
She knew about the service call fee. The 4 On Your Side Investigation found that’s a common fee. Consumer Investigator Jodi Brooks called around to try to get an estimate from private plumbers for a garbage disposal replacement. None of the businesses we called would give an estimate over the phone. All of them wanted to look at the situation before committing to a price, and all wanted to charge a service fee to come out. Brooks found only one plumber who would come out without charging.
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.
Read the directions for your model before attempting a home repair. Most disposals have an electrical reset button, and a manual hex key for un-jamming. If the disposal stops working, its internal circuit breaker may have shut it off. Turn the switch definitely off, and try to pull out the hard object that may have jammed it. Then use the right-sized hex key to manually turn the rotor parts (usually directly under the unit in the center). If it turns, then push the reset button. It usually clicks in. Then, turn on the water and try the power, again.
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?!
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.
I thought that this might be underpowered (my last one almost had double the power, after all), but it has plenty of power to eat through whatever you throw at it. I don't dump EVERYTHING down the drain, but it takes what I give it with no problems. And the last garbage disposal was loud and raucous--yes, raucous. But this one is a pleasure. When you flip the switch, it makes a reassuring hum. It sounds more like a fine piece of machinery than a couple of animals fighting to the death inside my sink (like my old disposer).
If you're replacing a commercial garbage disposal, then you'll either want the Drain Strainer with Crown Adapter or the Drain Strainer XL. Both of these models have a universal Crown Adapter on top that serves as a funnel to cover the hole once the commercial garbage disposal has been removed. Note that it doesn't actually attach to the sink bowl, but you'll adjust the legs to get your unit flush underneath the bottom of the sink.
This Frigidaire 1/3 HP Garbage Disposal is designed This Frigidaire 1/3 HP Garbage Disposal is designed with features that deliver great performance. The High-Torque GrindPro Magnet Motor can grind through waste. Continuous-feed operation uses a wall switch to activate the stainless steel grinding system that is resistant to jamming and corrosion. Our sound guard design reduces noise level ... More + Product Details Close