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.
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.
You’ll need to measure the new discharge tube to make sure it fits into the existing drain assembly. In our installation, the garbage disposer doesn’t use the discharge tube, but connects directly to the drain. If this isn’t a replacement project, you’ll need to tie in a drain assembly to the existing sink drain, which might take reconfiguring the drain. Be sure to reach the manufacturer’s instructions, and check out our Frequently Asked Questions section on this site for more information on how to do this, or visit your local independent home improvement retailer for the products and advice you’ll need for this step of the project.
If water is leaking from the disposal it more than likely needs a seal replaced but also could be a more serious problem. A leak can occur at the rings that are installed around the sink’s drain hole, called the sink flange. In that case, it can either be that the rings need to be tightened or that the plumber’s putty is faulty and needs to be reapplied correctly.
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).
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.
Trim the discharge tube as needed. If you’ve upgraded to a larger disposal or one of a different model, there’s a good chance that the discharge tube won’t be the right length to connect to the ground plumbing valve. Fortunately, this is a simple fix—mark the spot on the tube where it should line up with the drain pipe, then cut it to size with a hacksaw. It should be a perfect fit.
Look for a jam. Something too tough to grind, such as a piece of glass, could be jamming the motor. Turn off the power and water, then unplug the disposal. (If it’s hardwired, turn off the breaker.) Remove the rubber baffle inside the drain-most just lift out-and shine a flashlight into the hole. Fish out the obstruction with a pair of tongs or needle-nose pliers.
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If your garbage disposal is not running, first check to see if it is plugged in and receiving power. If so then check to see whether it will turn freely with your service wrench. Most disposers are sent with a self service wrench. The wrench is silver and should be located on or near your garbage disposal. (Check under your sink!) If it will not turn freely using the wrench, the disposal is most likely jammed. Check to see if the reset button has popped out.