Watch the video below for tips on fixing your garbage disposal unit, including instructions for how to take it apart. If your unit still won't work, then you probably have a burned out motor or an electrical problem, which requires the expertise of a professional. This is when you'll want to call a plumber to replace your garbage disposal unit. It's a fairly difficult DIY project to replace your garbage disposal unit, but if you're up to it, here is a DIY guide for garbage disposal replacement.

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.
No need to worry if your garbage disposal is on the fritz—installing a new one is a straightforward project that you can do yourself in just a few minutes. Start by switching off the power to the disposal at your home’s breaker box to ensure that you can work safely. Next, remove the old unit by detaching it from the mounting ring directly beneath the sink drain. Finally, install any necessary new mounting hardware, fit the new disposal into place, and turn on the water to test for leaks before giving it a trial run.

The majority of today’s garbage disposals are designed to dovetail with a sink’s drain outlet, which makes connecting the two components simple. There are a multitude of connection kits and adaptors available. Many models feature a power cord that is simply plugged into a nearby outlet to power the unit; however, when an outlet is not available, the unit must be hardwired, which can be significantly more expensive.

After using the lowest cost disposers for over 20 years now, I find the newest models have not withstood regular use for more than 5 years. The older models had a blue housing where this next step-up model has a black housing which I am hoping for at least 5 years use. Our oldest (blue housing) disposers have lasted at least 5 years and some are now almost 20 years old.


So I know next to nothing about buying a garbage disposal, for the past ten years I’ve lived in huge cities and haven’t had any room (or necessity for that matter) to purchase one. Having recently bought a house, all that has changed. From dishwasher to washer to dryer to garbage disposal, I’m having to educate myself about them and purchase them with informed decision making skills. Yikes.
Jarred Connections: Considering the garbage-disposal systems is located under the kitchen sink, and since the area under the kitchen sink is a common place for storing all sorts of things, it is fairly common for the unit to get bumped.If it gets hit hard enough, the unit can actually shift so that it is no longer sitting straight. Pipes can also get knocked around, causing the seals to lose effectiveness.

Some types of food remains are not easy to grind in a disposer. Do not put fibrous food items into your disposal. Help grind these items by putting in a few small bones or large ice cubes to the disposal. If the disposer won’t grind it up then turn off the disposer and remove the item with a pair of tongs. When using your disposer, make sure that the disposal is running with good water flow. Good water flow carries the waste down the drain line. Using too little water can create a clogged drain.


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

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