Is your garbage disposal not working? A garbage disposal can be extremely dangerous and very difficult to repair. Because of that, you want to be extremely cautious about trying to fix it. Garbage disposals involve both plumbing and electricity — and, of course, the internal workings can be dangerous too. Here are a few things you may want to consider.
You Can Look Into the Disposal
Most disposals can be looked into from above. If you look into the disposal, you may be able to see something blocking it, such as a fork or a spoon. If you can get this object out without reaching all the way into the disposal, you may be able to remove it. It is safer to remove these objects with tongs and to always make sure that the disposal is completely off.
Pliers can also be used to remove obstructions. Commonly obstructions include: paper towels, egg shells, and vegetable peelings. In order to improve the longevity of your disposal, you may want to invest in a catch that will cover the drain and prevent any unintended items from going into it.
Most Disposals Have a Reset Button
Disposals can "reset" if they become jammed. If they are later cleared, they still may not turn on fully because they have triggered this button. Under your sink and under the disposal proper, there should be a bright red button marked "reset." Depress this button until you hear a click and then try the disposal again.
Keep in mind that disposals generally only reset if they are already jammed, so resetting it before clearing a jam will probably just stall the motor again.
Don't Keep Running a Malfunctioning Disposal
If a disposal is making grinding or humming sounds but not turning on, you shouldn't continue to run it. Not only could you damage the interior workings of the disposal, but something could also come flying out of the disposal too.
Drain Problems May Be Related to the Dishwasher
In many kitchens, the disposal is connected to the dishwasher. The dishwasher runs water into the disposal and the disposal drains the water from both the dishwasher and the sink. If you're experiencing a leak, the disposal may not be the problem. Check the tubing between dishwasher and disposal for any blockages.
Turn Off the Circuit Breaker
If you need to remove an item from the disposal, you can use tongs to remove it while the circuit breaker to the kitchen is off. Your circuit breaker cabinet should have a clear label for your kitchen or kitchen appliances. Turn this circuit off.
Try Manually Turning the Motor
After you've turned the electricity off, you can attempt to manually turn the motor. By using a wrench, you can turn the bolt at the bottom of the disposal in order to manually grind any obstructions. Don't force it too hard.
Poor Draining is Usually a Plumbing Issue
Even if it isn't the dishwasher, poor draining is usually going to be a plumbing issue rather than an issue with the disposal itself. If you've checked the dishwasher and the disposal but the sink isn't draining, you may need to take apart the plumbing that leads from the wall to the disposal. If you aren't familiar with plumbing, you may want to call a professional. Most commonly, there will be something stuck in the U-shaped turn of the plumbing.
A garbage disposal is definitely one of the more dangerous appliances to repair, both because it involves water and electricity and because it can be dangerous in and of itself. Because of that, you may want to call a professional if resetting it doesn't help. If your disposal isn't functioning properly, consider contacting CRC Appliance Repair Service.