The garbage disposal in most kitchens usually gets a busy workout, day in and day out. But the rotating blades that grind up food wastes can often get jammed or clogged.


Here are a few common garbage disposal problems that can easily be fixed to get this essential motorized appliance working again.

The Unit Won’t Turn On

If you flip the switch to operate the disposal and don’t hear the normal humming sound, there could be an electrical disconnection happening that is preventing the garbage disposal unit from receiving proper electrical current. First, make sure that the unit is plugged in. Often a homeowner makes a frantic call to the plumber, only to discover that the disposal was unplugged.

After checking to see that the plug is fully inserted into the outlet, press the reset button that has tripped as part of the unit’s circuit breaker function. Try again, and you will usually be greeted by the familiar hum of a working motor. If nothing still happens, turn off all power to the unit and check the wire connections for any loose connections or damaged wires. Turn on the power and try again. If the motor is still silent, you probably need to replace the unit.

The Unit Won’t Grind

If the motor hums but the unit won’t start grinding your food scraps, it’s usually a sign of an inner flywheel jam. Turn off the power to the unit as well as the wall switch. To remove any food particles that are jamming the flywheel, use a wrench or a wooden spoon to try to get the flywheel turning again, using a pair of pliers to remove whatever debris is jamming the flywheel. But never, ever, put your fingers or hands into the disposal unit when attempting a fix! Turn the power back on once the debris has been removed, press the reset button and press the on the switch.

Noticing Leaks Under the Sink

Constant vibration can loosen the mounting apparatus that connects the unit to the piping. Turn off all power, then use a wrench to tighten the mounting bolts, which usually stops any water leakage.

If these do-it-yourself fixes fail to address the problem, give AAA Service a call or schedule an appointment online for professional help!

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