How to Fix Your Garbage Disposal

Tips and Tricks – Garbage disposals are a convenient appliance to have in your kitchen, but when they stop working, they can cause a lot of frustration. Don’t worry though, fixing your garbage disposal can be easy if you follow these simple steps.

Common Garbage Disposal Problems and Solutions

While the above steps can fix most common issues with a garbage disposal, there are a few other problems that can occur. Here are some common problems and solutions:

Jammed Blades

If the blades in the garbage disposal become jammed, try using a hex wrench to turn them back and forth until they move freely. You can also try using pliers or tongs to gently wiggle the blades back and forth. If these methods don’t work, you may need to call a professional.

Leaking Disposal

If your garbage disposal is leaking, the issue is likely with the seals. Check the bolts and mounting assembly to make sure everything is tight. If the leak persists, you may need to replace the seals or the entire unit.

Strange Noises

If your garbage disposal is making strange noises, it could be due to loose components or damaged blades. Turn off the power to the unit and check for any loose screws or bolts. If everything is tight, the issue may be with the blades, and you’ll need to call a professional for repairs.

How to Fix Your Garbage Disposal

Step 1: Check the Power

The first thing you should check is if the garbage disposal has power. Make sure it’s plugged in and that the outlet is working. If the outlet is working, but the disposal still doesn’t have power, try resetting the circuit breaker or pressing the reset button on the bottom of the unit.

Step 2: Clear Any Blockages

If the garbage disposal is getting power but still isn’t working, the next thing to check for is blockages. Turn off the power to the unit and use tongs or pliers to remove any objects that may be stuck in the disposal. Be careful not to use your hands as the blades can be sharp.

Step 3: Reset the Disposal

If there are no blockages, but the disposal still isn’t working, try resetting it. Look for the reset button on the bottom of the disposal and press it. If this doesn’t work, you may need to manually turn the blades to free them up. Use an Allen wrench to turn the blades from underneath the disposal.

Step 4: Check the Motor

If none of the above steps have worked, the issue may be with the motor. You can test the motor by turning off the power to the unit and manually turning the blades with an Allen wrench. If the blades don’t turn, the motor may need to be replaced.

Step 5: Call a Professional

If you’ve tried all of these steps and the garbage disposal still isn’t working, it may be time to call a professional. A licensed plumber or electrician can diagnose the issue and make any necessary repairs or replacements.

Tips for Maintaining Your Garbage Disposal

Preventative maintenance is key to ensuring your garbage disposal works smoothly and efficiently. Here are some tips for maintaining your garbage disposal:

Run Cold Water

Always run cold water when using your garbage disposal. This helps to solidify any grease or fat, making it easier to chop up and flush away.

Clean Regularly

Clean your garbage disposal regularly by pouring a mixture of vinegar and baking soda down the drain. Let it sit for a few minutes before rinsing with hot water.

Avoid Certain Foods

Avoid putting fibrous or hard foods, such as celery or bones, down the garbage disposal. These can damage the blades or cause blockages.

Use Citrus Peels

Throwing a few citrus peels down the garbage disposal can help freshen it up and reduce any odors.

Keep it Running

Don’t let your garbage disposal sit idle for long periods of time. Turn it on every few days, even if you’re not using it, to keep the blades lubricated.


Fixing a garbage disposal can be a simple process if you follow these steps. However, if you’re not comfortable working with electrical or plumbing components, it’s always best to call a professional. Don’t risk injury or further damage to your home.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Can you put eggshells in a garbage disposal?
    Yes, eggshells are safe to put in a garbage disposal as long as they’re broken down into small pieces.
  2. Can you put grease in a garbage disposal?
    No, you should never put grease or fat down a garbage disposal as it can solidify and cause blockages.
  3. How often should you clean your garbage disposal?
    You should clean your garbage disposal once a month by pouring a mixture of vinegar and baking soda down the drain and letting it sit for a few minutes before rinsing with hot water.
  4. What can you do to prevent garbage disposal problems?
    You can prevent garbage disposal problems by avoiding putting hard objects, fibrous foods, grease, and non-food items down the disposal. Running cold water before and after use can also help prevent blockages.
  5. How long do garbage disposals last?
    Garbage disposals typically last between 8-15 years, depending on usage and maintenance.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *