If you flip the switch for the garbage disposal and don’t hear any noise, then the problem is electrical. Follow the steps below if this is the case. Skip down to the next section if you hear a humming noise when you turn on the disposal.
- Make sure that the garbage disposal is plugged in. This might seem silly at first, but if you have been moving things around under the sink, it’s possible that the plug was knocked loose and could be the reason your garbage disposal won’t turn on.
- Try resetting your garbage disposal. Most garbage disposals have a red reset button near the bottom of the unit. For example, suppose you’ve been using your garbage disposal a lot throughout the day. In that case, the garbage disposal may have overheated and automatically turned off to prevent damage. If the unit feels hot, let it rest until it feels cool, hit the reset button, and then try turning it on again.
- Check your circuit breakers. Garbage disposals are often on their circuit in newer homes, so the breaker for the garbage disposal might have tripped even if the power in the rest of the kitchen is still on. If one of our breakers has tripped, try resetting it and then turn the garbage disposal on again.
If you hear a humming sound, but the blades aren’t spinning,
then the problem is likely that your garbage disposal is clogged. Follow the steps below to see if you can get it turning again.
- Unplug the garbage disposal – Before you perform any of these, make sure that your garbage disposal is unplugged! You could be seriously injured if the blades start turning again while you’re working on it.
- Look for obstructions in the sink drain – Look down into your garbage disposal through the sink drain for any apparent obstructions like pieces of metal or toys. Don’t try to remove obstructions from clogged garbage disposal with your bare hands. Even if there’s no chance the unit will turn on, the blades are still sharp and could cut your fingers. So instead, if there are any obstructions, pull them out with a pair of needle-nose pliers and try turning the garbage disposal on to see if that solves the problem.
- Try turning the blades manually. Garbage disposals have “breaker sockets” on the bottom that can be turned using an Allen wrench. The breaker socket is connected to the blades of the garbage disposal. It serves as a way to turn the blades manually if the garbage disposal is clogged. See if you can get the blades turning by hand and, if you can, then flip the switch to the garbage disposal again.
- Hit the reset button – With any of these fixes, it’s a good idea to hit the reset button after you plug the unit back in. Clogged garbage disposals will often shut down automatically to prevent further damage. Once fixed, you must reset the unit to work correctly again.
Contact Our Professional Plumbers For Help!
If our DIY plumbing tips didn’t fix your overflowing garbage disposal, then it’s time to call a professional. Sometimes DIY isn’t enough, and you shouldn’t have to spend your whole get-together wedged under your sink trying to get your garbage disposal to cooperate.
And, if you’re looking for garbage disposal help in the Colorado area, then check out our friends over at Done Plumbing & Heating today!