Your kitchen sink’s garbage disposal is a wonderful invention. You can rinse plates and utensils before putting them in the dishwasher, without having to worry that bits and pieces of food will clog your pipes. But what happens when it stops working? Before you panic, be aware that sometimes, all it requires it’s an easy fix.
5 Reasons Why Your Garbage Disposal Won’t Turn On
1. It’s jammed
If this is the case, in addition to not turning on, you’ll hear a humming sound when you flip the switch to the on position. Before working on it, shut off the garbage disposal. Something that’s worse than a jammed disposal is injured fingers. If you can’t see anything in plain view, use a flashlight to look for the lodged object. If you can see the item, pull it out with tongs. If you still can’t find anything, open the cabinets under the sink, unplug the disposal, and use a hex wrench to loosen the impeller hub. Remove the hub and pull out whatever’s causing the jam. Readjust it to its original position, and plug the disposal back into the outlet.
2. It overheated
This would only be an issue if you or a loved one have been running the disposal for a while rinsing a larger volume of dishes. If this is the case, shut off the power switch, and wait about 10 to 15 minutes before turning it back on.
For more information, check out our blog: What to Do When Your Garbage Disposal Overheats
3. Power surge
This could be the issue if at the same time you were running the garbage disposal, you were also running several other appliances in your kitchen – your Vitamix blender, dishwasher, or baking something in the oven. When this occurs, the circuit breaker will trip to prevent the electric overload from becoming a fire hazard. Set the switch to the middle, neutral position and then simply turn the switch back to the on position. It should be clearly labeled as kitchen.
4. It needs to be reset
Whether a garbage disposal is jammed, overheated, or experiences a power surge, any of these reasons can cause the red button on the bottom of the disposal to pop out. This stops the flow of electricity as a way to protect the motor. You can reset it by simply pushing it back. To locate it, look under the sink, at the base of the disposal.
For more information and step-by-step directions, check out our blog: How to Reset a Garbage Disposal
5. It needs to be replaced
If you’ve had your disposal for anywhere between 10 to 15 years or more, it may have simply run its course. To do so, contact a licensed technician to do it properly — and to avoid the risk of electrocution. Other signs that it’s time to replace your disposal is if it often smells bad, or if it doesn’t grind up food well.
Call Plumbing Professionals in Broward, Palm Beach, or St. Lucie
At Sansone Air Conditioning Electrical & Plumbing, we are always ready to help you. If you live in Broward, Palm Beach, or St. Lucie, we’ll make sure your dishwasher is in optimal condition.
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