Garbage disposal not working

The first thing to identify when fixing a garbage disposal is does it make any noise or not when you turn it on. Garbage disposal repair on units that make a humming noise and will not turn, represent a jammed flywheel. Fixing a garbage disposal that makes no noise when attempting to turn them on indicates an electrical problem.

Read the following steps in part 1: will tell you how to fix a garbage disposal that makes no noise:

Read the following steps in part 2: If your garbage disposal is making a humming noise.

Voltek Electric, LLC Garbage Disposal

Part 1:

  1. Make sure your disposal is plugged in.
  2. Once you have confirmed that the disposal is plugged in, turn the garbage disposal switch off and then try pushing the reset button. (It is located on the bottom of the disposal) Now try flipping the switch on.
  3. If pushing the reset button worked you are done. If a humming noise is heard the flywheel is jammed and will need to be freed. Read part 2:  If nothing changed check to see if the electrical outlet under your sink has power. You can do this by plugging in a radio or lamp. In most cases half of the outlet is on all the time and the other half is controlled by the switch for the disposal.  If power is present on the switched half of the outlet and you pushed the reset button but it still does not work you will probably need a new disposal. If no power is present continue following the remaining steps.
  4. Check for a tripped circuit breaker. (Read: How To Reset Circuit Breakers.) If you find that a breaker has tripped reset it and try the on and off switch again.

Sometimes the garbage disposal switch can go bad and need to be replaced. This will often be indicated when half of the outlet under your sink has electrical power all the time but the other half cannot be turned on when flipping the garbage disposal switch.

garbage-disposal-offset-wrenchPart 2:

The following steps will tell you how to fix garbage disposals that make a humming noise.

  1. Turn off the garbage disposal and unplug it. You need to make sure that the power is off and the disposal is unplugged before attempting this repair.
  2. Insert the offset wrench that came with the disposal into the flywheel turning wrench hole (located the bottom of the disposal). For most units a ¼ inch Allen wrench will work too. Turn it back and forth until the flywheel moves freely. Remove the wrench and carefully remove the obstruction inside the disposal if possible. With the switch still off, plug the disposal in again. You are now ready to try the switch. Be sure to run the water before turning on.
  3. Some obstructions are larger than others. If using the offset wrench does not dislodge the obstruction you may have to insert a stick into the drain hole and force against the grinding mechanism. Make sure the disposal is unplugged. Once dislodged, reach in the drain hole and try to remove the obstruction. With the switch still off, plug the disposal in again and push the reset button. You are ready to try the on and off switch. Make sure the water is running before turning on.

If these measures have not resolved your garbage disposal problems or you do not feel comfortable attempting them, you can contact your local electrician or plumber for help.

If you have any additional questions, give Voltek Electric a call at 262-224-3226, or you can reach us through our online contact form.