The garbage disposal is one of those modern inventions that goes unappreciated until it stops working. If your unit is jammed or won't run, then the following steps can help you solve the problem.
1. Safety First
A garbage disposal can cause major injuries if you aren't careful. For this reason, make sure the unit is fully turned off before you begin any troubleshooting steps. Don't just turn off the switch—shut off the breaker that supplies power to the garbage disposal. Even with the power cut, though, one should never stick their hand into the unit. If the disposal is caught on something and you manage to dislodge it with your hand, the grinding teeth can shift and crush a bone or cause even more severe injuries.
2. Probe With Caution
Once the unit is shut down, grab a flashlight and a pair of tongs. Use the flashlight to look for anything that is caught in the disposal. You can use the tongs to hold open the rubber drain cover as you inspect for obstructions. Then, if you do find an obstruction, the tongs can be used to safely remove it without putting any part of your body in danger.
3. Try a Manual Operation
If your inspection doesn't free up the disposal, the next step is to try to force the obstruction out of the disposal. Locate your garbage disposal unit under the sink. On the underside of the appliance should be a hex nut. Insert a hex wrench, usually a 1/4 inch size, into the nut and move it back and forth with gentle force until the obstruction is freed and the nut turns freely. You can then power the disposal back on and run it for a few minutes to finish clearing the obstruction.
4. Check the Cutoff Switch
Sometimes the issue isn't an obstruction. If the unit wasn't running previously and manual operation didn't indicate an obstruction, the cutoff switch may have been flipped off. First, restore power to the garbage disposal. Then, locate the cutoff switch on the disposal unit. This is typically a red switch on the bottom of the disposal, but it could be a different color or located elsewhere on the unit depending on the manufacturer. Turn this switch to the on position and then test the disposal again to make sure it is operating.
If the above steps don't fix the problem, then you may need more than a DIY repair. Consider contacting services like Ken Rentmeister Plumbing for garbage disposal repair.
During the summer months, I enjoy taking care of my outdoor plants and flowers. Because I live in the southern United States, my vegetation needs water almost daily. Thankfully, I have a convenient outdoor faucet connected to my home. However, I recently endured some problems with this source of water. When I turned on the faucet, I was greeted with a forceful spray of water going in all directions. Before I could gather my senses and turn the water off, I resembled my dog after she jumps into a pool of water. To avoid the wet dog look in the future, I plan to hire a professional plumber to take care of my faulty faucet. On this blog, you will learn about the benefits of securing a reputable plumber to repair your problematic faucets.