How to Troubleshoot a Broken Garbage Disposal

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Garbage disposals help to maintain a kitchen and keep it clean. Leftover food waste from plates, vegetable trimmings and other organics are mulched within the disposal, and passed on through the sink drain pipes. With proper care, garbage disposals work efficiently and last for a long time. When performance issues do arise, troubleshooting procedures can be taken to discover the source of the problem. Conduct an inspection of your inoperative garbage disposal with the proper tools and basic home maintenance skills.


How to Troubleshoot a Broken Garbage Disposal

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Garbage disposals help to maintain a kitchen and keep it clean. Leftover food waste from plates, vegetable trimmings and other organics are mulched within the disposal, and passed on through the sink drain pipes. With proper care, garbage disposals work efficiently and last for a long time. When performance issues do arise, troubleshooting procedures can be taken to discover the source of the problem. Conduct an inspection of your inoperative garbage disposal with the proper tools and basic home maintenance skills.


Turn the disposal switch to the "On" position. If the disposal does not turn on and no humming sound is heard, an electrical problem may exist. Turn the switch off.


Check beneath the sink to ensure the disposal is plugged in and that the plug is seated fully in the receptacle. Some garbage disposals are hardwired directly to a circuit breaker in the main panel.


Check the circuit breaker for the disposal at the main panel to see if it has been tripped. Reset the breaker if necessary.


Check the red reset button found on the bottom of the disposal unit. If the button is popped out, press it in, hold it for a few seconds and release. If the circuit breaker is not tripped and the reset button is not popped out, a faulty switch or faulty garbage disposal unit exists.


Turn off the circuit breaker at the service panel that supplies power to the garbage disposal and replace the wall switch that controls the disposal.


Turn power back on at the main electrical panel and check the garbage disposal for operation. If the disposal still will not turn on and makes no noise, the disposal will need to be replaced.


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