As part of Insinkerator’s wide-ranging line of garbage disposers, the company positions the 1/2-horsepower Badger 5 as a basic model for household use, focusing on durability and consistent performance. However, no product is perfect, and like virtually any garbage disposal unit, the Badger 5 also needs a little extra attention from you from time to time. While preventive measures serve as the most efficient form of maintenance and troubleshooting, you can still turn to some troubleshooting methods that are recommended by the manufacturer before you call in the experts. From a clogged unit, leaks and slow-draining water, to unusual odor and noises, there are some information you can pick up to always keep your unit in good condition and fix a problem quickly to make it work properly again.
First Things First
If your Badger 5 garbage disposal unit is not working, first check if it will turn freely with the service wrench that came with its package. As you can see, each InSinkErator disposer is shipped with a Jam-Buster self-service wrench, which is silver colored and shaped like a small crank about 4 inches in length. If it will not turn freely using the wrench, your unit is probably clogged with something that should not be inside it in the first place.
Also, you should check to see if the reset button popped out, where you need to find out how to reset the unit’s overload protector. Know that the Badger 5 is equipped with a device called an overload protector, which will automatically turn the unit off when there is something wrong, like when it is jammed or running for a very long period of time. Making sure that the disposal’s switch is turned off, you can locate such a device under the sink and on the bottom part of the unit, facing the floor. It is a red square button that, when it has tripped, you will see the button dropped down about 5 millimeters or a quarter of an inch. You can try gently pressing it, and if it does not stay up, you must wait about 10 minutes to try it again. If the button does not stay in or if the unit requires you to repeatedly reset the overload protector, the unit might need servicing. You do not need to worry about the costs as the Badger 5 comes with a warranty to fix things up due to workmanship or material defect.
If the model you have is hard wired, then you can check for power at the fuse or breaker. If it is permanently connected to your home’s electrical system using permanent means, then it is more important to check the fuse or breaker. To be sure, switch the breaker off and on, as well as replace the fuse. If the unit still does not function, then the problem may be in the unit itself or in your electrical system, which similarly requires service. If the problem is with the disposer, then you will have the manufacturer test it in its service center, but if the problem is with your electrical system, then of course, you will be responsible for the testing and repairs.
If your disposer has a cord and there is power to it, it is best to find out how to get an authorized service center for troubleshooting. On the other hand, if there is no power to it, then again you have to check its circuit breaker or fuse.
After these initial checks are done, it is time to perform the most common troubleshooting work for the Badger 5 disposal unit.
Clean It Up.
Remember that an unclean garbage disposal that is full of build-up or debris can lead to everything from sluggish performance to weird odor. To give your Badger 5 a thorough clean, plug your sink, fill it with warm water about halfway and mix in some baking soda. Then, remove the sink stopper and switch the unit on until water is drained to free loose particles from the disposer. As for regular cleaning, make sure you always run cold water mixed with dish soap through the unit after you do your dishes. You can also feed an orange or a lemon into the unit to fight foul odor. You can also clean the unit and make it smelling fresh using astringent oils.
Get Rid Of The Obstructions Or Jams.
If your unit suddenly stops during operation, it may have a jam in it. Switch it off, cut off any running water and then insert the self-service wrench into the hole at the center of its bottom and work it back and forth until turning a complete revolution, which will manually crank the unit and free up debris. With the use of a flashlight and a pair of tongs (or an automotive finger gripper or even a bent hanger), remove any foreign objects from it. Then, let the machine cool down for about 5 minutes and press the rest button before you resume use.
More Tips and Preventive Measures
Often, a simple press of the reset button would solve issues with your Badger 5 garbage disposal. To help problems from occurring, avoid feeding it with seafood shells, plastic, glass, large bones, hot liquids (especially oils), metal and caustic drain cleaners. Turn on cold water before you run the unit, feed waste slowly and flush it with cold water for several seconds after you let it grind. Avoid turning it off until the grinding sound stops. Moreover, you can grind hard but small objects, such as ice and fruit pits, to create a scouring action in its chamber, which will help it run more smoothly.
If simple troubleshooting tasks do not solve your unit’s issues, then it is best to call in the experts to avoid further damaging it. You can schedule an in-home service with the manufacturer or authorized service center by turning to their official website. It is still best to be safe than risking to forcefully repair the unit yourself and incur costly damage.