You most likely won’t see it coming: one day your garbage disposal works fine, but the next day it conks out and refuses to turn on. If this happens, don’t worry since there are several steps you can take to bring your machine up and running. These include:
Checking The Power Supply
It might seem silly, but the first thing you should do is to check if your garbage disposal is plugged in. If it is, unplug it and plug in another appliance (like your blender, hair drier, or oven toaster) to test the wall outlet. If the appliance you plug in works, the problem most likely lies in your garbage disposal; if it doesn’t, it’s probably an issue with the circuit breaker. Try turning it off then turning it back on to see if it solves the problem.
Pushing The Reset Button
Garbage disposals are specially designed to automatically turn off when there’s a power outage or if the unit is unplugged. If this is the case, you can turn it back on by pressing the red reset button (which is located at the bottom of the machine) and check if doing so can bring your disposal back to life.
But here’s what you need to remember: your garbage disposer also shuts off on its own when the machine is jammed or when the motor is damaged. When this happens, pressing the reset button won’t do any good; you’ll need to remove the object that has caused the jam or replace the motor before your unit can function properly.
Unjamming The Machine
Too-hard objects like bones, fruit pits, glass, and metal, as well as materials that are tough to break down like rubber and fibrous vegetables, are the most common culprits of garbage disposal jams. When these items find their way into your unit, they can cause the blades to get stuck and stop rotating, and your machine will eventually sit there doing nothing but hum.
Luckily, you can fix this by taking a few simple steps. Start by unplugging the garbage disposal, then peek at the bottom of the unit to see if it has a hexagon-shaped hole. If it does, take the wrench that came with the machine (or use your own ¼ inch Allen wrench) and insert it into the hole. Twist it around to move the blades back and forth, which will hopefully dislodge whatever is clogging the machine. Once you can turn the blades freely, turn on the garbage disposal and see if it now works properly.
Calling The Experts
If you’ve tried everything but your unit still refuses to function, it’s time to get the help of garbage disposal experts. You can call the company that manufactured your machine or hire a local business that specializes in garbage disposal repairs. With their assistance, you can have your unit fixed or know if it’s beyond repair.
A garbage disposal that suddenly stops working can be frustrating, but don’t worry since you can use the tips above to fix your unit and get it back up and running.