GE Garbage Disposal Troubleshooting

A GE garbage disposal unit is built to last a long time. However, this doesn’t mean it isn’t prone to problems. Whether the issue was caused accidentally or something malfunctioned, what’s important is you know how to fix it and you understand what you can’t do with the unit. Knowing these things helps you avoid further trouble down the road.

Then again, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t call for assistance whenever there is a problem with your disposal unit. Again, there are troubles that can be solved by you alone. But when you’ve done everything you can and the issue still persists, then that’s the time you need to call for professional help.

All that said, this post will take a look at some of the common issues with GE garbage disposals and how you can fix them. But before that, here are some safety tips:

Keeping Safe While Troubleshooting

Your safety should be your primary concern when checking what may be wrong with your disposal unit. Here are some safety tips to follow:

  • Always disconnect the power supply before you investigate what’s troubling your garbage disposal.
  • Before resetting your unit, always make sure to disconnect the power supply first.

Troubleshooting Your GE Garbage Disposal

You hear loud noises (other than the normal grinding sounds).

Your garbage disposal is naturally noisy, particularly when grinding bones and fruit pits. However, when you notice something off with the sound, something might have slipped into the unit without you noticing. Be it silverware, a bottle cap or any other foreign object, you will hear loud noises when these fall into the disposer.

To check whether the loud noise you’re hearing was really caused by a foreign object falling into the unit, follow these steps:

  • Remove the splash guard.
  • Check to see if there is an object.
  • If there is, remove the object using long-handled tongs.
  • Replace the splash guard.

Your disposer doesn’t start.

There are two possible reasons for this happening: either the reset button has been tripped or the turntable cannot rotate. Here’s how you fix the problem when you encounter either issue:

The reset button has been tripped.

If the reset button has been tripped, do the following:

  • Remove the splash guard.
  • Use a broom handle to see if the turntable can move freely.
  • If the turntable can move freely, replace the splash guard then check whether the reset button has been tripped or not. The reset button is that red button located opposite the discharge elbow near the bottom of the disposer.
  • Push the reset button in and wait until it clicks and remains depressed.

In case the reset button has not been tripped, do the following:

Check for a shorted or broken wire connecting to the disposer. Check everything – the electrical power switch, the fuse box or the circuit breaker. After checking all these and concluding that no wiring and electrical components are shorted or broken, your disposal unit may have internal problems that can only be remedied by service or having parts replaced.

The turntable cannot rotate.

If the turntable isn’t able to rotate, do the following:

  • Check to see if there is an object lodged between the turntable and the grind ring. This is usually one of the most common reasons why the turntable won’t rotate.
  • If there is an object, dislodge it from the turntable using a broom handle. Remove the object after that.

But if you find that there is no object present, then your unit must have some internal problems. You can call for professionals to come and check your unit and they can advice you on what needs to be done to get it fixed.

Your disposer leaks.

If the leak is at the top, here are the possible causes:

  • The sink flange is not properly seated.
  • The support ring is not tightened properly.
  • The cushion mount is defective.

In case the leak is at the discharge elbow, it may be caused by the improper tightening of elbow flange screws. Try to tighten the screws again and see if the problem still persists. If it does, call for assistance.

Avoiding GE Garbage Disposal Problems

Problems are unavoidable, particularly when it comes to devices. But you can always minimize the trouble by caring for your unit and making sure you’re operating it according to instructions. All that said, here’s how you can avoid issues with your GE garbage disposal unit:

Make sure you’re operating your unit properly.

Make sure the disposer is empty before you use the dishwasher. Doing this ensures that the unit can drain properly.

Leave the stopper in the drain when it’s not in use. Practicing this avoids any foreign objects from accidentally falling into the disposer.

Know which items you can throw into your disposer. GE builds their products to give you many years of service (trouble-free service even). And while GE garbage disposal units can handle normal food wastes, there are some items you shouldn’t dump in the unit and these include:

  • tin cans
  • bottles and bottle caps
  • glass
  • china
  • leather
  • cloth
  • crockery
  • rubber
  • string
  • feathers
  • clam or oyster shells

All the items listed above are considered waste materials and they should be thrown in the trash can or a trash compactor.

Make sure you maintain and care for your unit.

The motor of a GE garbage disposer is lubricated for life. As such, you shouldn’t attempt to lubricate your disposer. In addition, a GE disposer is self cleaning and will scour itself with every use. All that said, here are more ways to maintain and care for your unit:

  • Don’t ever put lye or chemical cleaners into the disposer as this will lead to serious corrosion of the metal parts.
  • A GE garbage disposal, except for the Batch Feed model, is equipped with a removable splash guard so it’s easy to clean or replace. The proper way to remove the splash guard is to pull it out from the top. To replace it, insert the splash guard into the sink flange then push it down until it is properly seated.
  • Run orange or lemon rinds through the disposer in case any odor develops. Alternatively, you can pour down a dozen ice cubes sprinkled with household scouring powder.

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