Kitchenaid Garbage Disposal Troubleshooting

A garbage disposal is every household’s valuable helper. And although it’s a tough and hardworking piece of equipment, it can easily get jammed, clogged and go leaking. Here are troubleshooting tips to get your Kitchenaid garbage disposal in top shape again.

Important Warning: Never place your hand in the hopper down the drain of the garbage disposal. Always turn off power before doing any repair or troubleshooting.

Problem #1: Leak

Leaks and drips normally signal loose connections. Check all the connections (gaskets, hoses, bolts, etc.) and try tightening them. If leaking persists, try replacing the drain gasket, hose, or mounting screws.

  • Remove the Kitchenaid garbage disposal from the mounting flange.
  • If the mounting bolts are loose, tighten them.
  • If the bolts are already tight, the leak could be due to poor plumber’s putty.
  • Loosen the bolts and push the flange above the sink surface.
  • Place plumber’s putty between the flange and the sink.
  • Tighten the bolts and wipe out excess putty.
  • If the leak is at the dishwasher connection, tighten the clamp on the hose.
  • If the hose is damaged, replace it.
  • If the leak is at the drainpipe, check the bolts for tightness.
  • If the leak persists, remove the bolts at the drainpipe and replace gasket.

Problem #2: Poor Grinding

Your Kitchenaid garbage disposal will not grind properly if there’s insufficient water. Run enough water when using the unit. If the unit is running but not grinding waste, it may have damaged blades. It’s more cost-effective to buy a new garbage disposal than repair damaged blades.

Problem #3: Clogged

Slow draining is a sign of a clogging problem, which is due to improper disposal of garbage, the reaction of food to water, or the lack of water in the garbage disposal unit.

  • Give the unit time to run and process the garbage.
  • If it remains clogged, check the drain line for obstructions.
  • Remove the bolts on the discharge pipe.
  • Remove the drain trap and the discharge pipe.
  • Clear the drain trap and the discharge pipe using a sink auger.

Problem #4: Jammed

When your Kitchenaid garbage disposals’ motor runs but doesn’t grind waste, too noisy, or stops abruptly, it is likely jammed. Jammed garbage disposal is primarily due to bone, fruit pit, or other hard objects lodged between the impeller and the drain hole.

  • Stop operating the unit, and unplug.
  • Free the impellers using a hex wrench or use a broom handle.
  • Clear the impeller and drain hole from all obstructions using tong or pliers. Never use your hand.

Problem #5: Noise

If your garbage disposal becomes unnecessarily noisy, see if there’s something lodged between the impellers and the shredder ring. The unit usually makes a humming noise and won’t operate due to stuck flywheel. If everything is clear, though, and it still makes annoying noise, it may be best to have it replaced with a new one.

  • Insert offset wrench into flywheel turning whole at the bottom.
  • Turn the wrench clockwise to clear the flywheel. The flywheel should turn freely after.
  • Try freeing the stuck flywheel by inserting a broom handle through the drain. Once the flywheel is dislodged, it should turn freely.

Problem #6: Doesn’t Turn On

  • Make sure that the unit is plugged.
  • Check your circuit breaker if it’s damaged.
  • If your power source is okay, try resetting the trip switch of your Kitchenaid garbage disposal. Your unit may be working too hard and tripped.
  • Press the little button at the bottom of the unit to reset it.

Take care of your Kitchenaid garbage disposal to keep it working longer. Always use cold water when grinding food waste. Do not overfill the unit. Do not pour bleach or other chemicals into the unit. Do not grind fibrous or hard materials like metal, glass or rubber. Clean the unit by grinding ice cubes and salt for a few seconds. Remove foul smell by grinding a slice of lemon. Always run cold water before and after using the garbage disposal.

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