The Short Answer Is: The most common reasons for a kitchen garbage disposal not working are jamming, overloading, and electrical issues. Jamming occurs when foreign objects or tough food scraps obstruct the disposal's blades. Overloading the disposal with excessive waste can trip its safety mechanisms, while electrical issues like a tripped circuit breaker or a faulty switch can disrupt power supply, causing the unit to stop functioning.
If your garbage disposal is not working and you don’t know why, it’s natural to feel frustrated. A broken garbage disposal means more inconvenience as you use your kitchen, at least until it’s repaired. But, why wait for a plumber when you don’t have to?
When you know the common issues that cause garbage disposals to stop working properly and how to fix them, it’s not so big of a deal that your garbage disposal stopped working – quickly troubleshoot the problem and fix it yourself!
Mr. Plumber explains what causes common garbage disposal problems Indianapolis area homeowners often face, as well as what you can do to correct them without a call to us. If your garbage disposal stopped working, we recommend you give our troubleshooting tips a try before giving us a call. If you find you do need a plumber’s help to solve the problem, just contact us and we will quickly dispatch a skilled plumbing technician to assist you!
If your garbage disposal stopped working and does not turn on at all, problems with the unit’s power source are possible causes. Or, it is likely that the garbage disposal was overloaded, which causes its reset switch to trip in order to prevent damage.
If your garbage disposal stopped working and still does not turn on after you take these steps, call your plumber for assistance. Your plumber is able to assess the unit and its electrical connections to determine where the issue has occurred that prevents the unit from running. If the issue cannot be repaired, your plumber helps you select a new unit and installs your new garbage disposal.
When you flip the power switch on, if the garbage disposal makes a humming noise yet does not do anything, the flywheel within the disposal is most likely jammed. If you experience this problem, stop the garbage disposal right away! If it continues to run while there is a jam, the motor may burn out and permanently ruin the unit, and then you’ll need a new garbage disposal.
Before you attempt to troubleshoot this possible reason why your garbage disposal stopped working, turn off power to the unit at your home’s electrical panel to prevent accidents. Verify the power is off at the electrical panel and also turn off the garbage disposal’s wall switch.
After you have dislodged the jam, turn electricity back on at the home’s electrical panel. At the garbage disposal, press its reset button, located on the bottom of the unit. Run cold water down the drain for a few minutes while flipping the wall switch on and off in short bursts. This should wash material left in the chamber down the drain and out of the garbage disposal.
If your garbage disposal does not work after attempting this process, call your plumber for repairs. He or she is able to remove difficult items if applicable. Or, your plumber examines your unit to identify other causes of a jammed flywheel, such as rust or corrosion.
If you experience the humming noise and jammed flywheel situation described above, the unit may start to smoke as the garbage disposal stopped working. The smoke may have been produced by the motor frying, in which your garbage disposal needs to be replaced. Or, it could be from a fried circuit, which may be fixable.
First, turn off power to the garbage disposal then take these troubleshooting steps:
If this does not fix the problem or you are not comfortable working with the wires after your garbage disposal stopped working, call your plumber. Your plumber is able to assess if the unit can be repaired or if the motor is in fact fried and the entire garbage disposal needs to be replaced.
If your garbage disposal stopped working to clear waste down the drain, there is likely a clog. When the unit turns on but water backs up into the sink or doesn’t flow into the drain at all, this issue points to a clog either within the garbage disposal or the sink’s drain piping.
To troubleshoot this reason why your garbage disposal stopped working, try these steps:
If your efforts to clear a clog and restore drainage through your garbage disposal don’t work, it’s time to call a plumber for help. There is likely an obstruction further down in the drain line that needs to be removed before your garbage disposal is able to properly drain.
Avoid clogs in the future and prevent a situation where the garbage disposal stopped working by practicing good garbage disposal use habits.
If your garbage disposal stopped working and you are unable to troubleshoot the issue, it’s time for professional plumbing repair. Mr. Plumber’s licensed plumbing technicians will have a look at your equipment to determine the exact reason your garbage disposal stopped working and make the necessary repairs to get it back up and running again, or install a new unit if you choose.
For garbage disposal repair or replacement in Indianapolis and throughout the Central Indiana region, call Mr. Plumber today!