If your garbage disposal suddenly breaks down and you don’t know what caused the problem, you can feel frustrated. A broken garbage disposal can cause major inconveniences in your kitchen until you get it repaired. Fortunately, you don’t have to wait for a plumber to fix it. When you know the common problems that cause disposals to stop working correctly, you can quickly diagnose the issue and fix it yourself.

If your garbage disposal stops working, we recommend you give these handy tips a try before calling in the pros at Travis & Sons Plumbing & Rooter. If you find that you need the assistance of a plumber to resolve the problem, contact us, and we’ll dispatch a seasoned plumber to help you fix your garbage disposal.

Safety First

Before you check or fix your garbage disposal, first disconnect the power. Turning off the power ensures you will not get cut by blades if the unit unexpectedly turns on while you’re fixing it or be injured by an electric shock. In some cases, you may also need to disconnect the pipes.

Garbage Disposal Doesn’t Turn On

If your disposal fails to turn on at all, electrical issues might be the cause. Or it’s highly likely that your disposal was overloaded, causing it a reset switch to trip to avoid damage.

To fix this issue, verify that your unit is on and plugged in. If it’s plugged in and still not turning on, flip the breaker and check if there’s a blown fuse. If these tricks don’t fix your issue, check for clogs. In most instances, the clog is removable using a pair of tongs. Once you remove the clog, turn your disposal on to see if the blades spin freely. If none of these operations work, call Travis & Sons Plumbing & Rooter for assistance. We’ll assess the unit and its electrical connections to diagnose the issue. If we cannot repair the problem, we’ll help you choose a new unit and install it safely and professionally.

Garbage Disposal Hums, But It’s Not Working

If your garbage disposal makes a humming sound yet doesn’t work, the flywheel has likely jammed. If you face this issue, stop the unit immediately. If you continue to use the disposal when there’s a jam, the motor might burn out and cause irreparable damage, necessitating a complete garbage disposal replacement.

To correct the problem, use a wrench that came with your garbage disposal and place it at the turning hole at the bottom of the grinding compartment. Turn the wrench clockwise to blast away items jamming up your unit’s impeller or flywheel. When the jam gets dislodged, you’ll quickly turn the wrench.

Once you dislodge the jam, turn the power back on and then press the disposal’s reset button. Run cold water for some minutes as you flip the wall switch on and off to remove the materials left in the compartment from the disposal.

If your disposal doesn’t work after performing this operation, call Travis & Sons Plumbing & Rooter for repairs. Our plumbers will examine your unit to determine other causes of a jammed flywheel, including corrosion or rust.

Garbage Disposal Doesn’t Drain

If your garbage disposal doesn’t clear waste, there’s likely an obstruction. If you turn the unit on and water doesn’t flow into the drain or it backs up in the sink, this problem points to a blockage in the drain trap. This drain trap has either an S-shaped curve or a P-shaped pipe. When you dispose of too much food, the debris flowing through the disposal can rest in the curves and form clogs, resulting in slow drainage.

To fix this issue, disconnect the drain trap from the unit. Before doing this, place a bucket under the drain to collect water initially blocked by the clogged trap. Then, poke a drain cable through the trap to remove the debris causing the obstruction. Alternatively, you can use an auger to remove the clog if you cannot reach it with a cable. When you clear the clog, pour hot water into the drain.

If this tip doesn’t do the trick, it’s time to call Travis & Sons Plumbing & Rooter for help. There’s likely a clog further down the drain that needs to get removed to get your garbage disposal back in action.

Professional Garbage Disposal Repair

If your garbage disposal stopped working and you cannot diagnose the problem, call Travis & Sons Plumbing & Rooter for professional repairs. We have licensed and insured plumbers who will inspect your equipment to determine why your disposal stopped working and perform the necessary repairs to get it running again. Since 1989, we’ve served the Fountain Hills, AZ residents with their plumbing installations, repairs, replacements, and maintenance needs.

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