Garbage Disposal Troubleshooting

Serving Glendale, Phoenix, Scottsdale, Peoria, Mesa, Tempe, Chandler, and more of AZ with professional plumbing services since 2001

Has your garbage disposal unexpectedly stopped working?

There are three main possibilities that could be causing the problem. Either there is an issue with the power to the unit, the garbage disposal has something jamming or blocking it, or it is broken internally and may need to be replaced. Depending on the culprit behind your disposal’s sudden lack of efficiency, you may be able to resolve the solution on your own. Keep reading to determine if this is a quick fix, or if it is time to call in the pros. 

If when you turned your disposal on you heard no sound at all, your unit may not be getting power. To determine the cause for this you will want to first turn the switch for your disposal off to ensure it won’t start running unexpectedly. Once you have ensured the power is off, you can push the reset button located on the underside of the garbage disposal. You may need to get under your sink to look up and see the button. Upon pushing the button, you may hear a clicking sound, this means that the electrical components of the disposal may have been the problem. If you do not hear a clicking sound, do not worry, there are still more possible solutions. After you have pressed the reset button, you can turn the power to the disposal back on and see if it is operating normally. If the unit still isn’t working proceed to the next troubleshooting recommendations. 

The next possible problem is that there is something jamming or blocking your disposal. If when you turned your disposal on you heard a humm or sound like the unit was trying to work but couldn’t, then there may be a blockage. If you have the allen key that came with your disposal, you may be able to follow the manufacturer’s instructions on unjamming the disposal to free up the blade. If you do not have the allen key, or feel this might be a bit too complex, then it is time to call the plumbing experts at Instant Plumbing and Rooter. While we understand the desire to be able to fix the problem without assistance, it is important to remember that garbage disposals contain very sharp blades that when functioning properly spin at high intervals to chop and grind waste. This can be very dangerous and because of this, we strongly warn against reaching inside your disposal and highly recommend calling a professional at this point. 

If when you turn your garbage disposal on there is no sound at all, and resetting the unit did not resolve the problem; then the issue may be a burnt up motor or other internal failure that may require the garbage disposal to be replaced. Luckily for you, our expert plumbing technicians typically carry replacement garbage disposals on their trucks and can replace the unit quickly and efficiently. If there is a specific model or type of disposal that you would prefer, we recommend sourcing the unit ahead of time to ensure it will be delivered before your appointment. If you have any questions about issues you are experiencing with your garbage disposal or any other plumbing concern, call our office to set up a plumbing appointment at 480-353-7267.