Although the garbage disposal is a pretty durable small kitchen appliance, there are times when it will break down.
By knowing how to fix your garbage disposal, you can save a lot of cash on repairs and get back to life as normal.
Depending on the problem, there are a number of different ways you can approach this repair.
Problem 1: The Garbage Disposal Has Stopped Spinning
The most common reason why a garbage disposal will stop spinning is that it just needs to be reset.
This typically happens when it is overloaded.
There is a button on the appliance, usually on the bottom or the back.
Press it and you may be done.
Otherwise there may be a bone or other solid food item that has caught in the blades, preventing it from working.
Remove the item and it should work.
Problem 2: There is Water Backing Up into the Sink with Chopped up Food Particles
This typically happens when one of the traps underneath the sink has become clogged.
Putting rice, mashed potatoes, or beans that have been cooked down the garbage disposal are typically the reason behind this issue.
You can sometimes free this up by running a snake through the drain, but you may need to take apart the trap to remove the blockage.
Problem 3: There is Built-up Oil in the Drain
If you or your tenants have been putting hot cooking oil down the drain, then it will slowly build up like cholesterol inside of an artery.
A temporary solution is to run very hot water down the garbage disposal if this happens, but eventually a degreaser will need to be used to clean inside the appliance and the drain to keep it in good working order.
Problem 4: There is No Power to the Garbage Disposal
Believe it or not, the most common and overlooked reason for a no power situation is that the appliance has become unplugged.
Check to make sure that it is plugged in.
If it is, then check the circuit breaker or fuse for the outlet.
You may need to reset the circuit at the outlet too.
If you have confirmed that there is no power, then the garbage disposal may need to be replaced.
Problem 5: There is No Chopping Action
Even though the blades spin at high speeds, they'll eventually wear out.
If your garbage disposal just isn't chopping up food like it should, then you may need to replace those blades.
The process of doing this is unique to each appliance, so be sure to check your owner's manual.
Problem 6: There is a Lot of Vibration
Sometimes the garbage disposal can begin to unscrew from the sink.
When this happens, it will begin to vibrate heavily until it eventually falls off.
Secure the appliance and you'll have completed the repair.
Vibration occurs when the system is overloaded as well, so if the vibration won't go away and you know it is secure, then you have a blockage somewhere within the unit to remove.
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