We take a look at the different and most common causes of garbage disposal malfunction. Also, possible solutions are provided to help fix garbage disposal not working.

By reading through the whole article, you’re likely to find a solution to your situation. The tips provided are simplified to ensure you follow them easily.

Garbage Disposal Stopped Working?

Innovations such as garbage disposal systems bring convenience to everyday chores. However, this could suddenly stop working or refuse to start when switched on.

When this happens, it’s a clear sign of a problem that needs to be resolved. In this article, you’ll learn about possible issues that could lead to this situation.

Why Is My Garbage Disposal Not Working?

A variety of reasons can be given as to why a garbage disposal system isn’t working. These include clogs, leaky parts, electrical issues, and a jammed flywheel.

Other possible issues include damaged or cracked unit, not plugged in, tripped circuit breaker, could be due to a burned-out motor and might be due to obstructions.

i. Clogs

Clogs are among the possible reasons why your garbage disposal system isn’t working.

Such clogs may be from the kitchen sink. You’ll have to closely inspect to see if indeed a clog is the cause of the garbage disposal unit not working.

If it’s found to be so, unclogging will be needed to fix the problem.

ii. Leaky Parts

Certain components of your garbage disposal unit might become leaky.

This might result in water getting into other sections that don’t need direct contact with moisture. One of the actions you can take to fix the unit is to detach the unit from the base of the sink.

Having removed it, what remains is to ensure that the mounting bolts are secured. This may stop the leak and start the garbage disposal when returned. If the problem persists, call a pro.

iii. Electrical Issues

Is your garbage disposal not turning on?

Electrical or power issues are likely to be the cause of most garbage disposal systems not working.

At the least, you should hear a humming sound coming from the unit when it’s turned on. When it doesn’t (make a humming sound), you’ll need to call for repairs as the problem could be much worse.

Possible issues may include a tripped fuse, and loose cables, among many others. You might have to call an electrician to have a look and provide possible fixes.

iv. Jammed Flywheel

When there are obstructions, the garbage disposal flywheel gets jammed is likely to get jammed.

Newer models are designed to turn off to avoid the motor getting overheated and burnt. Before the unit is inspected, it’s best to turn off the circuit breaker from the mains and put off the wall socket.

v. Damaged or Cracked Unit

A garbage disposal system can suddenly give way when it’s old.

In this case, a close examination should reveal defects or cracks. These issues mostly occur after using the garbage disposal for several years.

At this stage, there’s no need for repairs. All you have to do is have it replaced with a new one.

vi. Not Plugged In

There are times when a garbage disposal unit may be thought to be having issues when in reality, it’s not plugged in. The plug may have been removed by kids or you might have forgotten that you removed it earlier.

The first thing to do when this problem is noticed is to check the power plug.

It should return to normal functioning by simply plugging it in and turning it on. Compared to other points mentioned, this isn’t considered a problem at all.

vii. Tripped Circuit Breaker

Your circuit breaker serves as a protective measure to cut off the power supply when the system is overloaded.

An overheating garbage disposal system could also trip off the circuit breaker. Here, you might have to reduce the number of connected appliances to address the problem.

Confirming that you have a tripped circuit breaker is necessary. This will require checking the electrical panel and switching it on after reducing the load.

viii. Burned Out Motor

A burned-out motor is common when there are obstructions that prevent the free movement of the flywheel. Also, it’s possible to have a burned-out motor when the garbage disposal unit has served many years.

This is simply a way of telling you to get a replacement as repairs won’t do much to help the situation.

ix. Obstructions

 A foreign object might get in the way to hinder the normal functioning of your garbage disposal unit. This might lead to burnout due to overheating.

Such obstructions may be caused by foreign bodies placed within the garbage disposal unit by kids. It’s important to observe the properly before starting the system.

Garbage Disposal Not Running?

Any of the above problems could lead to garbage disposal not working. The troubleshooting action to take will depend on the type of problem faced.

  • Troubleshoot the Problem

For example, a humming garbage disposal that isn’t working might require a number of actions like turning off the power and looking down the disposal with the aid of a flashlight to see if there are obstructions.

If there are, you’ll need to dislodge such using an offset wrench or other tools like a wooden spoon handle, etc.

If the problem looks like an electrical fault, you can plug it into power and press the reset button to see if it will return to normal functioning. You should also check the circuit breaker to see if it’s tripped off.

  • Call a Technician

Do you know how to fix garbage disposal not working? Call in experts.

Even the best troubleshooting procedures won’t always fix a garbage disposal that isn’t working.

At this stage, you’re left with no option but to call the pros. An experienced technician also performs basic troubleshoots to have an idea of the problem.

This approach tends to be more comprehensive as the issue is fixed. When addressing the problem, it may be discovered that it isn’t as serious as initially thought.

In some cases, the problem may be more complex than expected. It may require complete replacement or extensive repairs.

Whenever a garbage disposal unit stops working, it’s likely to be due to one of the problems discussed above.

We’ve mentioned possible ways to fix the problem including calling a pro for repairs.

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