Garbage Disposal Repair 101

Yep, once again I seem to be ahead of the fix it committee in the household.

I am beginning to believe that God gives me these little challenges so that I can share the results with you. This time it is my garbage disposal which I am completely unfamiliar with other than clearing it out of any obstructions.

A little time and research really proved to be worth it, I truly thought I was going to have to replace it because  the motor appeared to be burned out. This is a bit of a trial and error project to find out what is really wrong with it so I will take you through the steps to determine what will need to be done to solve the problem.

Step 1.

Check to see if there is any obstruction with the grinding blades. If they spin freely that isn’t the problem if they don’t try to remove debris such as nuts or pits of some sort. Run water and turn it on to see if that fixed the problem.  If it didn’t note if your garbage disposal is making any sound. If it is making a humming sound that means you at least have power going to the disposal. (Go to step 3) If you don’t have any sound coming from the disposal then follow the next few steps.







Step 2.

No humming sound! Locate the red reset button underneath your garbage disposal. Push it in. If it clicks that may be your problem. Go ahead and run water and test the disposal for action.  

If that didn’t do the trick you now need to test your plug to see if you have power. (It will be located under the sink near the garbage disposal unit.) Simply unplug the disposal and plug in a lamp and turn it on or use an electrical tester. If it doesn’t turn on that means you have no power going at the plug. This can mean one of two things.



1st check your fuse box to see if a breakers has been tripped. If so reset it by pushing the breaker back in place.  (Example: Note the 4th circuit from the bottom is sitting to the right.)

You will hear it snap into place if you set it properly. Now go back and test to see if you have power at the plug if so plug in your garbage disposal and hopefully that fixed your problem.

2nd reason why you may not have power is that a GFI has been tripped. A GFI is a plug that has a black and red button in the middle of it and is used for protection around Water sources such as your sink. Reset that by pushing in the black button then pushing in the red. You should hear it snap when it has reset. Now test for power at your plug. Plug in your garbage disposal and hopefully that fixed your problem.

Step 3.

Ok so you have a humming sound which indicates power to the garbage disposal. This means that you must still have an obstruction or the motor has burned up. In the middle of the bottom of the garbage disposal there is a place you can insert a ¼” Allen wrench and turn it clock wise. This causes the cutters inside the garbage disposal to turn and realign. This actually fixed my problem. After I gave it a few good turns I ran water and re-tested the garbage disposal. What a relief it was to know that the motor was fine and it was so easy to fix. Thankfully I have avoided replacing the garbage disposal. I believe this could be a very common oversight and many people will pay to have someone come out to find that it was a really simple fix.

Now we are all educated in Garbage disposal repair I understand that replacing the garbage disposal is fairly easy but we will have to cover that in a separate article.

I hope this article helps keep this complex problem fairly simple for you all and helps to save you some money on a repair man.

Have a great week.

In Him


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

Gravatar Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s