If Your Garbage Disposal Stops Working, Take These Steps Before Calling a Plumber

When a garbage disposal suddenly stops working, it doesn’t always mean it’s broken. It’s often a sign something is stuck inside. It automatically stops to protect the motor.

So follow these steps before replacing it or calling a plumber.

1. First, Unplug the Garbage Disposal

Do not, forget this step! Do I need to remind you why? Make sure it’s the disposal you’re unplugging, and not the dishwasher.

2. Next, Put Your Hand Inside the Garbage Disposal

Carefully, of course, feel around inside and find any object that is lodged inside. Can you feel a peach pit, a scouring pad, or remnants of a bone? Amazing what you may find inside.

3. Remove Whatever You Find Inside the Disposal

Do it carefully, of course. At first, you may not feel anything. Recently, I found a small wad of steel wool inside a garbage disposal. Initially it felt like part of the disposal. Whatever you find, remove it.

Be aware there could be sharp objects. Carefully feel around the bottom without dragging your fingers. There can be broken glass or other sharp objects.

Also, remember there is a lot of bacteria down there so you don’t want to cut your finger. But if you do, be sure to put some antiseptic on it immediately.

4. Plug the Disposal Back In

5. Push in The Red Reset Button at the Bottom of the Disposal

Locate red reset button bottom of garbage disposal

Many folks don’t realize that garbage disposals have a reset button. But it’s there specifically for this purpose.

Garbage disposals are designed to stop working whenever something becomes lodged inside to protect the motor. It also protects whatever is jammed inside from further damage. Once you unplug it and remove whatever is causing the problem, the reset button will usually get it started again.

6. Place a Crank Tool into the Center Opening and Turn

Locate the opening at the bottom of the garbage disposal. If you have the little turn tool shown in this brief video, use it as shown. It’s like a crank to turn the blades.

This step isn’t always necessary. Usually, just pushing the reset button will do the trick.

7. Turn on the Water and Turn on the Garbage Disposal

Working now? Yea!

Garbage Disposals Usually Last Between 8 – 15 Years

Of course the life of a garbage disposal depends on its quality, how often it’s used, and how often it’s abused with the wrong stuff going inside it. (Read more about what NOT to put inside your garbage disposal.) Property inspectors say they last between 10 – 15 years.

The sure sign of old age in a garbage disposal? It rusts out at the bottom and starts leaking.

Disposal Still Not Working? If you’re in Fallbrook, Bonsall, Vista, Oceanside or Temecula, Call Us!

We are full-service plumbers, not just water heater experts. We’re here to help.

Why us? The short list of reasons why it’s best to call us is because we

  • have the highest rating for customer satisfaction!
  • are the lowest-cost for the highest-quality plumbing in the area!
  • warranty our workmanship for ten years! (Products carry their own warranty)
  • have over 35 years of plumbing experience!
  • are locally owned and operated!
  • guarantee your satisfaction.

Other Reasons to Call us for Any Plumbing Needs?

Here’s an entire page about us. Bottom line? We’re all about saving you money and reducing your stress when it comes to plumbing issues.

That’s why we invest in keeping our website up to date with plumbing tips like this one. Read more plumbing tips here.

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