Troubleshooting Common Garbage Disposal Problems - Roman Electric Troubleshooting Common Garbage Disposal Problems - Roman Electric
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Troubleshooting Common Garbage Disposal Problems

Only a few inconveniences are as uniquely frustrating as dealing with a garbage disposal that isn’t working right. Since the only time we really need to use one is when we’re getting rid of what essentially amounts to trash, a broken disposal usually means we’ve got to deal with some nasty garbage instead.

Garbage disposals are efficient and incredibly appreciated, but even they run into problems. When you’re not sure how to deal with them, the clock starts ticking. Eventually the smells start getting worse and the complications intensify, and you’ve got some stinky trash that needs to go immediately. Here are a few garbage disposal problems you might encounter and how to troubleshoot them!

Disposal Won’t Turn On

For whatever reason, sometimes the disposal just won’t work at all. Thankfully, you can usually whittle down the list of potential causes, because it’s more than likely a power problem.

  • Disposals get their power from a cord that plugs in under the sink, and there’s a chance it might’ve gotten jostled loose. Check to see if the cord came unplugged somehow.
  • There is a reset button on the underside of the disposal, too. Press it if the cord is still plugged in and that could do the trick.
  • Otherwise, the problem might be a result of a tripped breaker. Stroll over to the breaker box and see if any of the switches have flipped – if they have, then just reverse it and the problem should have corrected.

It’s Jammed

Even though disposals are typically pretty great at grinding up whatever you put down there, they occasionally get jammed with something they can’t get rid of.

  • Before you try anything, turn the power off. Disposals obviously have sharp blades, and you can get hurt. Never stick your hand down the disposal, regardless of whether it’s on or off.
  • Figure out where the jammed object is by using a flashlight or just by peering down in it.
  • Use some type of grabbing tool, like a pair of tongs, to fish the object out. Again, DO NOT stick your hand down there, even if you’re certain you cut the power off.

It’s Got a Clog

Although the general idea is the same as when your disposal is jammed, a clog usually happens when liquid gets backed up. You probably won’t be able to yank out one specific problematic object like you would with a jam.

  • Instead, fill the sink with some soap and water to help break up whatever is causing the clog. Take a plunger and place it over the sink and plunge it in the same way you would a toilet.
  • Never use drain-cleaning chemicals on your disposal. The corrosive components of them can harm your disposal’s metal components, so if plunging doesn’t work, then the problem is likely somewhere in the P-trap.

If the above solutions don’t work, then you shouldn’t try anything more extensive unless you have plumbing experience. Otherwise, schedule an appointment with us! Roman Electric’s plumbers have the tools and expertise to solve your malfunctioning garbage disposal along with any other plumbing problem you may have.

Give us a call at 414-771-5400 to find out more information!

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