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Believe it or not, your homes garbage disposal system is a relatively simple home appliance that generally will run for many years without so much as a hic-up. However, like all mechanical devices there will eventually come a time when your garbage disposal needs a quick repair or potentially a replacement unit. Although the latter is unlikely, the following scenarios outlined below can help you determine whether your garbage disposal is broken or not.

1. Garbage Disposal Does Not Turn On

If your garbage disposal does not turn on or make any audible noise when you flip the switch it is likely that there is a problem with power getting to the unit rather than something physically being wrong with the disposal itself. In cases like these, the first thing you should do to troubleshoot the issue would be to look for a reset button on the disposal itself and push it. Typically, the reset button will be on the bottom of the disposal, if not check on the backside.

If the reset button did not fix the disposal try physically unplugging the garbage disposal from the outlet and then plugging it back in. Sometimes the act of just re-plugging in the disposal can fix whatever was blocking the flow of power from the outlet to the disposal. If all else fails, try manually resetting the circuit breaker that controls the garbage disposal. If your breaker panel does not have the garbage disposal marked, try resetting the one connected to your dishwasher. Often the garbage disposal and the dishwasher will utilize the same circuit.

If resetting the circuit breaker did not fix the issue there may be a more serious problem with the garbage disposal itself. if you are worried that your garbage disposal is broken, it may be wise to start looking for replacement units. If you are unsure on where to start or what you will need, feel free to get in contact with us at your earliest convenience. We can help you find exactly what you need to get your disposal back in tip top shape.

2. Garbage Disposal is Jammed

Having a jammed or clogged garbage disposal is another common issue with these devices. You’ll know if your garbage disposal is clogged up if the motor starts humming when you turn it on but the disposal doesn’t grind. If this is the case, do not turn the disposal on until the blockage has been removed as this can burn out your disposals motor. Instead, follow the steps listed below to attempt removal of the martial causing the blockage.

I. Unplug your garbage disposal from the power outlet
II. Underneath the disposal look for a hex shaped hole, the typical garbage disposal will require a ¼ inch hex wrench.
III. Fit the wrench into the hole and rotate it several times in both directions, this action will help to free the impellers.
IV. Use tongs (never use your hands) to pull out the food or material that was causing the blockage.

Hopefully the two scenarios presented above were able to help you diagnose and solve the issue that you were having with your garbage disposal unit. If however you have completed the above steps and your disposal is still not working or you think that your garbage disposal is broken beyond your repair do not hesitate to give the Black Diamond Services plumbing team a call. We are here to service all of your plumbing needs, big or small!