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Help! My Garbage Disposal Is Not Working!

A garbage disposal is a very handy appliance to have. However, it can be somewhat persnickety, and there are a variety of different problems you can run into with it. Some problems may be minor issues, while others can be major enough to have to have the unit replaced. No matter what the issue may be, remember to NEVER put your hand down the disposal.

Here are some common issues that may be wrong with your disposal unit.

Garbage disposal will not turn on and is not making a humming sound

This is most likely an electrical problem. Sometimes this may mean the disposal unit needs to be replaced. Call your plumber for assistance.

Garbage disposal will not run but it makes a humming sound

If the garbage disposal won’t turn on, but makes a humming sound when you flip the switch, it usually means you have a stuck flywheel. A stuck flywheel will burn out the motor if left too long, so be sure to deal with the problem immediately.

To test if this is the case, flip the reset button on the unit itself or the fuse or circuit breaker in your electrical service panel off and on again. Sometimes this is enough to dislodge whatever is in the flywheel. If not, turn the breaker back off and try the next step.

The flywheel is stuck because something is lodged between it or the impeller(s) and the shredder ring. Do not stick your hand or anything else down the disposal to try and dislodge whatever is stuck in the flywheel. There is usually an access panel in the side of the unit, which is opened with a hex key. Opening the panel will usually allow whatever is blocking the flywheel to drop away. If this still doesn’t fix it, call your plumber to dismantle your unit for you.

Leaking Garbage Disposal

Leaks can happen at a few different places:

  • Sink Flange
  • Dishwasher Connection
  • Discharge Drainpipe

If you are able to assess what the problem is and where it’s happening, the plumber will be much better prepared when he arrives on the job. This could range from a worn out seal, to corroded pipes.

Slow Draining

Slow draining of a garbage disposal can be caused by a number of problems. If you have given the disposal enough time to grind and dispose of the food and it is still draining slowly, you may have a clogged drain line.

Never use chemical drain cleaners with a garbage disposal. Drain cleaners can damage the disposal unit which will cause even more problems. And more than likely the chemicals won’t work and you will end up with a sink full of toxic chemicals that you will have to clean out.

If you are experiencing any of these problems call and talk to a professional at My Plumber today. The professionals at My Plumber will be able to assess the problem and fix it for you.

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