Garbage Disposal

Garbage Disposal

Your garbage disposal is designed to grind food waste.  Only put down the disposal what it is designed to have.  Remember most of the sewage can end up in water sheds or your septic tank and leach field so be kind to the environment.  Please, do yourself a favor and read your owners manual or download one for your make and model!  It will be your best friend should yougarbage disposalr disposal stop working or get plugged or jammed.

The disposal has an electrical connection so unplug it or turn off the breaker in the service panel before starting any work on this appliance.

Two things I learned the hard way not to put down the disposal…cabbage for one.  And the other is grease from cooking.  The cabbage will just shred and it will plug your drain.  The grease will line your drain pipes and cause food and debris to stick and cause a plug over time.

The most common problem is a jam inside the disposal from a hard piece of debris like glass or a seed.  The object gets stuck between the interior wall and the grinder.  If this happens, it may trip the reset button on the disposer.  Use a flashlight and look down inside the disposal to see if you can visualize what has jammed the unit.  If you can see it you may be able to reach inside with a pair of tongs and remove it.  Word of caution, be sure the power is off or disconnected before reaching inside.

Hopefully your disposal came with a wrench to help free the jamb.  If it does have a wrench, there will be a hole in the bottom of the disposer to insert the wrench.  Insert it and work it back and forth to see if you can free the grinder.  Once it makes a full revolution, look inside to see if you can remove the object.  If you do not see anything, it is possible you may have forced the object on through and into the drain.


If the above procedures do not fix your disposer, the motor may be defective and the unit will need replaced.  Replacing with the same make and model can be fairly easy.  If a different model, you may need to replace the sink drain basket.  The good news is that the disposers come with excellent instructions.  If you are one that can read and follow instructions you can do this yourself.  The most challenging procedure for people can be the electrical connections.  Even that is detailed in most instruction manuals.