Michael Runk Blog

Troubleshooting My Garbage Disposal Issues Safely

October 26, 2016

maryland, carroll county, plumber, repairs, garbage disposal, fixtures, clogs

Garbage disposals contain sharp blades that help grind kitchen waste into smaller particles so they can be disposed of properly in your kitchen sink. These blades make fixing certain problems with your disposal particularly dangerous. Here are some common disposal problems and how to safely troubleshoot them:

Fixing a Leak

Unplug the garbage disposal or cut off power to the unit. Determine where the leak is located. If needed, loosen pipes and examine them to better find the leak and then tighten all connections. If the leak hasn’t been found in the pipes, use the wrench that came with your disposal and turn the flange on the underside of the disposing unit a quarter turn. Rotate the disposal until it comes out of place. Go to the top of your sink and remove the drain ring. A leak may be caused by putty drying up and falling away from this piece. Remove all of the old, dry putty and use Plumber’s Putty to add a fresh layer of sealant. Press the ring firmly back into place. Use the disposal wrench to tighten the disposing unit and flange back into their proper positions. Turn power back on to the disposal, run water, and make sure no parts are leaking.

Unclogging Your Disposal

Turn off the electrical power to your disposal unit at your main electrical panel. Using a flashlight, examine the inside of the garbage disposal. Once you physically locate the item that is causing the clog, use an extraction tool to remove it. Spin the disposal’s grinding unit (located on the underside of the disposal underneath your sink) with an Allen wrench in the hexagon-shaped slot. Insert a broom handle or wooden spoon into the disposal chamber to move the blades around and loosen any remaining debris clogging the drain. Remove any loose material, restore electrical power to the disposal, turn on the water, and confirm that the disposal is working properly again.

Fixing a Disposal That Won’t Turn On

Make sure the disposal is plugged in and there is electrical power to it. Press the reset button found on the bottom of the unit. If the garbage disposal has reset on its own, the button will be popped out. Next, check to see that a breaker in your home connected to the disposal hasn’t tripped. If the reset doesn’t correct the problem and a breaker hasn’t tripped, the disposal may not be working properly due to a faulty switch or the disposal itself. These parts will need to be replaced either by yourself or a professional in order to ensure the problem is fixed.

At Michael Runk Plumbing and Heating, we pride ourselves on working safely and efficiently. If any of these troubleshooting techniques do not result in a working garbage disposal, or if you are uneasy about handling issues with your garbage disposal on your own and would like professional help, contact us today and we will be happy to assist you with all of your plumbing needs!

 


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