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Why is My Garbage Disposal Not Working?

Garbage disposals have quickly become an important feature of American kitchens. They’re convenient and save us time from having to completely wipe down our plates. It’s a major inconvenience when it stops working. Let’s take a look at the most common reasons why your garbage disposal would stop working and what you can do to fix it. 

Electrical Issues 

If your garbage disposal won’t turn on at all, it’s likely that it’s lost power. The garbage disposal could have gotten unplugged or have blown a circuit. Luckily, this can be fixed easily. Simply check to see if it’s securely plugged in and press the reset button underneath the unit. If it still won’t turn on after doing that check your electrical panel for any signs of a tripped circuit.


If you’re able to turn on your garbage disposal but it makes a humming sound without any movement, it could mean that the impellers are jammed. This issue can be easily fixed. Start by turning off the circuit breakers to the unit. Next, find the hex-shaped opening underneath the unit and use a wrench to dislodge whatever is blocking the flywheel. Always remember to never stick your hand down the garbage disposal. 

Clogged Pipe

Sometimes it’s not a problem with the garbage disposal, but with the drains. If you’re able to turn on the garbage disposal but your sink won’t drain, it’s likely due to something clogging the drains. There are multiple possible culprits for a clogged kitchen drain such as:

  • Grease buildup 
  • Food
  • Sediment buildup 
  • Small objects

Clogs are common, you can try to unclog it yourself or hire a professional plumber to repair for you quickly. 

It’s Old

Garbage disposals usually last 10-15 years. If you’ve had your disposal for over 15 years and are experiencing frequent clogs, electrical issues, and jams, it’s time to replace your garbage disposal. It will be cheaper to replace your garbage disposal than to pay a plumber to constantly fix your old one.

Is Your Garbage Disposal Not Working, Again?

If you’re frustrated with your garbage disposal and need a plumber to fix it, Michael Runk Plumbing & Heating is here to help. We’ll get to the root of your garbage disposal problems and our reliable plumbers will inform you on how to limit garbage disposal breakdowns. When you need Carroll County plumbing repair, you need Michael Runk Plumbing & Heating. 

Call or fill out our form today to schedule an appointment. 

What Our Customers Say

"Great experience. Moved into a new home and experienced major plumbing issues (flooding) the morning after New Years. The plumber arrived that morning within the hour and relieved the issues, also provided some recommendations that benefited us in the long-run."

-Matt Lewis

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Frederick County: Frederick (21701, 20702, 21703, 21709), New Market (21774) , Mount Airy (21771), Urbana (21704), Ijamsville (21754), Walkersville (21793), Libertytown (21762), Damascus (20872), and more.

Howard County: Clarksville (21029), Columbia (21044), Cooksville (21723), Dorsey (21075), Elkridge (21075), Ellicott City (21043), Fulton (20759), Glenelg (21737), Glenwood (21738), Granite (21163), Hanover (21076), Highland (20777), Jessup (20794), Lisbon (21765), Marriottsville (21104), North Laurel (20723), West Friendship (21794), Woodbine (21797), Woodstock (21163), and more.

Montgomery County: Olney (20832), Damascus (20872), Laytonsville (20882), Silver Spring (20910), Clarksburg (20871), Gaithersburg (20878), Germantown (20876), Bethesda (20816), Chevy Chase (20815), and more.

Baltimore County: Arbutus (21227), Catonsville (21228, 21250), Cockeysville (21030, 21031, 21065), Dundalk (21222), Edgemere (21219), Essex (21221), Garrison (21055), Lansdowne (21227), Lochearn (21207), Lutherville (21093), Middle River (21220), Milford Mill (21244), Overlea (21236), Owings Mills (21117), Parkville (21234), Park Heights (21215), Pikesville (21208), Randallstown (21133), Reisterstown (21136), Rosedale (21237), Timonium (21093), Towson (21204), White Marsh (21162), Woodlawn (21207), and more.

Carroll County: Eldersburg (21784), Finksburg (21048), Hampstead (21074), Manchester (21102), Marriottsville (21104), Taneytown (21787), Union Bridge (21791), Westminster (21157, 21158), Mount Airy (21771), New Windsor (21776), Sykesville (21784), Woodbine (21797), Taneytown (21787), and more.

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Michael Runk Plumbing and Heating