Quick and Easy Fixes for Common Garbage Disposal Problems

Quick and Easy Fixes for Common Garbage Disposal Problems

Quick and Easy Fixes for Common Garbage Disposal Problems

If you have a garbage disposal in your kitchen, you know how convenient it can be for getting rid of food waste. However, like any other household appliance, garbage disposals can sometimes encounter problems that can disrupt their functionality. In this article, we will explore some quick and easy fixes for common garbage disposal problems.

1. Garbage Disposal Is Not Working

One of the most common issues people face with their garbage disposals is when it simply stops working. If you find yourself in this situation, there are a few steps you can take to troubleshoot the problem.

  • Check if the disposal is plugged in properly. Sometimes, a loose connection can cause the unit to stop functioning.
  • Press the reset button located at the bottom or side of the disposal. This can help reset the unit and get it back up and running.
  • If the disposal is still not working, check the circuit breaker or fuse that controls the power to the unit. It might have tripped or blown, causing the disposal to stop working.

If none of these steps solve the issue, it may be time to call a professional plumber to inspect and repair the garbage disposal.

2. Garbage Disposal Is Jammed

Another common problem with garbage disposals is when they get jammed. This can happen when large or hard food items get stuck in the unit. Here’s how you can fix a jammed garbage disposal:

  • First, make sure the disposal is turned off and unplugged.
  • Use a flashlight to look inside the disposal and locate the jam. Do not put your hand inside the disposal.
  • Once you’ve identified the jam, use a pair of tongs or pliers to carefully remove the object causing the jam. Be gentle to avoid damaging the disposal.
  • After removing the jam, plug in the disposal and press the reset button. Test if it’s working properly by running water and turning it on.

If the garbage disposal remains jammed even after following these steps, it’s best to seek professional assistance to avoid causing further damage.

3. Garbage Disposal Is Leaking

A leaking garbage disposal can be a frustrating problem. Not only does it create a mess, but it can also indicate an underlying issue with the unit. Here’s what you can do to fix a leaking garbage disposal:

  • First, turn off the power to the disposal to prevent any accidents.
  • Inspect the connections between the disposal and the sink. Tighten any loose connections using a wrench.
  • If the leak persists, check the main seal between the disposal and the sink. If it’s damaged or worn out, it will need to be replaced.
  • Call a plumber to replace the main seal or fix any other issues causing the leakage.

Remember, dealing with a leaking garbage disposal can be tricky, so it’s best to leave it to the professionals if you’re unsure.


Q: How often should I clean my garbage disposal?

A: It is recommended to clean your garbage disposal at least once a month to prevent buildup and keep it running smoothly. You can use a mixture of vinegar and baking soda to clean and deodorize the disposal.

Q: Can I put any food waste into the garbage disposal?

A: While garbage disposals are designed to handle most food waste, there are certain items you should avoid. Hard items like bones, fruit pits, and coffee grounds can damage the disposal. Additionally, fibrous foods like celery and corn husks can clog the unit.

Q: How long does a garbage disposal typically last?

A: With proper maintenance and usage, a garbage disposal can last anywhere from 10 to 15 years. Regular cleaning, avoiding putting inappropriate items in the disposal, and addressing any issues promptly can help prolong its lifespan.

Q: Can I install a garbage disposal myself?

A: While it is possible to install a garbage disposal yourself, it is recommended to hire a professional plumber for proper installation. They have the expertise to ensure the unit is installed correctly and safely.

For more information on quick and easy fixes for common garbage disposal problems, check out this helpful resource.