Garbage Disposal Not Working: A Step By Step Checklist

When you discover your garbage disposal not working, this step by step checklist can serve as a garbage disposal troubleshooting guide. My definition of "garbage disposal not working" means that when you turn on the switch, the garbage disposal unit is not running (or operates) and there is no humming sound. We need to understand that even if you have the best garbage disposal in the market, you are bound to encounter some garbage disposal problems in the usage.

For such cases when your home garbage disposal cannot be turn on and no humming sound coming from the motor, one of the obvious causes might be an electrical problem. Just follow the step by step checklist outline below to fix garbage disposal problems.

Step 1:
Firstly, check to ensure that the power cord of your home garbage disposal is plug in. Confirm that the disposal is not working again before you proceed to the next step.

Step 2:
Locate the garbage disposal reset button which should be at the bottom or the side of the unit and press it to reset. (Note: When you see the reset button sticking out, it means the unit has tripped. You need to push the button inwards to reset the disposer.)

Step 3:
If the garbage disposal is still unable to start, the next step is to check whether the circuit breaker in the electrical service panel has tripped or turned off. When the circuit breaker trips again after resetting, it means that there is a current overload or a short circuit on the circuitry. If you are in this scenario and don't have any electrical background or circuit breaker troubleshooting skills, its best to consult a technician to rectify the fault.

Step 4:
When everything is in order and the garbage disposal not working, the next move is to check the power switch which is located on the wall or under the sink. Turn off the circuit breaker and unplug the power cord. Open the garbage disposal switch housing to check for any loose wiring or broken wire.

If the switch is faulty, replace it with a new one. Before turning back the power to the garbage disposal, we are going to do 1 more extra step by checking the wire termination to the unit. Connection to the motor is at the base of the garbage disposal.

Remove a small cover at the bottom of the garbage disposer to access the wires connection. Check for any loose connection or broken wires. If everything is in order, put back the cover.  

Step 5:     
Turn on the circuit breaker and switch on power to the garbage disposal. By this stage, if the kitchen garbage disposal still does not turn on, the final step is to use a voltage meter to measure the voltage across the switch box terminal. If you are unsure about this step, consult someone with electrical background or a technician.

Step 6:
If the require voltage is present, we can conclude that you need to repair garbage disposal or get a garbage disposal replacement.   

We hope that the above step by step checklist to troubleshoot garbage disposal is useful, especially when you find your garbage disposal not working.

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Click the link below to read about the 5 easy tips because you are absolutely going to benefit from it.


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This article is written by Nathan Gray.