Garbage Disposal Won’t Turn On

Garbage disposals are fairly straightforward machines. When something goes wrong with your garbage disposal, there are aren’t very many things you can do to troubleshoot your unit. This makes repairing your broken garbage disposal a relatively simple task. If your garbage disposal has broken, you can follow these tips to attempt to repair your unit.

Electrical Issues

If your garbage disposal just won’t turn at all, then it’s very likely that the disposal has lost power. Your unit may have blown a circuit, or it could be unplugged. First, check the plug for your garbage disposal to ensure that it’s secure. Next, locate the reset button on the underside of the unit, and push it. If neither of these things fixes the problem, look inside your electrical panel for signs of a tripped circuit.

For more information about pushing the “reset” button, take a look at the helpful YouTube video below.

A Clog

If your garbage disposal has become clogged, you’re likely to hear a muted humming noise when you flip the switch. This is an indication that your garbage disposal is getting power, but the blades aren’t able to turn. Very often, this happens when something hard and non-crushable has become caught in the blades at the bottom of the unit. To solve this problem, do the following:

  1. Cut power to the unit. Turn off the disposal, then unplug it for good measure.
  2. Shine a flashlight inside the unit. Look inside the garbage disposal to see what’s caught inside the blades. You may see a piece of silverware, a nutshell, a piece of a broken dish, or something else that the blades cannot crush.
  3. Reach inside the garbage disposal with the tongs and get out whatever is caught inside. Tongs are a great tool for this task because they’re long and slender, which makes them easy to manipulate inside the garbage disposal. They’re also not terribly fragile, which means they won’t be easily broken by the blade.
  4. Turn the garbage disposal back on. Plug in the garbage disposal and turn it back on. If the blades still won’t turn, there may still be pieces caught in the blade of the garbage disposal. Repeat steps 1 through 3.

Totally Broken

After all this, if your garbage disposal still refuses to turn on, it’s likely just broken. The motor could be burned out or there could be another related problem. If that’s the case, now is the time to get a new unit. Contact a plumber for garbage disposal replacement. If you live in the Pittsburgh area, contact Terry’s Plumbing. We’ll be happy to come out to your home, diagnose the problem with your garbage disposal, and replace the unit if necessary. To find out more, call us today at (412) 364-9114.