How to Fix a Garbage Disposal

First of all, the main goal would be to refrain from asking yourself how to fix a garbage disposal. You can achieve this by keeping it in top and prime condition through regular maintenance. There are times though when common problems would still occur and it would need a few simple repairs. Here are some of these instances and tips on how you could best address them.

Now, regardless of whatever kind of repair you are about to do, one of the main things to keep in mind is the precautionary measure of turning off your garbage disposal’s power at the breaker and removing the splash guard to make access easier. That said, you may now proceed to making the necessary repairs.

1. If the Disposal Doesn’t Turn On

The most common cause for such incident is an electrical problem like a tipped circuit. Another possible fix is perhaps you just need to reset the device or plug the entire system. If such are the cases, be thankful because all won’t cost you anything.

2. If there’s a Gentle Whir but Nothing is Happening

The main culprit could be a flywheel that’s stuck. A flywheel is one of those little blades responsible for chopping up your food waste. In such a case, the golden rule to abide by is to never reach your hands into the garbage disposal. A broom handle can be employed to remove the flywheel. It might also be necessary to use the wrench that came with your unit or if you don’t have a wrench, go to a repair  shop that sells your disposal’s model. Try having water run through the disposal, while turning the switch on and off because there are chances that the running water could take out the stuck flywheel.

3. If there are Objects Stuck in your Disposal

Your disposal is sure to get jammed if any object falls through the splashguard. To fix this incident, get a flashlight to locate and identify the object that’s causing the blockage. You may use metal tongs to dislodge the culprit. If this doesn’t do it, resort to using a special turning tool that comes with your unit (if available) or a broom handle. Once removed already, turn the power at the breaker on, run cold water and turn the disposal on again.

4. If You Need to Use a Turning Tool or Jam Wrench

Most garbage disposals are equipped with an Allen wrench that’s designed to fit into a the hole found at its bottom. If it doesn’t come with it though, you can go to your local hardware store and buy one. Employ a flashlight to find the hole, insert the Allen wrench on it and then turn the disposal back and forth to loosen what’s jammed. After which, turn the breaker power on, run cold water and turn on the disposal.

5. If the Drain is Clogged

Clogs are usually caused by accumulated food stuck in your drain. How to fix a garbage disposal with this kind of problem? Use an ordinary drain cleaner first but if it’s not enough, be prepared to get on your hands and knees. Start by placing a bucket under the drain. Then, loosen the fittings on the P-trap using a pipe wrench. Take out the P-trap and with that out of the way, find the clog and clean it out. If you can’t find the clog in the P-trap though, it may be necessary to thread an auger or snake down the pipe so you could remove the clog.

6. If the Garbage Disposal is Leaking

You need to turn off the device and then check the bolts. If all are still tight, it’s highly suggested that you purchase what they ca,, a “plumber’s putty” as this can help you stop the leak.

7. If there is an Overload

Often times, the reason for an sudden stop of turning in your garbage disposal is because it senses an overload, at which case, it’s programmed to automatically shut off. Wait for a few minutes to allow the disposal to cool down. Most units have a reset button found at the underside so once the unit is cool enough, press this reset button, run cold water and turn it on again. If this doesn’t cut it, there might be something wrong with the cord or wiring; at which point, you may need the help of an electrician already.

8. If it’s Really Busted

There’s not much you can do to fix a garbage disposal anymore. This means, it’s time to get a new one.


Now, as mentioned in this article’s introduction, the main aim, if you have a best batch feed garbage disposal, is to prevent having to fix it in the first place. That’s why proper and regular maintenance is the key to preventing such from happening.

Basically, garbage disposals are not meant to take in huge chunks of food so make sure you throw in small pieces of your food waste only. Once this has gone down the drain, run cold water, turn on the disposal and let it run for about 15 minutes. If you want to sharpen the blades of your disposal, bear in mind that the only safe thing to use for such a purpose is ice.

That said, we hope that proper use and regular maintenance can save you from having the problem of how to fix a garbage disposal as its misuse could lead to a replacement which can be pretty heavy on your wallet.