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Image of a garbage disposal from under the sink. You can see hands that are working on it with a screw driver.

Troubleshooting Your Garbage Disposal: A Handy Guide

So, your garbage disposal is acting up, and you’re wondering what troubleshooting steps you can take before calling your friendly neighborhood experts at Professional Facility Solutions. Let’s dive into some troubleshooting tips and step-by-step guidance to help you tackle some common garbage disposal issues.


1. Check for Power Supply

When your garbage disposal doesn’t respond, the first thing to check is its power source. Sometimes, it might have tripped a breaker or blown a fuse, causing it to stop working. Access your circuit breaker or fuse box and look for any switches that are in the “off” position or have flipped to the middle. If you find one related to the disposal, reset it and check if the disposal starts functioning again.


2. Reset the Disposal

Most garbage disposals have a reset button at the bottom. This button serves as a circuit breaker and might trip when the disposal is overloaded or encounters a jam. Locate the reset button (usually red) and press it firmly. This action might restore power to the disposal. If the disposal was overloaded, this should resolve the issue.


3. Clearing Jams

A common issue with garbage disposals is getting jammed. If you hear a humming noise but the disposal blades aren’t moving, it’s likely jammed. Before attempting to clear the jam, ensure the power is turned off to prevent accidents. Use the hex wrench provided or an Allen wrench to manually rotate the disposal from the bottom. This action should help dislodge any trapped objects causing the jam.


4. Addressing Odors

Foul odors coming from the disposal are often due to accumulated food debris. To eliminate these odors, grinding ice cubes can help break down the debris stuck in the disposal blades. Alternatively, tossing a few citrus peels into the disposal and running it with cold water can freshen up the unit. You can also create a mixture of baking soda and vinegar and pour it down the drain to neutralize odors.


5. Leaks

Leaks around the disposal are a cause for concern and can lead to water damage if not addressed promptly. Check for leaks around the connections or seals. Tighten any loose connections using a wrench. If the disposal unit itself is leaking, it might indicate a damaged internal component, which would require professional attention to prevent further damage.


6. Run Water

Always run cold water while using the disposal and continue running it for a few seconds after turning off the unit. This practice helps flush away any remaining debris and prevents clogs from forming. Water helps move the ground-up waste through the pipes, reducing the likelihood of blockages.


When to Call a Handyman

While these troubleshooting steps can resolve minor issues, there are situations where calling in a professional handyman service is your best bet:


  • Persistent Jams or Clogs: If you’ve attempted to clear a jam multiple times without success, there might be a more significant issue at play.
  • Electrical or Mechanical Issues: Any problems related to the electrical components or mechanical parts of the disposal should be handled by a professional.
  • Leaks or Strange Noises: If you notice leaks, unusual noises, or an unpleasant smell that persists despite troubleshooting, it’s time to seek professional assistance.


We understand the importance of a functional kitchen, and our team is equipped to handle any garbage disposal repairs or replacements. With our commitment to great pricing, a 60-day guarantee, and free virtual estimates, we aim to provide simple solutions that alleviate your home maintenance concerns. So if you encounter persistent problems or need professional assistance, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at Professional Facility Solutions. Let us handle the hassle while you enjoy a smoothly running kitchen!


For more information on our maintenance services, including garbage disposal repairs and kitchen upgrades in Denver, contact us today. We’re here to make your home maintenance needs a stress-free experience!