A garbage disposal can be incredibly handy, and anything interfering with its operation can become a big inconvenience. Your entire sink might even become unusable, and you’ll need to address the problem right away. Perfect, Plumbing Heating & Air in Boise, ID, is here to get everything back on track!

Why Doesn’t the Garbage Disposal Work?

Many things can affect the function of your garbage disposal and interfere with its proper operation, including electrical problems and clogged plumbing. Using your garbage disposal correctly will significantly reduce the risk of any problems. Some common habits can have serious consequences.

For example, shutting the water or garbage disposal off immediately can lead to clogs or malfunctioning equipment. Instead, allow both the water and the disposal to run for a few seconds even after it sounds clear. This ensures everything has passed through the disposal and the drain.

You should also be cautious about how you use your garbage disposal. Never put anything in your disposal other than soft, easy-to-process scraps, such as fruit and soft vegetables. Never put things like coffee grounds in your disposal, and avoid placing large items, even if they’re soft, into the disposal. A single broccoli floret, for example, is fine while an entire head of broccoli or multiple large florets will be problematic. Never pour cooking oils or fats down the drain, which can lead to serious clogs.

Finally, use a drain strainer to keep bigger food and non-food items out of the disposal and drain, and clean the drain periodically. Use baking soda and vinegar about every two to three weeks to keep your disposal clean, fresh, and functional.

If you’ve done everything correctly but still have a problem, several different things that could have gone wrong. Read on to learn all about them!

The Drain Pipe Is Clogged

Whether your garbage disposal is draining slowly or is no longer draining at all, the likely culprit is a clogged drain pipe. If you’ve already tried to unclog it by running water and turning your unit on and off several times, it’s time to call in a professional. In most cases, a plumber will end up removing the drainpipe so that it can be completely cleaned out. Once it has been restored, your disposal should work like normal again.

You’re Not Using An ‘Always-on’ Outlet

Do you have a new garbage disposal and can’t get it to turn off? You might have it plugged into an ‘always-on’ outlet. Therefore, simply switch to a switch-controlled outlet, and it should begin to work as expected. However, if this doesn’t work or you don’t have a switch-controlled outlet nearby, call a plumbing and/or electrical company to help sort it out.

The Electrical Breaker Was Tripped

It doesn’t matter how good the condition of your home is. Sometimes your electrical breaker will simply get tripped. Therefore, if your garbage disposal doesn’t work at all, make your electrical circuit breaker the first thing you check. If you notice a breaker has been tripped, flip it back and verify your disposal has started working again. If this doesn’t do the job, you’ll need to get professional assistance.

Additionally, even if the disposal does start working again, you’ll need to keep an eye out for the breaker getting flipped again. If it happens once, it’s no big deal. If it keeps happening, though, you’ll need to have an electrician visit your home. Remember: It’s always better to call a professional than to let your situation become even worse.

The Power Source Isn’t Working

Is the power source turned on? Has the garbage disposal tripped your circuit breaker? Have you used the disposal’s reset button? If you make your way through the preceding list and still have problems, it’s vital to reach out to a plumber right away. It could be the case that your unit is broken or has a burned-out motor. The good news is that Perfect, Plumbing Heating & Air can quickly take care of the problem.

You may be dealing with a faulty switch or wire, too. In this case, your plumber can help refer you to a professional electrician to correct the issue.

You Might Need to Wait, Reset, and Clean Your Garbage Disposal

Does your garbage disposal make a humming noise without grinding anything? The first time you hear this noise, it’ll probably be pretty scary. However, what it means is that your unit has most likely become overheated. Therefore, turn it off and walk away for a while. By the time you return, it will most likely be properly operational again. If it still isn’t working, try the reset button.

In some instances, the problem is deeper than your unit being overheated. If you’ve tried the steps above with no results, call a plumbing company. They may need to manually rotate the blades and impeller plate, which can be highly dangerous. The good news is that a professional knows the proper way to do this without getting hurt. If it turns out that your grinder is simply worn out, a plumber can install a new garbage disposal for you.

Your Connections Aren’t Secure

If you have reason to believe your unit is leaking, you’ll need to figure out the source of the leak. Most people need to rely on a professional plumber for this job, so don’t be embarrassed to call Perfect, Plumbing Heating & Air. We’d much prefer to receive a call from someone who knows they don’t know what to do than to have to clean up the aftermath from someone who tried and failed to fix the problem correctly.

We may have to do any, or even all, of the following:

  • Tighten bolts
  • Tighten clamps
  • Tighten ties
  • Replace hoses/pipes
  • Replace the sink seal
  • Use epoxy
  • Replace the unit

Impellers and Flywheel Need to Be Rotated

Finally, the issue could be that your impellers and flywheel need to be manually rotated. If you’ve got a hex key, you can fit the key into the 1/4-inch depression on the bottom of the disposal. Give it a good twist back and forth, and don’t be afraid to do this a few times. If this doesn’t work, or if you don’t have a hex key or can’t reach the disposal, call a plumber.

If none of the above works, you’re going to have to replace your unit. Turn to Perfect, Plumbing Heating & Air to help ensure your new garbage disposal is properly installed!

Perfect, Plumbing Heating & Air in Boise, ID

Perfect, Plumbing Heating & Air can take care of all your plumbing, drains, heating, cooling, and indoor air quality needs. We’ve been serving the Boise area since 1984, and we’re passionate about providing exceptional service. We also offer 24/7 emergency service, so you’ll never have to wait a long time again! As our 4.8-star average out of almost 3,900 Google reviews can attest: Perfect, Plumbing Heating & Air gets the job done quickly and professionally. Let us set your mind at ease!

Are you ready to have your garbage disposal maintained by a professional team? Contact Perfect, Plumbing Heating & Air today!

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