Garbage disposals are extremely handy appliances that can make discarding food scraps easier and more convenient. However, since they have lots of moving parts, garbage disposals can and will break from time-to-time. Here are some helpful hints about how to troubleshoot problems with your garbage disposal.
Before doing anything with your garbage disposal, remember not to ever put your hand down the drain into the hopper of the garbage disposal! If you turn the switch and the garbage disposal does not make a humming sound, the problem is electrical. First, check to make sure the appliance is plugged in. If it is plugged in, hit the reset button. If that does not work, check and see if the circuit breaker has tripped. If it is plugged in, the breaker has not tripped and the reset button is not popped out, then you have a problem with the switch or the unit itself. At this point, you can replace the switch or have a professional replace the switch. If it still does not work after you have replaced the switch, the unit is beyond repair and needs to be replaced.
To avoid damaging or clogging your garbage disposal, you should not place the following food items in it:
- grease, oil or fats
- stringy vegetables (celery, kale, lettuce)
- egg shells
- coffee grounds
- pits or seeds
By avoiding placing these foods down your garbage disposal you can extend the life of your unit and avoid costly repairs. If you have more questions about how to troubleshoot problems with your garbage disposal, contact a licensed plumber in your local area.