January 11, 2018
By Mark Paup

Can I Repair My Garbage Disposal On My Own?

Updated February 5, 2024

There was a time when garbage disposals were new devices and only a few homes had them installed into their kitchen sinks. Today, it’s difficult to imagine daily life in the kitchen without garbage disposal. The disposal makes it easier to get rid of food waste and clean it up after cooking, and it helps to keep a large amount of organic waste out of landfills.

If your garbage disposal stops working, it’ll mean an inconvenient kitchen until you have the unit repaired. But can you handle repairing broken disposal on your own? In some cases, yes. But most of the time, you’ll probably need a professional plumber in Ankeny, IA to make the repairs so they’re done correctly and safely. In some situations, replacing the garbage disposal is a better option than fixing it, and this job also requires the work of a professional plumber.

Hitting the reset switch

If your garbage disposal won’t turn on when you flip the wall switch, one possible reason is that it’s triggered its circuit breaker. This happens if the motor puts too much demand on the circuit. To reset the circuit, press the button located at the bottom of the disposal unit. Try the disposal again. If it runs but then stops soon after because the switch has tripped again, then there’s probably a fault with the motor that will require an expert to repair it.

Jammed flywheel

If the flywheel of the disposal becomes jammed, it will soon cause the reset switch to trip because of the strain. If you can hear something rattling around inside the hopper chamber, you’ll feel tempted to reach down inside and attempt to pull out whatever is jamming the flywheel. But this is potentially hazardous, even if you unplug the garbage disposal. Have a plumber come out to see what needs to be done to unjam the flywheel.

Clogged waste line connector

The disposal connects to the main drainpipe of your sink through a waste line connector that extends from the lower part of the disposal. If the water isn’t flowing down the disposal when you run it, but there’s no clog in the main drain, the trouble is probably an obstruction jammed in the waste line connector. You shouldn’t attempt to clear this using standard unclogging techniques like a plunger or drain snake since they won’t work. (And you should never pour chemical drain cleaners into the disposal!) Call for a plumber to unclog the waste line.

Loose disposal

If the problem you’re experiencing is that the disposal is rattling around too much when it runs, then it’s become loose where it’s set into the sink. If you allow this to continue, it will create leaks around the edge of the disposal and eventually damage the kitchen sink. A plumber can set the disposal back into place and reseal it so there’s no leaking. If it’s older disposal (more than ten years), this is an ideal time to have a new one installed.

Repair your garbage disposal with a call to Golden Rule. “We Obey the Rules to Live By!”

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