Garbage Disposal Articles

Garbage Disposal Will Not Turn On (no noise)


OK, before we start with any troubleshooting, I want you to promise me that you will please obey the cardinal rule of "Garbage Disposal Repair". That is you will never put your hand in the hopper (down the drain into the disposal)!
That being said, let's take a look at fixing this vital piece of kitchen equipment.
PROBLEM:
Disposal Will Not Turn On (no noise)

If the disposal will not turn on and it is NOT making a humming sound, then there is an electrical problem.
  • This may seem obvious, but make sure the disposal is plugged in.
  • If it is plugged in then press the Reset button found on the bottom of the unit. If it has reset, the button will be popped out.
  • If that does not work, check to see if the circuit breaker has tripped and turned off in the electrical service panel.
  • If the breaker has not tripped and the reset button is not popped out, then it's either a faulty switch or a faulty garbage disposal. First locate the switch that powers the disposal unit. It should be located on the wall but may be under the sink.
  • Turn off the circuit breaker at the service panel which powers the disposal.
  • Replace the switch.
  • Turn power back on at the service panel and check the disposal for operation.
  • If the disposal will still not turn on and makes no noise, the garbage disposal is beyond repair and needs to be replaced. 


Garbage Disposal Will Not Turn On (humming noise)

OK, before we start with any troubleshooting, I want you to promise me that you will please obey the cardinal rule of "Garbage Disposal Repair". That is you will never put your hand in the hopper (down the drain into the disposal)!

That being said, let's take a look at fixing this vital piece of kitchen equipment.

PROBLEM:
Stuck Flywheel / Disposal Will Not Run (makes a humming noise)

If the garbage disposal won't turn on but makes a humming sound when you flip the switch, it won't do that for long. That means you have a stuck flywheel and the reset button on the unit itself or the fuse or circuit breaker in your electrical service panel will trip and turn off very quickly. The flywheel is stuck because something is lodged between it or the impeller(s) and the shredder ring. 



  • To start the repair, turn off power to the garbage disposal at the electrical service panel.
  • Reminder: Don't ever put your hand down into the garbage disposal hopper (grinding chamber).
  • Take the offset wrench that came with the disposal unit and insert the  wrench into the flywheel turning hole in the bottom of the unit. If you don't have the wrench you can pick one up from the hardware store that sells your garbage disposal.
  • Once the wrench is inserted, turn it clockwise to dislodge the stuck impeller or flywheel. When it dislodges, you'll feel the flywheel turn freely.
  • Another approach is to try and use a wooden broom-handle or similar wooden object to free the stuck impeller and flywheel from the top of the unit through the drain.
  • Place the broom-handle into the hopper and against an impeller. Use leverage to try and free the stuck flywheel. As before, when it dislodges you'll feel the flywheel turn freely.