When your garbage disposal isn't working, it can create some havoc in your household. Fortunately, many of these problems are relatively easy to fix, with professional help only necessary when it's particularly bad. Here are the top problems garbage disposals develop and how to fix them. Remember to be safe and NEVER stick your hand down the disposal to fix a problem.
Top Garbage Disposal Problems and How to Fix Them
- It stinks. Start by tossing a few ice cubes and a handful of coarse salt down the drain to clean the blades, flushing it down with cold water. If that doesn't get rid of the smell, throw citrus fruit peels down the disposal while it's running. To combine both of the above, make ice cubes that have citrus peels in them. The acid in the citrus disinfects the disposal.
- It's stuck. If something accidentally fell down the drain that is jamming the works, don't stick your hand down the drain. Turn the circuit off at the breaker box, then put the offset wrench that came with the disposal into the flywheel-turning hole in the bottom of the disposal. Turn it clockwise to free the flywheel. You can also approach this from the top through the drain with a wooden stick or broom handle. After the flywheel is free, turn the power on at the circuit breaker, then press the reset button on the bottom and run the disposal in short bursts with cold, running water to flush the obstruction down the drain.
- It's leaking. If it's leaking at the dishwasher connection or the drain, tighten up the fittings. If it's a pipe or hose leaking, replace it. If it's leaking at the sink, loosen the bolts for the disposal,
raise it slightly and replace the plumber's putty that seals the flange to the sink, then re-tighten the bolts.
- It won't run. Start by checking if it's plugged or wired in. If it is, press the reset button, commonly found on the bottom of the disposal. If that doesn't do the trick, check the circuit breaker that the disposal is on. If none of these steps work, you may want to contact an electrician to investigate the problem.
If these tips didn't work or you're not comfortable with trying them on your own, hiring Pittsburgh plumbers is a great option to look at, especially if you want the job done right. If you don't work with a regular plumber, it's time to contact Stahl Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning. Find out why we're the plumber Pittsburgh homeowners have trusted for more than 50 years.