Sometimes it seems as if appliances stop working as part of some evil plot to ruin your day. Not true, of course! Your cranky garbage disposal probably just needs a little attention and TLC. Let’s take a look at the problem.
You flip the power switch and hear a hum instead of that satisfying grinding sound. You assume correctly that something has jammed the works. Very fixable. First, DO NOT put your hand down the disposal. Find your electrical box and turn off the power feed. Try freeing the block with a broom handle or dowel.
While this usually works, sometimes dislodging the block takes a little more effort. In that case, use an offset wrench in the bottom slot of the unit and turn it right/left a time or two to free up the jam.
Two options here. Either call your friendly plumbing professional or haul out your tool kit and plumber’s putty. If you decide to be a DIY warrior, check the mounting bolts to see if they need tightening or fresh putty, and check to see if the connector hose needs replacing or the clamp needs tightening.
No hum means no power. Before you panic, check the plug, which may have come loose. Next, check your circuit breaker and try the unit’s reset button. If you still have no power, either your disposal has died or your switch is faulty. Time to call an electrician or plumbing professional to sort out the problem.
There are a couple of simple DIY fixes to try if your garbage disposal won’t drain. First, try a plunger to see if force and water will clear the drain. If the clog still hasn’t moved, disconnect the drain trap under the disposal to check for an obstruction. At this point, you can either go the DIY drain auger route or call your plumber to troubleshoot the problem.
Even if you use your garbage disposal regularly, bits of decomposing food and organic matter will build up over time. If you notice a noxious odor coming from your kitchen sink, it’s time to clean the disposal. Grab the baking soda and vinegar. Mix the two, pour down the disposal, and let it sit for at least half an hour before running warm water for about a minute to clear the unit.
As always, SoCal Plumbers is here for you! Call (877) 758-6237 or visit our site for more information.