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Don’t Throw in the Towel: How to Repair a Garbage Disposal

Garbage disposals are a staple appliance in most homes, allowing for an easy and efficient way to dispose of food waste. But what happens when your disposal stops working or gets clogged? Do you throw in the towel and call a repairman, or do you take matters into your own hands?

Well, if you’re feeling brave and up for a challenge, we’re here to guide you through the process of repairing your garbage disposal. So, let’s roll up our sleeves and get started.

Step-by-Step Guide to Repairing a Garbage Disposal

Step 1: Safety First

Before diving into any electrical repairs, it’s important to turn off the power flow. Locate the circuit breaker that powers your garbage disposal and switch it off. To be on the safe side, unplug the disposal from the wall as well. Make sure you have gloves on, and any other necessary protective gear like goggles, before starting any repairs.

Step 2: Inspect the Jam

Often, garbage disposals stop working because they’ve become jammed with food waste. A simple fix could be to use an Allen wrench to turn the blades back and forth until the jam is dislodged. If you don’t have an Allen wrench on hand, you can try inserting a broom handle through the sink drain to move the blades. Once you’ve cleared out the jam, turn the power back on and test the system.

Step 3: Check the Disposal Reset Button

If your disposal is still not working properly, there may be an overload or short circuit. Look for a small red reset button on the bottom of the unit and try pressing it. If the reset button pops, this indicates that the overload has subsided. Turn the power back on, and test the unit again.

Step 4: Unclog the Pipes

If the water in your sink is not draining, your pipes are likely clogged. Your first step should be to switch off the power and unplug the garbage disposal. You can use a plunger and warm water to loosen and remove any debris that may be causing the blockage. Alternatively, you can try a plumbing snake or pipe wrench to loosen any obstructions. Remember, it’s important to be gentle as you don’t want to damage the pipes or garbage disposal.

Step 5: Know When to Seek Professional Help

If the above steps do not resolve your garbage disposal issues, you may need to seek professional help. It’s important to keep in mind that if you’re not comfortable working with electrical appliances or plumbing, you should not attempt to repair the disposal yourself. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.


A malfunctioning garbage disposal can be a frustrating problem to deal with, but don’t throw in the towel just yet. With a bit of patience and know-how, you can easily make the necessary repairs yourself. Remember to always prioritize safety when dealing with electrical appliances and plumbing. And if all else fails, don’t hesitate to call in the professionals.

When it comes to repairing your garbage disposal, you don’t have to go it alone. Discount Plumbing Rooter, Inc. is the premier plumbing service in the area, offering professional expertise and quality customer service. Our experienced technicians can help diagnose any issues you may be experiencing with your disposal and get it running like new in no time. Contact us today to learn more!

Repair a Garbage Disposal