How It Works: Garbage Disposer


Garbage disposal won’t turn on, motor hums but doesn’t run? This video provides information on how a garbage disposal works and offers troubleshooting tips to assist you in diagnosing and repair.

Here is a list of the most commonly replaced parts associated with each garbage disposal symptom:

Garbage disposal won’t turn or run at all: start switch
Garbage disposal stopper switch won’t shut off disposer: start switch
Garbage disposal motor hums but doesn’t run: shredding plate
Garbage disposal grinding plate is stuck: shredding plate
Garbage disposal leaks water near the top: sink flange gasket, o-ring, splash guard and stopper

All of the information provided in this garbage disposal troubleshooting video is applicable to the following brands: Amana, Frigidaire, GE, Jenn Air, Maytag, Sinkmaster, Waste King
1Maintenance tips for your garbage disposer
Maintenance tips for your garbage disposer
A garbage disposer (a.k.a. garbage disposal) is an appliance attached to a kitchen sink drain for the efficient disposal of food waste.
2Always run plenty of cold water when the disposer is in operation.
Always run plenty of cold water when the disposer is in operation.
3Clean the splash guard and stopper monthly.
Clean the splash guard and stopper monthly.
Your disposer’s splash guard and stopper are bacteria havens. Some disposer models enable you to remove the splash guard and clean it by hand. Soak the splash guard and stopper in vinegar or diluted bleach for 20 minutes. Then rinse and return to the disposal. Consider replacing it if you have difficulty eliminating odor.
4Use care when loading food.
Use care when loading food.
Don’t overload the disposer with too much food to process at once. Fibrous foods such as corn husks can cause problems because the disposer cannot properly break them down. Potato peels are dense, heavy, and can easily clog the drain if you try to dispose of too many at once.
5Sharpen disposer “blades.”
Sharpen disposer “blades.”
While ice cubes may assist with removing food from the “blades” and the interior of the unit, there’s really no efficient way to sharpen garbage disposal blades. Over time, they dull. If you find that your disposal is no longer operating properly, you will need to replace it.
6Periodically deodorize.
Periodically deodorize.
Use biodegradable, non-toxic cleaning pellets to eliminate disposal odors naturally and keep it smelling fresh. It’s safe for septic tanks and PVC pipes.
7Be safe.
Be safe.
Never put your hands into the garbage disposer.

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