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Garbage Disposal Not Working

The part(s) or condition(s) listed below for the symptom Garbage disposal not working are ordered from most likely to least likely to occur. Check or test each item, starting with the items at the top of the page.

Most Frequent Causes for Garbage disposal not working

For the most accurate results, enter your model number.


Cause 1Start Switch

Some garbage disposer models have a stopper switch (or batchfeed stopper). The batchfeed stopper activates the start switch to start the disposer. If the start switch is defective, the disposer will not turn on. To determine if the start switch is defective, use a multimeter to test the start switch for continuity. If the start switch does not have continuity, replace it.

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Cause 2Wall Switch

If the garbage disposer plugs into a wall outlet, determine if the outlet is getting power. If the unit is not plugged into a wall outlet, use a multimeter to test the wall switch for continuity. In addition, check the home circuit breakers or fuses.

Cause 3Non Serviceable Motor

The disposer motor is not replaceable—if the disposer motor is defective or worn out, you must replace the entire disposer.

Cause 4Safety Switch

If the garbage disposer won't turn or run at all the safety switch may be tripped. The switch protects the motor when the grinding plate gets jammed. The switch on the side or bottom of the disposer has a RED button on it that can be pushed to re-set. If the disposer still will not run after button is pushed the grinding table may be jammed. Use the disposer wrench (or a 1/4 inch Allen wrench) inserted into the bottom center of the disposer to wiggle it back and forth to free it. If your model does not have an opening in the bottom for the wrench a wooden broom handle can be inserted into the top of the disposer to turn the plate to free it.

Parts