What to do when your garbage disposal breaks down?

One of the most-used kitchen appliances in North America are garbage disposals. But when you use something a lot they tend to wear overtime and in some cases break down. When that happens to your garbage disposal, do you buy a new one or do you attempt to fix it? Although it can seem impossible for someone with little plumbing experience, fixing a garbage disposal might be simpler than you think. We recommend giving it a try before giving up on it – it can save you a lot of time and money.

The first thing you should do is locate the reset button on your garbage disposal and press it. This should be somewhere underneath your unit or near the bottom of your unit. Almost 85-90% of garbage disposals can be fixed using this method. Sometimes, the garbage disposal just needs a reboot to get things working again.

A very common reason why they stop working is that something has jammed the garbage disposal, either food or something that is not food and not supposed to be there. In these cases, you should try and free up the jam. One way of doing so is to use an Allen wrench. You would insert it into a hole and twist it to push the jam manually, attempting to free it up. If this doesn’t work, you can insert a wooden spoon through the drain and attempt to push the rotating disc. You can also use the spoon to try and wiggle the food or object free. If the jam was caused by an object that’s not supposed to be there, you’ll have to pick it out. DO NOT insert your hand into the disposal. Use some tweezers or tongs to fish it out.

Read this article for more information on how to fix a garbage disposal.

If your garbage disposal is still under warranty, you should contact the manufacturer to get it looked at. Most come with free at-home service including parts and labour, which is one of the major benefits of buying a garbage disposal.

After having everything checked out, and if it’s determined that you need to purchase a new garbage disposal, then take some time to research the new models and the best garbage disposal on the market. Compared to 10-20 years ago, garbage disposals have more features that make them more powerful. For instance, they may be equipped with anti-jam features that minimize the risk of jams. Also, they are a lot quieter than the ones made years ago.

IOCC recommends Waste King and InSinkErator. Our engineers have tested hundreds of garbage disposals over the last 10 years and have found these two brands to be reliable and powerful. For an average household, you should get a garbage disposal with a 3/4 HP or above motor. The InSinkErator Evolution Essential and the Waste King 8000 are some of the best garbage disposals for the average family.