The garbage disposal is one of the more intimidating household appliances. Not because it is particularly large or complicated, but because of the nature of its function. Many people have considered the possibility of losing a finger (or worse) to the destructive power hidden below our kitchen sink. It should come as no surprise that when a garbage disposal is not working, most people’s first inclination is to flip the switch a few more times in the vain hope that it will decide to work again. There are a couple of easy fixes that can be used to attempt to salvage a garbage disposal before calling a technician or replacing the unit.
The Simplest Answer
The first thing you should try is the reset button on the motor. Garbage disposals are one of the only household appliances to contain a reset button, and many disposal issues can be solved with a simple press of this button. The button is typically red or black, and can usually be found on the bottom of the disposal unit. If you cannot find the reset button, then it is possible that your unit does not include one. It may be wise to search for the model number online to see if someone has mapped where to find it, or simply call the manufacturer.
If your garbage disposal is just not working to the same degree it has in the past, the problem could be dull blades. One simple way to sharpen the blades is to let your disposal grind down some ice cubes, as this will help to sharpen the blades without much work on your part. For an added bonus, you can add the peel from a citrus fruit to the water in the ice tray. These infused ice cubes can leave your disposal smelling of fresh lemon, lime, orange, or any other citrus fruit, all while sharpening the blades!
Note: before attempting any further repairs on your garbage disposal it is crucial you ensure that the power to your disposal is disabled at the breaker or fuse level. It is reckless and dangerous to service a disposal with power enabled within the unit, even when the switch is off.
If your disposal still has you stumped after these simple DIY techniques, then it may be time to call in a professional. Contact us for any Honolulu plumbing questions or services. Our services range from emergency plumbing to the smallest leaky faucet. Reach us day or night at (808) 672-2674!