Nashville Plumbers Blog - Fix It All Plumbing

What to Do when the Garbage Disposal Stops Working

Repair Garbage Disposal Nashville

We love our garbage disposals. They help eliminate smelly garbage, make it easy to scrape our plates before cleaning, and keep our pipes from getting clogged with food. Garbage disposals can stop working at the most inopportune time, such as Thanksgiving dinner, when you have a multitude of house guests and a plumber is not available. What should you do if your garbage disposal suddenly stops working? Use this handy checklist to fix the problem.

4 Steps to Repair Your Garbage Disposal

  1. Make sure the disposal is plugged in (if not hardwired).
  2. Check the circuit breaker.
  3. Press the “Reset” button (located on the bottom of the unit).
  4. Turn off power to the disposal at the breaker box and replace the switch. (Double and triple check that the power is turned off before messing with any electrical wires!)

Is your disposal making any sound when you try to run it?

If the disposal still does not work, and is not making a sound, it is time to get a new disposal. But if it is making a humming noise and not grinding up food, the problem could be a stuck flywheel.

When you bought your disposal, it came with a small offset wrench. If you have misplaced this wrench, you can get a new one at a home supply store. Then do the following:

3 Additional Repair Steps to Fix Your Disposal

Never, EVER, stick your hand into the disposal – even if you are sure the electricity is turned off!

  1. Turn off power to the disposal at the breaker box.
  2. Climb under the disposal and insert the offset wrench into the hole in the center of the bottom of the disposal.
  3. Turn the wrench clockwise until you feel the flywheel turn freely.

Your local plumber is the one to call to repair your garbage disposal if you are unable or simply don’t have the time to fix it. In Nashville call or text Kevin Sipes, Master Plumber at Fix It All Plumbing.


Next month, I will talk about what to do if your disposal is working, but is draining slowly.