Garbage Disposal Troubleshooting

Garbage Disposal Troubleshooting - Plumbers

A garbage disposal helps with grinding food into the sink without throwing food into the trash. Usually, garbage disposals can be fixed without the need of a plumber. However, you may not always need a plumber to keep your garbage disposal from acting up. Here are some tips for garbage disposal troubleshooting.

WARNING: Never Put Your Hands Inside the Garbage Disposal.

Humming Noise

If you hear a humming noise, shut down the garbage disposal immediately. Humming noises come from the motor. This means either that there is a stuck flywheel or that the motor is malfunctioning. To remove the jam in the flywheel:

1. Insert pliers into the disposal  and twist them to dislodge any obstructions in the flywheel.

2. If that does not work, insert a ¼ inch Allen wrench port on the bottom, center of the disposal under the sink to wiggle the masher plate (inside the disposal) to dislodge any obstructions.

3. If everything has been dislodged and the garbage disposal still does not work, replace the motor.


There can be different leaks in various places of the garage disposal. The common leaks are at the sink flange, the dishwasher connection, and the discharge drainpipe.

Sink Flange Fix

1. Turn off the garbage disposal.

2. Loosen and remove the unit from the mounting flange.

3. Tighten the mounting bolts.

4. If they are already tight, loosen the bolts and reapply the plumber putty between the bolt and the sink.

5. Tighten the bolts and remove any excess putty.

6. Recheck the disposal for leaks

Dishwasher Connection Fix

1. Tighten the clamp on the dishwasher hose connected to the dishwasher inlet.

2. If the hose is leaking, it will need to be replaced.

Discharge Drainpipe Fix

1. Check the tightness of the bolts on the disposal’s discharge drainpipe.

2. If re-tightening the bolts does not work, remove the bolts and the pipe, and replace the gasket.

3. Reinstall the bolts with the new gasket and tighten.

Find A Plumber

If these fixes do not work, the garbage disposal may need to be replaced. For garbage disposal installation use TalkLocal. We will connect you with up to three high-quality plumbers in your area, within minutes!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *