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Modern Plumbing Industries, Inc. Blog

Reasons Your Garbage Disposal Isn’t Working

A kitchen garbage disposal is one of the finest modern conveniences available in the home. The disposal takes care of chopping up food waste so it can enter into the standard wastewater that flows to the sewer system. Without a working garbage disposal, cooking and cleaning would require more work—and you would also have more frequent sink clogs because of solid waste going down the standard drains.

Garbage disposals can run into mechanical or electrical troubles that will prevent them from working. When this happens, don’t stick your hand down into the disposal to attempt to fix the problem. This cannot be emphasized enough. If you can’t find a solution to the problem on the outside of the unit, then contact a plumber in Orlando, FL, like those at Modern Plumbing Industries, Inc., to tackle the problem.

Why isn’t your disposal working?

The simplest reason is that the reset switch has popped out. This button beneath the unit under your sink is a circuit breaker that might flip because of too much strain on the flywheel in the disposal. Press the button to reset it, then turn on your disposal again. If you hear a humming noise, but the disposal still won’t work, then the issue is a stuck flywheel. If you continue to turn on the disposal while this trouble persists, the reset switch will pop out again eventually.

The flywheel can get stuck for a number of reasons. One is an excessive amount of grease, oil, or fat. These liquids should never be poured down the disposal (or any of your sinks) because they will dry into waxy solids that can jam your disposal and clog your pipes. A plumber will need to remove the flywheel and clean out the unit before it works again.

Another problem for the flywheel is objects that the disposal cannot effectively break down. People often think of the disposal as a garbage can (it does have the word “garbage” in it), but it shouldn’t have anything go in it that you couldn’t chew yourself. Don’t throw bones, unpopped popcorn kernels, or non-organic refuse into the disposal, since any of these things can break or jam the internal components of the disposal, not to mention clogging your pipes.

Finally, disposals can become clogged like any other sink: accumulation of debris in the pipes, lodged objects, or even a broken sewer main. Any of these issues requires a plumbing professional to solve.

However, most garbage disposal issues are simple fixes for an experienced plumber. Don’t risk your hand trying to repair it yourself: a plumber in Orlando, FL from Modern Plumbing Industries, Inc. can fix the problem quickly for you—and we have plumbers on call 24 hours a day!

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