Disposal inoperative

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Published: December 23, 2014 Last Updated: April 6, 2018

95% of disposals that do not work when a buyer first moves in is usually because the disposal needs the “Reset” button on the bottom (or side) of the disposal needs to be pushed in to reset the disposal or it needs to be plugged into the electrical outlet under the sink.

Common reasons a disposal is not working

  • The reset button needs to be reset. Often red and on the bottom of the disposal.
  • The disposal is not plugged into the electrical outlet under the sink.
  • The outlet does not have power, possibly the circuit breaker is tripped or a fuse is blown.
  • Jammed – disposal is jammed because something in it caused the reset button to trip. Look for a disposal service wrench (Allan type wrench), which usually comes with the unit. Look for a slot on the bottom area of the disposal that is made for the wrench. Slip it in a try turning the wrench to un-stick the blades.

Do not replace until you have

It is wise to check the above items before replacing the unit, for many times it is a minor action or repair that is needed.

Safety tip

Turn the power off to the disposal before working on it, do not stick your hand down in the disposal and wear safety glasses

Who to consult? Plumber, appliance repair man; or a qualified handyman.

Home owners will often replace their disposal if it becomes inoperative. Also, plumbers, appliance repairmen, technicians; or a qualified handyman will likewise work on disposals or replace them.

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