Fast Insinkerator Repairs

Fast Insinkerator Repairs

Although insinkerators are typically heavy-duty appliances, they are designed to shut down rather than destroy themselves, making it necessary to get the insinkerator running again before any food scraps can be grinded. Fortunately, the majority of insinkerator problems can be easily fixed without professional help.

Always read the insinkerator instructions that came with the equipment, as there may be helpful suggestions on what the issue with your equipment might be, as well as how to solve the problem.

Insinkerators are simple machines, and fixing most problems is also very simple. Typical insinkerator problems include loss of power, failure to destroy food, excessive noise, poor drainage, or leaks. These problems are all easily diagnosed and solved through trial and error. If a motor or other internal part is the problem, then replacing the insinkerator is usually the best option.

Clogged Drain
A clogged drain is by far the most common insinkerator problem. If your drain is clogged, your disposal will hum but not grind, be extremely noisy, or shut down before you turn it off. It is best to avoid clogging your insinkerator by always running as much cold water as possible when the garbage disposal is in use, and refraining from putting hard materials, like metal, plastic, bones, or glass into it, as well as fibrous foods such as banana and orange peels.

Once your insinkerator is clogged, you have the option of clearing it from above or below. If you open the cabinet underneath the sink, you will see a cylinder directly beneath the drain with pipes and hoses running out of it, as well as an electrical cord that should run into a plug-in under the sink. Unplug the electric cord before you do anything, and never, under any circumstances, put your hand into the garbage disposal.

Get a flashlight and look into the insinkerator to check for anything obvious that might be jamming it. If anything is visible, use a pair of tongs, pliers, or a clothes hanger to fish the object out of the garbage disposal.

If you cannot see anything clogging the disposal, look at the bottom of the disposal unit under the sink. There should be a reverse button or a hexagonal (six-sided) hole that can be used to manually turn the insinkerator, which can unclog it. A wrench for the hexagonal hole (also called an allen wrench) may be attached to the disposal or buried in a tool kit. If you know anyone that is into archery, they will have the allen wrench you need.

The other option for unclogging is to insert a mop or broom handle into the garbage disposal from above and gently turn the disposal.

Loss of Power
If your insinkerator shuts itself off, perform the above steps to make sure it is not clogged. Once you have done that, press the reset button on the bottom of the disposal, run lots of cold water, and try it again. If the disposal does not come back on, check your circuit breaker or fuse box for a tripped breaker or blown fuse. If it does not work at all, plug another appliance into the same outlet the disposal uses. If the other appliance works, it is possible that the disposal has a defective motor or wiring.

Extremely Noisy
If your insinkerator is too noisy, check to see if it is jammed. The other potential cause is loose screws, which can be tightened with a screw driver. Note that excessive noise may be an indication that internal parts of your disposal are damaged.

Leaking Water
For a leaky disposal, try to determine where the leak is coming from and tighten any screws or connectors in that area. If this does not solve the problem, you may need to replace the drain gasket.

Poor Drainage
For disposals with poor drainage, check for jams, then disconnect the pipes below the disposal to see if there is any food restricting the flow of water. If this is not the case, and the water is still draining, you can try to clean it out by filling it with ice cubes and a cup of rock salt, with the water running. Grinding a lemon can remove any foul odors that result from this method.

This guide should help you pin-point and fix most problems with your insinkerator. However, if any of the internal parts of an insinkerator are damaged, it is usually easier and more cost effective to buy a new one.