Garbage disposals are some of the most used and abused appliance in the kitchen. They must be used and taken cared of properly if they are to function properly. However, there are times that a unit will break down due to unseen factors. How do you fix it if it suddenly malfunctions? You can’t exist without it so you need to know how to bring it back to life. Here are some tips on how to accomplish this task.
There are three common issues by which your garbage disposal unit will not work properly – flywheel malfunctioning, leaking and clogs. We will discuss the repair of each one in this article.
Fixing Flywheel Problems
If you have checked the garbage disposal unit and you found that the impellers are not turning, it is the flywheel that is causing the problem. Here is how to fix it. But take care that you don’t run the unit for more than 10 seconds if the impellers are not turning. You may cause the electric motor of the unit to burn out.
Step 1: Make sure that the power is off and then access the unit from underneath the sink.
Step 2: Locate the hex holes where the hex bolts are holding the flywheel. Use a hex wrench to loosen the flywheel which is at the unit’s bottom.
Step 3: Inspect the flywheel for debris. Remove them if there are.
Step 4: The flywheel has a lock nut. Loosen this nut and then remove it. Do this only if you think that the impeller blades are causing the problem.
Step 5: Remove all the fittings that are connected to the impeller blades and the flywheel.
Step 6: Remove all the debris in the impeller blades if they are causing the problem.
Step 7: You may want to sharpen the impeller blades while the impeller is not connected to the flywheel. This should be done if you found out that food and debris are causing the problems.
Step 8: Consult the user manual of the garbage disposal unit if you are stuck up at any one of these steps.
Fixing Leak Problems
If there are leaks in your unit, here is one method of fixing the problem.
Step 1: Check the areas underneath the sink. If there is moisture or the area is wet, the seal of the unit or the hose may have leaks.
Step 2: Use a pail and catch the leaking liquid and check its color. The contents and the color of the liquid will show you the origin of the leak. If it is clear, the leak is possibly coming from the sink. If the color is brown or indistinguishable, the leak could be coming from a drain pipe or from the dishwasher intake.
Step 3: Run your hand through the seal of the unit under the sink, the dishwasher intake and the drain pipe. Try to feel where the liquid is leaking from.
Step 4: Check if the mounting bolts on the seal is loose. Tighten them if they are. Turn on the faucet on the sink and then check if the leaking problem is solved.
Step 5: If the leak is still there, the seal could have been disfigured because of long use. Turn the faucet off and avoid using the unit until you have replaced the seal with a new one.
Step 6: Buy a new seal that should be the same size, make and brand if possible and then replace the old one with it. You should be able to stop the leak with this new seal.
Clogs are the most common problem of garbage disposal units. Fixing such problems is accomplished using the following steps.
Step 1: Make sure that the unit is turned off.
Step 2: Get a flashlight and focus its light above the unit. Try to see as far down as possible through the unit and check the object that is causing the clog.
Step 3: If you see that there are indeed some debris inside the garbage disposal unit, remove the cover of the drain.
Step 4: Stick a wooden spoon, a hex wrench or something long into the unit. Try to loosen the clog or debris by rocking it from one side to the other between the impeller blades. If there’s a solid matter such as a bone or some hard object, try using a tong to pull it up. Try not to push it down for it can damage the hose.
Step 5: Once you have pulled out all the debris that may have caused the clog, turn on the power of the garbage disposal unit. If it runs smoothly, you have fixed the clog problem.
About the Guest Post Author:
Hello, My name is Justin Curtis, and I am the creator of Mr. Garbage Disposal.
While I am not a professional plumber, I am quite the handyman. I work as an accountant, but outside of work, I like to work with my hands and live frugally.
2 years ago, the garbage disposal in my house broke because of a faulty part. After buying the new part and looking at installation fees, I realized that it was way outside of my budget. To solve my problem, I took it upon myself to learn everything I could about garbage disposals. I learned the best affordable parts, where to get them, and how to install them. Through this experience, I discovered my passion for working with my hands.
Considering most people don’t know much about garbage disposals, I want to share my experience and knowledge with you, which is why I created Mr. Garbage Disposal.
My goal for Mr. Garbage Disposal is for it to be the go-to place for people to learn about garbage disposals and how to fix them, while not breaking the bank along the way.