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Great Tips on Fixing your Insinkerator or Garbage Disposal


How to fix Garbage Disposal?

Not having a garbage disposal is fine with me, but if I have one and it is broken it drives me crazy! I was almost to the point of getting a plumber or maintenance guy to come fix my broken Insinkerator when I finally fixed it on accident. First of all, I always laughed at my good friend who use to call her Garbage Disposal an Insinkerator. I had no idea that my garbage disposal (food waste disposer) was called an Insinkerator until mine broke and I tried fixing it. I then noticed the name that was engraved on the disposal. It is actually the name of the American Company that makes them. Insinkerator is actually owned by Emerson Electric.

Steps to take to fix my InSinkErator

Here are some steps that I took to fix my Garbage Disposal. If none of them work, try the last step because that is how I fixed mine. This article is not a guaranteed fix but it may help. It worked for me.

  • First look underneath your sink. Look on the side that your Garbage disposal is on. There should be a round container there, underneath it is a Reset button. Push It. See if that helps fix it. Usually if your disposal is not making noise then this method helps generate power back to it.
  • Make sure the Garbage disposal power breaker switch is off on this next step. Put your hand down in the garbage disposal and pull out any food that is in there. Don't worry, you can wash your hands afterwards. Also check for any foreign objects, such as silver wear. Pull out anything including hair that isn't suppose to be in there.
  • Turn back on the breaker to the Garbage Disposal and test it to see if it works now. (For me it didn't work and I did a big no no and poured bleach down the drain where the Insinkerator is.) Yes it helped clean it and yes it smelled better but it was still all plugged up and the disposal wasn't making the grinding noise when I turned it on. I spent days and then weeks telling everyone not to use the Garbage disposal. My neighbor who is a plumber even tried fixing it. He also told me that bleach is terrible for pipes. (So don't use bleach down your drains.)
  • Pour an estimate of Two tablespoons of White Vinegar down inside your Food Disposal. I was doing my usual cleaning of the kitchen and I figured the yucky smell needed to disappear. Normally I would use the bleach to get rid of the smell but remembered not to so I used Vinegar.

To my surprise, it worked. Ten minutes later I had a small amount of left over green beans and out of habit, poured the green beans down the Garbage Disposal. Turned on the water, then the switch and yes the awful grinding noise came back. It was fixed.

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

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© 2012 Tammy Winters


Amy on September 01, 2020:

Great tips! Thanks for sharing a very helpful article, Tammy!

Tammy Winters (author) from Oregon on August 16, 2020:

Hi Dan... Sorry it took so long to approve this message. For some reason, I just saw it. Thanks so much for the extra tips on fixing the garbage disposal.

Dan Harmon from Boise, Idaho on June 17, 2017:

I'll add one more cheap "fix" to the ones you list: reaching into the disposal, you will find a nut in the center of the grinding wheel. Using a ratchet, the appropriate socket for that nut, and a long extension, try to tighten the nut. If you can't, try to loosen it. The object is not to actually tighten or loosen the nut, but to turn the plate it is holding. Often times something will jam between that grinding plate and the wall of the disposal and turning the plate (usually backwards, as if loosening the nut) will free it up, whereupon you can dig it out with your hands.

Aurelio Locsin from Orange County, CA on January 30, 2012:

Great tips on what could be a potentially expensive repair if you call someone else. Voting this Up and Useful.

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