A clogged or jammed garbage disposal can be the most annoying thing ever happened in your house. It seems to hinder the normal routine of day to day work. You try a lot of things to unclog it and try all the natural remedies you know to open it, but it all goes in vain. Sometimes you have to reset the garbage disposal with the attached button underneath it, but that too fails sometimes. Then what to do?

Usually, the main cause of clogged disposal can be kitchen stuff like vegetable peels or some food particles stuck in it, but sometimes lack of the disposal to hum the garbage properly can also be the cause of a clogged or leaking pipe. Sometimes some other problem might occur with your disposal like it might be making some noises or once it is switched off cannot be turned on again. Let us see some of the major problems of garbage disposal and how to fix them.

Major problems of garbage disposal and how to fix them are;

Clogged Garbage Disposal

Clogged garbage disposal is the most common problem that occurs quite often. The reason might be the inability of the disposal to digest the garbage properly. This might stuck some of the food particles in the pipe thus causing the clog. Or the other reason could be that the garbage disposal can get technically jammed, and they start to smell bad. Most of the times, a huge pile-up of grease or sediments can clog the pipe too.


To solve this issue first of all turn off the disposal and try using a plunger. Plunge the sink for about several times, and usually, if the problem is not severe, it will unclog the disposal and water will start to drain. You can also add soapy hot water in which vinegar and soda are mixed and flush it into the sink that might open small blockages as well. However, if this still does not work, then you will have to remove the P trap and unclog it with a wire or snake opener.

Garbage Disposal Is Making Noises

Sometimes you might hear weird noises whenever you use your sink. That may be because the garbage disposal is not humming or grinding the garbage properly. When something gets stuck in the flywheel (the rotating plate of the disposal), the disposal starts making weird noises.


The first thing is to turn off the disposal switch as it is quite dangerous to put a hand in the flywheel while it’s been turned on. After that with the help of the wrench (that usually comes along with the garbage disposal) find a hex like opening underneath the disposal and try to rotate it with the wrench. This will unclog and remove anything that is stuck in the flywheel, and it will move freely. Reset the disposal and turn it on and off repeatedly for 2 to 3 times while turning on the cold water. Problem solved!

Does Not Turn On

Usually, when we reset the garbage disposal and then press the switch, it won’t turn on at all. The first reason could be that the disposal might not be getting enough power, so make sure that the switch is plugged-in correctly. Also, sometimes the disposal needs to be reset, you will know it when the reset button is popped out, so press the button and  did it work, if not then there is a problem


If the disposal is set and doesn’t need to be reset then check the wiring of the disposal and the breaker circuit. Usually, sometimes the wiring is loose and fixing it can solve the issue. Flip the breaker and see if it is getting enough power to start. This will usually solve the problem. If it is still not working, then there might be a short circuit or malfunctioning of the main switch. Try fixing the circuit breaker and start the disposal all again.

The Garbage Disposal Is Leaking

Another main problem is disposal leakage. It can leak from many places, and it is the most annoying and the messiest thing ever. First of all, you need to make sure that where is the garbage disposal leaking from? For this, you have to turn it off the disposal first. Remove the disposal mount unit by turning it counterclockwise from underneath. Once removed then tighten up the three bolts that are usually apparent on the disposal.


If the problem persists then lose the bolts again and push up the flange of the sink making it slightly higher than the surface of the sink. Apply plumber’s putty to the threshold, once applied then tighten the bolts and adjust the flange again and wipe out the excess putty and reapply the unit to the mount back and turn on the disposal and usually, it will fix the problem.


The problems mentioned above are usually the only main issues that are faced often by people. If the problem is usually not that big, it is easy to resolve them by yourself and not to require any expert help. However, if any problem apart from the issues mentioned above is being faced then it is advisable to seek experts’ help to avoid any wear, tear or permanent damage to the garbage disposal. It is also recommended that if you do not know anything related to garbage disposal then do not take any risk yourself, either seek expert help or conduct detailed research on the internet.