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How To Fix a Garbage Disposer

If your disposer makes no sound at all when you turn it on, the internal resettable fuse may have tripped or your home's circuit breaker or fuse may have tripped. Follow these steps to reset the garbage disposer. If the disposer does hum but does not grind, it is jammed. The instructions to unjam a disposer are found on the next page.

Caution: Please read our safety information before attempting any testing, maintenance or repairs.

Before making repairs, unplug the garbage disposer or shut off the power at the fuse box or breaker panel to avoid injury. Never reach into a garbage disposer, always use tongs or other suitable tool.

Turn off the disposer at the switch. Reach under the sink to the disposer and feel for a small, slightly recessed button. The button may be on the bottom or the side of the unit. Press the button all the way in, you may feel it click. Now turn on the water and then turn on switch to test the garbage disposal.

If it runs, job done. If it hums, it is jammed, read on. If it makes no sound at all it may be jammed or there may be another problem. First, check if the circuit breaker tripped or the fuse blew. Next, test the outlet to make sure you are getting power. If you are getting power, unplug the disposer and check the electrical connections of the cord to the appliance. If it all checks out, the motor may be burned out and you will have to replace the motor or the entire disposer.

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