Garbage Disposal Troubleshooting

Nothings worse in the kitchen then a garbage disposal that’s not running properly. Most issues usually are a result of jams, clogs or an occasional leak. The best thing you can do for your disposal is to run cold water as you use your disposal and for about a minute afterward. Disposals vary, so refer to your owner’s manual for specifics.

Helpful hints for common problems:


If your unit makes a loud whirling noise or stops, it is jammed. Turn it off and wait five minutes. Firmly press the reset button on the bottom of the motor housing. (Machines without buttons reset automatically.)

See if it’s designed to be cleared from below. It may have a small crank or a socket for an Allen wrench to turn the flywheel. It may have a reversing switch. If you can’t find any of these, angle a broom handle against an impeller blade and work the blade back and forth until the jam clears. Then press the reset button.


To clear a clog, disassemble the trap and use a snake.

One or more seals could be worn and needing replacement.