Share useful tips on home improvement.

How to Fix a Garbage Disposal

How to Fix a Garbage Disposal and Have it Work Efficiently

Is your "out of order" garbage disposal making you frustrated? Read the following article to learn about some typical problems associated with it, and the methods to fix the same.
Amigo G
Last Updated: Dec 09, 2017
Garbage disposers, one among the necessary kitchen appliances in American houses, are of great help when it comes to draining unused food and leftovers, which otherwise pile up in trash cans. They do play a key role in kitchen cleaning. However, if something goes wrong with the disposal and it remains idle for a long time, it can be frustrating to get rid of all that waste food before fixing it.
This device typically consists of parts like impellers, flywheel, motor, and drain pipe. The motor makes the flywheel, which is attached to impellers, to rotate, and the impellers break the food into small particles that get drained with water through the drain pipe. In some cases, the unit can be integrated with the kitchen sink through bolts and flanges.
Fixing a disposal will become quite simple, if you take some precautionary measures such as running water while it is operating, and preventing large and tough items, or fiber-like foods from entering into the unit. Running water will continuously flush food particles, thus preventing them from solidifying. Large and hard material will just make crushing difficult and result in accumulation, thus breaking down the system entirely.
Process to Repair a Disposal Unit
Worn Impellers
Impellers are continuously involved in the crushing of the food material, which may result in their wearing out gradually. Worn impellers result in overheating the motor. In this case, you will have to sharpen them. If sharpening is not an option, you will need to replace them. You will have to disengage the unit, taking off all those fittings. Make sure that you take out the fuse and trip breaker. You can just twist garbage disposal to get it off the support ring. Disengage the flywheel by loosening its nut. Based on the severity of wear and tear, you have to decide if sharpening would serve the purpose, or you need to go for replacement.
Clogged Drain Pipe
Drain pipe can get clogged due to the food material thrown into the unit. With the traditional drain cleaner, it can be cleared. If it does not rectify the problem, clogging can be corrected using a wrench. Disconnect P trap fittings with the help of a wrench. P trap fitting can be identified as fitting of 90ยบ shape outside U bend. After unplugging this trap, look out for blockage in it and remove. If you don't find any clog in it, then you have to clear the drain pipe, using an auger to fix it.
Water leakage is a common problem. By placing your hands on different parts of the disposer, you can feel any water leaking out. If it is leaking from below, you will have to replace the seal at the flywheel. For this, disengage the garbage disposal from the drain, and after replacing, fit it back.
Stuck Flywheel
Sometimes, flywheel gets stuck resulting in motor overheating. To address this issue, turn the flywheel, rotate it in both directions by insertion of hex wrench in hex hole. Hex wrench will make the flywheel and shaft to rotate. In the absence of hex hole, you can introduce a broom handle into drain hole, and with this equipment, move impellers in any direction, which will turn the flywheel.
Thus, keep in mind all these aspects, and you will be able to take better care of your system.