Garbage Disposal Won’t Turn On – What To Do?

It's normal to feel frustrated if your garbage disposal stops working and you don't know why. Want to know what to do if this happens? You are in luck! We've researched this topic extensively to gather possible solutions to this problem, and here's what we found.

Here are the most likely causes of a garbage disposal not turning on and the steps to take to fix this problem:

  • Electrical Issues.
    1. Do a power check first.
    2. Press the reset button.
    3. Repair the electrical issue that is causing it to trip.
    4. Fix the faulty wiring.
    5. Fix the defective switch.
  • Clogs
    1. Cut off the unit's power.
    2. Light the interior of the device with a flashlight.
    3. Use tongs to reach anything stuck inside.
    4. Restart the garbage disposal.
  • Completely Broken
    1. Contact the manufacturer for its warranty coverage.
    2. Replace it with a new one.

It's essential to understand the causes and solutions for your garbage disposal if it won't work. In this article, we'll discuss each of them thoroughly and share some units available in the market. So keep on reading ahead!

Garbage Disposal under the modern sink, Garbage Disposal Won't Turn On - What To Do?

Why Won't My Garbage Disposal Turn On?

The mechanisms that dispose of the waste are pretty simple. There aren't many options for troubleshooting garbage disposal when something goes wrong.

Due to this, fixing your damaged garbage disposal is a relatively simple task.

Garbage disposal under the modern sink

When you turn on the switch, nothing may happen. However, since disposals are quite simple equipment, it is usually simple to identify the root of this issue.

Here are the three most likely reasons why your garbage disposal isn't working:

Electrical Issues

When you turn the switch, if nothing happens, there is a problem with the electricity delivered from the breaker to the disposal.

It might also imply that the disposal's power cord has inadvertently been unplugged, or it might have blown a circuit.

Portrait of a plumber at work

To resolve the issue, you could take into account the following possibilities in this order:

1. Do A Power Check

The unit must be plugged into a wall socket, and the power outlet must be switched on, even though this may seem obvious. Make sure you check this before considering anything else. According to customer helplines, unplugged appliances are the most frequent cause of this problem.

2. Press The Reset Button

If the garbage disposal receives power, it may only take hitting the reset button to solve the problem. Make sure the disposal cord is plugged in firmly first. Press the reset button if the garbage disposal doesn't function after that.

Depending on the model, you may find this button on the side or the bottom of the garbage disposal's under-sink component. You might even need to feel around the back of the device to find it.

Once you've located it, firmly press it once, then let go. Food scraps piled up too high in the garbage disposal can cause it to overheat and trip the reset switch.

Here's a YouTube video showing how to do this below:

3. Repair The Electrical Issue That Is Causing The Trip

The garbage disposal may have also tripped the electrical circuit breaker if it is properly plugged in but won't start after pressing the red reset button.

Check to see if it works by flicking the switch on the circuit breaker service panel.

At this point, it may restart running for a short time before tripping the circuit breaker. This suggests that you must examine what is tripping the circuit breaker; it could be an electrical issue or a blockage.

If a blockage is the source of the issue, determine how to clear it. Moreover, depending on your degree of electrical skill, you might need to call someone out at this stage to fix it if a blockage did not cause it to trip the circuit breaker.

But if you believe you can locate and correct the electrical issue tripping the circuit breaker, go ahead and do it.

4. Fix The Faulty Wiring

If you discover that the disposal unit did not trip the circuit breaker, the on/off switch itself may have broken wiring.

You can identify the switch and disassemble it to inspect it if you feel confident in your electrical skills. It might just be a loose connection, which many individuals can fix.

However, you might need to contact a professional if you don't think you can complete the task. Ensure the power is turned off at the panel before removing the switch from the wall or the sink.

Otherwise, you run the danger of suffering an electric shock.

5. Fix The Faulty Switch

If the wiring is not the issue, the switch may be damaged. Replace the switch and try again if your abilities are sufficient. Otherwise, you'll have to get someone to do it for you.


Female plumber fixing sink in kitchen

When you turn on your garbage disposal, you can hear a faint humming sound.

This indicates that it is clogged. This indicates that although your garbage disposal receives power, the blades cannot turn.

This frequently occurs when something hard and non-crushable gets caught in the unit's bottom blades. Follow these steps to fix this issue:

1. Cut Off The Unit's Power

Find the switch that the disposal unit is powered by first. Though it might be beneath the sink, it should be on the wall. Turn off the circuit breaker for the disposal circuit at the main service panel.

Make sure you unplug it completely to avoid electrical shock while fixing it.

2. Light The Interior Of The Device With A Flashlight

Check the garbage disposal's interior to see what might be stuck inside the blades. If the blades cannot smash something, you might notice a piece of silverware, a nutshell, a fragment of a broken plate, or something else.

Click here to see this flashlight on Amazon.

3. Use Tongs To Reach Anything Stuck Inside

Tongs are an excellent tool for this job because of their length and slenderness, which make them simple to control inside the garbage disposal.

They aren't overly delicate, so the blade won't have trouble breaking them.

Click here to see these tweezer tongs on Amazon.

4. Restart The Garbage Disposal

Restart the garbage disposal by plugging it in. If the garbage disposal's blades continue to refuse to revolve, some debris might still be stuck there. So, repeat the steps throughout.

Completely Broken

Worker is installing a household waste shredder for the kitchen sink

If your garbage disposal still won't turn on after all this, it's probably just broken. It's possible that the motor is burned out or another issue. If so, you need to:

1. Contact The Manufacturer For Its Warranty Coverage

The procedures above can repair the majority of garbage disposals. However, they cannot repair blown motors, manufacturing flaws, or leakage from a damaged casing.

Ask the manufacturer if the warranty covers a replacement if the broken garbage disposal is still relatively new.

2. Replace It With A New One

If a warranty does not cover the garbage disposal, you will be responsible for paying for the replacement or buying a new one.

Depending on the disposal you select and whether you install it yourself or hire someone, the average cost to replace one ranges from $75 to $950.

What Are Some of the Garbage Disposals Available On The Market?

If you need a complete replacement of your garbage disposal, the following are the best choices in 2022:

1. Waste King L-1001 Garbage Disposal

A cheap approach to avoid kitchen blockages is with this garbage disposal. Small food wastes can be easily broken down with its 27.3-ounce grind chamber and 0.5-horsepower motor.

A corrosion-resistant polymer was used to create the grinding chamber, assuring maximum performance and longevity.

See this Waste King garbage disposal on Amazon.

2. InSinkErator Evolution Compact Garbage Disposal

This disposal can shred tough food trash, such as chicken bones and melon rinds, using a 0.75-horsepower engine and multi-grind technology. LeakGuard liner protection is also included.

See this InSinkErator garbage disposal on Amazon.

3. InSinkErator Badger 5 Garbage Disposal

Food waste is broken down by this garbage disposal's continuous-feed grinding, driven by a 0.5-horsepower engine.

The tiny size of this garbage disposal allows it to fit easily under any kitchen sink. It is just over six inches broad and 11 inches tall.

See this InSinkErator Badger 5 garbage disposal on Amazon.

4. Moen GXS75C Host Series Garbage Disposal

This disposal is the best option for those who need to grind hard things like cooked meats, banana peels, and small fruit pits. A 0.75-horsepower motor drives this item.

To assure durability, it also has a 10-year warranty.

See this Moen Host Series garbage disposal on Amazon.

5. Waste King L-3200 Garbage Disposal

This garbage disposal is simple for any homeowner because of its powerful engine and twist-and-lock installation.

Its huge size prevents it from fitting under many sinks, but its 0.75-horsepower solid engine aids in the grinding of large food particles.

View this Waste King garbage disposal on Amazon.

Our Final Thoughts

If your garbage disposal stopped working and you can still not identify the issue after looking for clogs and electrical problems. It's time for professional plumbing repair.

A qualified plumber will examine your system to identify the cause of your garbage disposal malfunction and perform the required repairs to get it operating again.

Made it to the end? Check out these helpful related articles below:

Where Is The Best Location For Garbage Disposal Switch?

Can You Install A Garbage Disposal In Any Sink?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *