5 Reasons Your Garbage Disposal Is Not Working

December 24, 2023 Published by Leave your thoughts

Food,Waste,From,The,Washing,Up,In,The,Sink,AndGarbage disposals are a convenient and efficient way to dispose of food waste in the kitchen. However, when they stop working, it can be frustrating and inconvenient. If you’re experiencing issues with your garbage disposal, there could be a number of reasons why it’s not working. Let’s take a look at some common culprits and how to troubleshoot them.

1. Power Issues

One of the first things you should check when your garbage disposal is not working is the power supply. Garbage disposals are typically powered by an electrical outlet located under the sink. Make sure the unit is properly plugged in and that the power switch is turned on. If everything appears to be in order, try resetting the circuit breaker that controls the disposal. In some cases, a tripped breaker can disrupt the power supply to the unit.

2. Jammed Impeller

Another common reason your garbage disposal may not be functioning is due to a jammed impeller. The impeller is the rotating blade that grinds up the food waste. Over time, the impeller can become jammed with food particles, causing the disposal to malfunction. To fix this issue, turn off the power to the disposal and use a hex wrench to manually rotate the impeller back and forth. This can help dislodge any obstructions that may be causing the jam.

3. Clogged Drain

If your garbage disposal is not working properly, it could be due to a clogged drain. Food particles can build up over time, leading to a blocked drain pipe. This can cause water to back up in the sink and prevent the disposal from operating. To clear a clogged drain, start by turning off the power to the disposal and then use a plunger to try and dislodge the blockage. You can also try pouring boiling water down the drain to break up any grease or debris. If the clog persists, you may need to call a professional plumber.

4. Overheating

Garbage disposals have a built-in safety feature that causes them to shut off if they become overheated. This can occur when the motor is overloaded or when there’s not enough water running through the disposal to cool it down. To resolve this issue, turn off the power to the disposal and give it some time to cool down. Once it has cooled, press the reset button located on the bottom or side of the unit. This should restore power to the disposal and allow it to work again.

5. Worn Out Parts

Over time, the components of your garbage disposal can wear out and need to be replaced. If you’ve tried troubleshooting the above issues and your disposal still isn’t working, it’s possible that one or more parts of the unit have worn out or become damaged. In this case, it’s best to contact a professional plumber who can diagnose the problem and recommend the necessary repairs or replacements.


There are several reasons why your garbage disposal may not be working. By checking the power supply, troubleshooting for obstructions, clearing clogs, addressing overheating issues, and considering worn-out parts, you can often get your garbage disposal up and running again. However, if you’re unsure about diagnosing or fixing the problem, it’s always best to seek the help of a professional appliance repair service provider. Remember to exercise caution when working with electrical appliances and always turn off the power before attempting any repairs.

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