Sunday, March 9, 2008

Garbage disposal repair

Last week while trying to drain something from our kitchen sink our garbage disposal gave up on us. Turning the switch ON and OFF created a humming sound of a motor that was trying its best to start but did not have the energy.
A garbage disposal is nothing but a blender. Our garbage disposal is a Whirlaway by Sinkmaster which my guess is might be around 10 years old. Googled on garbage disposal repair, garbage disposal problems lead me to many sites both in google videos which demo'd how to repair the disposal as well as online forums on which successful handymen were giving their suggestions. First few things to check on a garbage disposal problem (thanks to this link.

1. Can you hear the motor spinning ? If yes go to step 2, if not try to reset the typically RED reset button which is located either on the bottom or on in some cases on the side of the disposal. IF that does not work then the fuse is blown off or there is some electrical problem.
2. Motor is trying to spin but something is jammed. Please switch off power supply at this point. With the motor switched off try to see if there is anything visibly jammed in the blades (that is the first thing you will notice when viewed from the top). Typically one might see spoons, forks or bones when viewed from the top. There are generally two small holes along the circumference at 12 o clock and 6 o clock. I tried to use the wrench to make the blade turn. No luck in that.

With modern garbage disposals one can use a wrench and turn the blades in different directions to loosen them. This small hole is found at the bottom of the garbage disposal.
Unfortunately my garbage disposal did not have the small hole at the bottom and hence I had to try different things. A wooden broom handle came to my rescue. i used the broom handle from the top of the sink to make the blades turn in all direction.
Finally I could get the blades running and then I had cold water running in it and used it to turn the blades and I liked the sound when I switched my garbage disposal switch to ON position.

Googling for garbage disposal care yielded this product
Do not let food sit on the garbage disposal for long and use cold water.

Caution: Please turn off power supply while doing any activity/repair on the garbage disposal.