Fixing a Garbage Disposal that Won't Grind
If your garbage disposal isn't grinding food, it may have stuck impellers.
Before attempting to repair your garbage disposal, read and understand the entire InSinkErator safety and installation instructions listed below.
Bones or Fruit Pits for grinding
Tongs or Pliers
- Your garbage disposal uses two swiveling impellers to push food around inside the chamber. These impellers must turn freely for the garbage disposal to work efficiently.
1. To check if the impellers move freely, look down into the garbage disposal using a flashlight.
To check if the impellers move freely, look down into the garbage disposal using a flashlight. (Before looking down the garbage disposal, make sure the power to the garbage disposal is turned off.) You should see two metal objects located on the "floor" of the garbage disposal. They should be across from each other, half way between the walls of the garbage disposal and the center of the rotating disk.
2. Use a spoon handle to push on each of these impellers.
Use a spoon handle to push on each of these impellers. They should move around very easily.
3. If the impellers do not move easily, you should place some hard food items like bones or fruit pits into the garbage disposal.
If the impellers do not move easily, you should place some hard food items likes bones or fruit pits into the garbage disposal. Beef round steak bones work best. Pork chop bones work pretty well too. Chicken bones don't work well at all. Three or four fruit pits or round steak bones should suffice. Because of their size and shape, pork chop bones should be used one at a time.
4. Place the hard material into the garbage disposal, turn on the water, then turn on the garbage disposal.
Place the hard material into the garbage disposal, turn on the water, then turn on the garbage disposal. Don't be afraid of the noise. Your garbage disposal is a very durable appliance specifically designed to grind these types of items. The material will take a minute or two to grind. Leave the garbage disposal and the water on until the loud grinding sounds go away.
5. Turn the garbage disposal off, then look into the chamber with a flashlight.
6. Sometimes this procedure reveals a foreign object, like a coin or screw, stuck in the garbage disposal.
Sometimes this procedure reveals a foreign object, like a coin or screw, stuck in the garbage disposal. If you see something unexpected in the garbage disposal, make sure the garbage disposal is off and remove the object using tongs or pliers.
7. If the impellers are still not moving freely, repeat steps 1 through 6 in the process once or twice more.
If three attempts to free the impellers by grinding bones fails, your garbage disposal may require service.
Still Not Working?
If after following our troubleshooting solutions, your garbage disposal still doesn't run, it may need service. If the problem with your garbage disposal is due to a quality issue, InSinkErator may pay to have an authorized service center service the garbage disposal in your home at no charge to you.
Tips For Success
- Run garbage disposal along with a moderate flow of cold water. Continue to run cold water for a few seconds after grinding is complete.
- Avoid using hot water when grinding food waste. It is OK to drain hot water into the garbage disposal between grinding periods.
- Never pour grease or fat into your garbage disposal or drain.
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