Serving the Lower Mainland
Garbage Disposal

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Garburators are useful for getting rid of a variety of food scraps that might otherwise create unpleasant odors in the kitchen, and it can help to minimize clogs by breaking up food before it enters your piping system. When they get clogged or stop working, that's when you realize the convenience they bring to your everyday life.

Many foods can actually damage your disposal unit making it useless. Even the most efficient models cannot get rid of every item and may cause damage to your garburator or food waste disposal system.

A garburator is a relatively simple machine. It generally operates trouble-free for several years. But like any appliance, eventually it can run into issues. Before you begin making any garburator repairs, always remember to unplug or turn off the electrical circuit that powers it. Never stick your hand directly into a garburator.

Every Dryer Make and Model

Trying to fix your garburator can often cost you more time and money than it’s worth. Sometimes a new disposal is a cheaper alternative than repairing the old one. Just like many other appliances, the newer garbage disposals are more efficient than older models, (not to mention quieter). At ElectraFix Appliance Repair one of our experienced plumbers will be happy to come to your home, diagnose the problem, and advise you on the right products available to serve your needs and budget.

Garburators Repair Questions
Garbage Disposal Will Not Turn On

If the disposal will not turn on when you flip the switch and you do not hear the humming sound of the motor, it indicates there is an electrical problem that is preventing the appliance from getting current. To identify the problem and fix it, begin with the most likely problem (and easiest solution) and proceed to the more complicated:

  • Make sure the disposal is plugged in. This may seem obvious, but appliance customer service representatives report that failure to plug in the appliance is by far the most common source of problems.
  • If it is plugged in, then press the reset button found on the bottom of the unit. This red button operates a built-in circuit breaker function, and if the reset button has "tripped," it will be popped slightly outward. Simply pushing it back in will reset the unit.
  • If depressing the disposal reset button doesn't work, then check the main service panel to see if the circuit breaker has tripped. If so, reset the circuit breaker's lever.
  • If neither the reset button nor the circuit breaker is the cause, then it's possible that there is a wiring problem with the switch controlling the disposal, or that the garbage disposal itself is faulty.
  • First, locate the switch that powers the disposal unit. It should be located on the wall, but it may be under the sink.
  • At the main service panel, turn off the circuit breaker that powers the disposal circuit.
  • Disassemble the switch controlling the disposal. Inspect the wire connections. In some cases, a simple loose connection may be the cause of the problem, and the remedy is as simple as tightening the wire connections.
  • If the wire connections are secure, it's possible the switch itself is bad. Replace the switch.
  • Turn power back on at the service panel and check the disposal for operation.
  • If the disposal still does not turn on and the motor makes no noise, the garbage disposal is beyond repair and needs to be replaced.
Garburator is Jammed

The tell tale sign of a jammed garburator is when the motor hums but the garburator does not grind. This problem often means that a piece of food is stuck between an impeller blade and the drain hole. Do not run the garburator when it is jammed; this will only burn out the motor. To clear a jammed garburator:

  • Unplug the unit or turn off the circuit breaker
  • Free the impellers. Look at the bottom of the disposal for a hex-shaped hole. Once you find it, find a ¼-inch hex wrench that fits the hole. Fit the hex wrench into the hole and turn it back and forth to free the impellers.
  • If your garburator does not have a hex hole, you can try to force the impellers out. With the power disconnected, force an item (short broom stick for example) into the garburator and down against one of the blades.
  • If something has been put into the garburator that shouldn’t have, use tongs or pliers to pull the material out. You should never use your hand. Items that should not go into your garburator include: metal, rubber, glass, and fibrous food waste such as banana peels.
  • If nothing else has worked to remove the jammed object, you may have to remove the garburator to clear out the jam.
Garburator is Sluggish

If you find that your garburator is grinding slower than usual, it could mean that you are not running enough water while the unit is operating. If you can hear the garburator running, but it is not grinding, the blades may be broken. If this is the case, it is usually easier and less expensive to replace the entire unit. If you would like help replacing your garburator, contact us.


your garburator doesn’t do anything when you try to use it – meaning it doesn’t hum or make a sound, the problem is most likely that it is not receiving power. To fix this issue, look for the reset button on the underside of the garburator and press the button. If that does not fix the issue, unplug the garburator from the electrical outlet and test the outlet with another appliance. You will be able to figure out if the electrical outlet is broken. If this still does not fix the issue, go to the circuit breaker panel in your house and reset the breaker that serves the disposal (it will often be the same circuit used by the dishwasher).