Garbage Disposal Plumbing

It seems to happen at the most inconvenient times. You’re having family over for dinner. You’re on your way to work. The babysitter drops eggshells in the drain. The garbage disposal hums, won’t drain and stops working. You’re left scratching your head wondering how to fix your garbage disposal so that you can go about your day. Before calling a professional plumber, try these four insider secrets to fixing a garbage disposal.

The garbage disposal hums.

A humming garbage disposal is an indication that the motor isn’t spinning the disposer wheel. Take the Allen wrench that was included with your disposal and insert it into the center of the bottom of the disposal and turn it clockwise. It should release and spin when you test it. While it’s good that it has started running, it’s an indication of a bad motor. You may need to replace the garbage disposal sooner rather than later.

Eggshells are lodged in the garbage disposal.

Eggshells are on the short list of things to avoid putting down the garbage disposal. The membrane can get caught on the blades or the shells can ground into a sand-like consistency that clogs the drain. Turn the power off and work to get the eggshell membrane or stuck shells loose.

The garbage disposal doesn’t drain.

If your disposal isn’t draining you may have food buildup like rice, potatoes, eggshells or stringy vegetables, such as celery, asparagus, carrots or lettuce. Turn the disposal off and check the lines for a major clog. Then grab a bucket so that you can catch the water and food build up when you work to unclog the drain.

The garbage disposal needs to be reset.

Garbage disposals work hard to pulverize your food and sometimes they need to be reset. It’s one of the first things to check when your disposal stops working. Take a look at the bottom of the disposal to see if a red button has popped out. That’s the reset button. If it has popped out, push it back in and test the disposal.
Always remember to turn the power off to your garbage disposal before attempting to fix it. We hope your humming or non-draining disposal can be fixed or reset using these four secrets. If you still have problems with your garbage disposal, visit us on Yelp, or call Quail Plumbing at 480-945-6676.



  1. Avatar for Dave
    June 22, 2017

    Good tips. If it’s not working you can attempt to fix and reset your garbage disposal. Usually it’s an easy fix. Serious problems typically come later down the road which will require a plumber or even replacing.

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