Garbage disposal Tips and Repair
Oh No!! The disposal doesn't work!
It doesn't even hum.
Let's fix it.
In order to attempt to fix your garbage disposal, it first helps to understand how it works. The disposal's motor powers a flywheel that throws garbage against a shredder. The resulting pulp is then flushed down the waste line.
There are two types of garbage Disposals, they are the Batch Feed - Activated by turning a stopper and the Continuous Feed - Activated by a wall switch.
Problems usually involve jams or clogs, or occasionally leaks.
If dismantling the Disposal or working on electrical connections, shut off power at the main disconnect. Never put your hand in the Disposal. Use pliers or tongs to remove an object. Never pour a chemical drain cleaner into a Disposal. Hot water and a little white vinegar will help clear drain grease and rid the disposal of foul odors.
First, turn the unit off at the wall switch. Then look under the sink and locate a small red button on the base of the unit. This is the electrical reset. If the unit is no longer humming, it probably means the overload has been tripped. Push this button in to reset the thermal overload/reset.
Try to switch the unit on. If the unit now hums but will not run, turn it off immediately. You have a jam in the disposal that needs to be cleared.
Check under the sink for a small L-shaped service wrench that looks like an Allen wrench with a bend on each end. It may be taped on the side or in a small plastic pouch stapled to the side of the cabinet. At the end of this tool is a hex wrench that fits into a hole you'll find on the bottom of the disposal, in the center. Work the wrench back and forth until the unit moves freely for several revolutions. As you move the wrench, you are moving the shaft of the disposal.
If you can't find the service wrench in your sink cabinet, you can buy one at any hardware store. Another way to free up the disposal is by working from above with a socket on the end of a long extension. There will be a hex nut on the shaft inside the disposal. No socket set, then take a broom handle and stick it in the disposal on an angle against an impeller blade and work the blade back and forth until the jam dislodges. Then press the reset button.
Now look into the disposal from above. Check for any foreign objects. Remove them with tongs. Run water and start the unit.
You should first try a plunger. seat it firml over the opening and firmly push up and down a few times. turn the awitch on and see if the clog is cleared, if not you will have to clear the trap.
The trap is the curved pipe under your sink. Loosen the slip nuts on the trap with water pump pliers. Unscrew the nuts by hand and slide them away from the connections. Once you have the trap in your hand, carefully dump out its contents and clean it with a small wire brush. We suggest that you put a bucket underneath it.
Water Pipes Banging?
You are experiencing water hammer, caused by the lack of an air cushion in the water pipes or there may be a pipe that is not securely fastened to a wall stud and it rattles when the water is shut off. This can be fixed by locating the pipe that is banging and using a pipe strap to fasten it securly.
Banging can also result when water, with no air in the pipe to ease the shock, slams into the closed valve.
It is sometimes possible to cure water hammer by draining the water out of the pipes and admitting some air.
In most homes, the water can be drained by closing the valve on the street side of the water meter and loosening the union fitting on the other side of the meter. All hot- and cold-water faucets in the house should be opened to let the water drain out. When draining stops, close all the faucets, retighten the union fitting, and open the water valve.
If the house has well water or you are in doubt about how to drain the lines, have a plumber do it.
Another treatment, which might be needed if draining doesn't work, is installing an air-cushion chamber in the noisy line. The chambers, which are available from plumbers and plumbing-supply dealers, are generally installed above or near noisy fixtures. Pieces of capped pipe 12 to 18 inches long are also sometimes used for air chambers and are easily installed on the water heater inlet and outlet pipes.
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