How to Fix a GE Garbage Disposal: Step-by-Step Guide

Troubleshooting common problems with your GE garbage disposal

GE garbage disposal troubleshoot

If you own a GE garbage disposal, you know how convenient it is to have it in your kitchen. It helps to make your kitchen clean and hygienic by grinding up food waste and preventing it from clogging up your drains. However, just like any other appliances, GE garbage disposals are not immune to problems, and if you don’t know how to troubleshoot them, they can give you trouble. The good news is that most GE garbage disposal problems can be solved without the need for professional help. In this article, we will discuss some common problems that you may encounter with your GE garbage disposal and how to troubleshoot them.

No power

GE garbage disposal no power

When you flip the switch, and your GE garbage disposal doesn’t turn on, it could be an indication that there is no power. One of the first things you should do is check the reset button at the bottom of the disposal. A tripped breaker could be the reason why the reset button has been tripped. If this is the case, reset the breaker and then push the reset button on the garbage disposal. If the reset button doesn’t stay pushed in, there could be something caught inside the disposal and needs removing. If none of these works, check the wiring connections. Unplug the unit and check that all the wiring connections are tight. Sometimes the wiring connections may come loose over time, causing the unit not to get any power.

Dull blades

GE garbage disposal dull blades

If your GE garbage disposal is making strange noises or grinding very slowly, it could be that your blades have become dull. Over time, the blades of your garbage disposal will wear down from grinding up food waste. To fix this problem, you can sharpen the blades. First, unplug the disposal from the power outlet and remove any food particles inside the unit. Then, use a wrench to turn the blades in a counterclockwise direction gently. You can also use ice cubes to sharpen the blades. Simply throw some ice cubes in the unit, turn on the water, and then turn on the disposal. The ice chips will help sharpen the blades by removing any buildup and debris.


GE garbage disposal leak

A leak from your GE garbage disposal can be a big problem. It can damage your kitchen floor, cause foul odors, and attract pests to your kitchen. Fortunately, most leaks have a simple solution. If the leak is coming from the top, check the mounting bolts and tighten them. If the leak is coming from the side or the bottom of the unit, the cause is often a damaged gasket. Turn off the power to the unit and check the gasket for any signs of damage. Replace the gasket if it’s damaged. If the leak persists, it could be something more serious, and you may need to call a professional plumber.


GE garbage disposal clog

Clogs are a common problem with GE garbage disposals. Even small food particles like rice and pasta can cause clogs in your disposal and your drains. To fix this issue, turn off the power to the unit and unplug it. Use pliers or tongs to remove any visible debris inside the unit. If the jam is not easy to remove, try using a hex wrench to loosen the blades. Insert the hex wrench into the hex-shaped hole at the bottom of the unit and turn it back and forth to loosen the blades. Then, run water into the unit and turn it back on. If the unit still doesn’t work, check the drainpipes for any clogs, and clear them.

In conclusion, GE garbage disposals are designed to make your life easier in the kitchen, but they can also create problems if they are not properly cared for or maintained. By following the troubleshooting tips discussed in this article, you can solve the most common problems that you may encounter with your GE garbage disposal. However, if the problem is beyond your ability, don’t hesitate to call a professional plumber to help you fix it.

How to Fix Your GE Garbage Disposal

Steps to Reset Your GE Garbage Disposal

GE garbage disposal resetting

If your GE garbage disposal suddenly stops working, it could be due to an overload, jam, or electrical issue. Fortunately, most of these issues can be resolved by resetting the appliance. Here are the steps to reset your GE garbage disposal:

  1. Turn off the power supply: Your GE garbage disposal has a power cord that is plugged into an electrical outlet under the sink. Find the outlet and unplug the power cord before doing anything else. This will ensure that you don’t accidentally shock yourself while working on the disposal.
  2. Clear the jam: Sometimes, your GE garbage disposal might jam due to food waste buildup. To clear the jam, use a flashlight to locate the jammed object. Then, use pliers or tongs to remove the object and dispose of it. Once the jam is clear, insert the hex wrench (provided by the manufacturer) into the hole at the bottom of the disposal unit. Move the wrench back and forth to free any stuck impellers. Do this until the wrench turns freely in a full circle.
  3. Reset the appliance: After clearing the jam, you’re ready to reset the GE garbage disposal. First, locate the red reset button at the bottom of the appliance. Press the button firmly until you feel a slight click. Make sure to only press the button once. If you press the button multiple times, it won’t reset the disposal.
  4. Turn on the power supply: Once you’ve reset the disposal, plug the power cord back into the electrical outlet. Then, turn on the water to make sure it’s flowing properly. Finally, turn on the power supply to see if the appliance is working properly. If it doesn’t turn on or continues to malfunction, there might be a more serious issue.

Resetting your GE garbage disposal is a relatively easy task that can be done in just a few minutes. However, it’s important to take the necessary safety precautions like turning off the power supply to avoid electrical shocks. If resetting the disposal doesn’t work, it’s best to call a professional to diagnose and fix the issue.

Methods to unclog your GE garbage disposal

Garbage disposals have become an integral part of our kitchens with the convenience they offer in disposing of food waste materials. They work by grinding food waste down to tiny particles that are flushed out of your home through the drain pipes. However, when these particles accumulate inside the disposal system, they can clog the drain pipes or disrupt the proper functioning of your GE garbage disposal. When this happens, it can lead to unpleasant odors, slow draining sinks, and eventually, hefty repair costs.

Luckily, unclogging a GE garbage disposal isn’t as challenging as it may seem. Here are some methods you can use to remove any clogs in your garbage disposal and get it back to working condition.

1. Using a plunger

A plunger is a handy tool in every household, and it turns out to be an effective tool in unclogging your GE garbage disposal. First, ensure that the disposal unit is unplugged from the socket. Then, fill your sink with a little water and place the plunger cup over the drain, and create a vacuum seal around it.

Once you establish the vacuum seal, push and pull the plunger forcefully for a few minutes. The alternating pressure created will dislodge the clogs and push them out of the drain pipe. Remove the plunger, turn on the disposal unit, and run water through the drain to confirm the removal of the clog.

2. Using baking soda and vinegar

Baking soda and vinegar are kitchen staples that are useful in various ways in the household, including unclogging GE garbage disposals. To use, pour a cup of baking soda into the drain of your garbage disposal, and give it a few minutes to work its way down to the disposal unit.

Next, pour a cup of white vinegar down the drain, which will react with the baking soda’s base to create a fizzing effect, which helps to break up any accumulated clogs in the disposal. After a few minutes, turn on the disposal unit and rinse it out with hot water.

3. Use a plumbing snake

If you’re dealing with stubborn clogs that cannot be removed with a plunger or vinegar and baking soda mixture, using a plumbing snake is a surefire way of clearing them out.

First, turn off the garbage disposal from the circuit breaker to avoid any accidents. Insert the plumbing snake into the drain pipe, and rotate the handle. The snake will grab onto the clog and either break it down or pull it out of the garbage disposal. Once done, turn on the disposal unit and run it with hot water to flush out any remaining debris.

With these useful tips, your GE garbage disposal should be functioning efficiently and smoothly in no time. In cases where the clog is too stubborn, don’t hesitate to call in a professional to avoid causing harm to yourself or further damage to the disposal unit.

How to replace a broken or faulty part in your GE garbage disposal

GE garbage disposal repair

If one of the parts in your GE garbage disposal has broken or isn’t functioning correctly, you may need to replace it. Here are some steps to follow for common repairs:

Broken flywheel

Broken flywheel

If your garbage disposal won’t turn on or makes strange noises, the flywheel may be the problem. This part rotates rapidly to grind food waste. Over time, hard objects such as bones or fruit pits can break the flywheel.

To replace it:

  1. Unplug the disposal.
  2. Disconnect the drain trap and mounting assembly.
  3. Remove the disposal from the sink flange.
  4. Remove the flywheel and bearing assembly from the disposal.
  5. Install the new flywheel and bearing assembly in the disposal.
  6. Reassemble the disposal and mounting assembly.
  7. Test the disposal to make sure it’s working properly.

It’s important to make sure the disposal is completely unplugged before attempting any repairs.

Leaking sink flange

Leaking sink flange

The sink flange is the part that connects the garbage disposal to your sink. If it’s loose or damaged, it can cause a leak. Water may leak from the sink flange or from the mounting screws. In some cases, the sink flange may need to be replaced.

To replace it:

  1. Unplug the disposal.
  2. Disconnect the drain trap and mounting assembly.
  3. Loosen the mounting screws that hold the sink flange in place.
  4. Remove the sink flange from the sink.
  5. Remove any old putty or silicone adhesive from around the sink opening.
  6. Install the new sink flange using plumber’s putty or silicone adhesive.
  7. Tighten the mounting screws to secure the sink flange in place.
  8. Reassemble the disposal and mounting assembly.
  9. Test the disposal to make sure it’s working properly.

Burning smell or loud noise

Burning smell or loud noise

If your disposal is making a loud noise or emitting a burning smell, the motor may be overheating. Overheating can cause the motor to burn out, so it’s important to address the problem as soon as possible.

To fix the problem, you may need to replace the following parts:

  • Splash guard: The splash guard prevents water and food waste from splashing out of the disposal. If it’s missing or damaged, water can leak into the motor and cause damage.
  • Magnetic ring: The magnetic ring helps activate the motor when you turn on the disposal. If it’s damaged, the motor may not turn on or may make a loud noise.
  • Motor: If the motor is not functioning correctly, it may need to be replaced.

To replace these parts:

  1. Unplug the disposal.
  2. Disconnect the drain trap and mounting assembly.
  3. Remove the disposal from the sink flange.
  4. Remove the splash guard from the disposal.
  5. Remove the magnetic ring from the disposal.
  6. Remove the old motor from the disposal.
  7. Install the new motor, magnetic ring, and splash guard in the disposal.
  8. Reassemble the disposal and mounting assembly.
  9. Test the disposal to make sure it’s working properly.

Replacing the motor can be a more advanced repair, so it may be helpful to consult a professional if you’re unsure how to proceed.

Jammed disposal

Jammed disposal

If your disposal won’t turn on or makes a humming noise, it may be jammed. Food waste can get stuck in the disposal, preventing it from functioning correctly.

To fix the problem:

  1. Unplug the disposal.
  2. Look for any visible objects stuck in the disposal and remove them with pliers or tongs.
  3. Insert the hex wrench into the bottom of the disposal and turn it back and forth to free any debris.
  4. Plug in the disposal and test it to make sure it’s working properly.

If these steps don’t solve the problem, you may need to call a professional to repair or replace the disposal.

Overall, maintaining your GE garbage disposal can help prolong its lifespan and prevent the need for expensive repairs. Regularly cleaning the disposal and avoiding putting hard objects or fibrous foods down the drain can help prevent problems.

Tips for maintaining your GE garbage disposal to prevent future issues

maintain garbage disposal

Maintaining your GE garbage disposal is not only crucial for its longevity but also for its efficiency and preventing future issues. Here are some tips you can follow to ensure your garbage disposal runs smoothly.

1. Keep it clean

cleaning a garbage disposal

Keeping your garbage disposal clean is essential to prevent unpleasant smells, clogs, and corrosion buildup. You can use a mixture of warm water and dish soap and pour it into the garbage disposal then run it for a few seconds. Alternatively, you can use vinegar ice cubes or lemon wedges to clean the disposal and give it a nice scent.

2. Watch what you put in it

what not to put in a garbage disposal

Not everything can go into your garbage disposal. Avoid putting fibrous foods, large bones, grease, oil, and non-food items. These objects can dull the blades, clog the pipes or cause damage to the motor, and in worst cases, require repair or replacement. Always dispose of these items elsewhere.

3. Run cold water

cold water in garbage disposal

Running cold water when using the garbage disposal helps to solidify grease and oil and prevents it from accumulating and clogging the pipes. Cold water also helps to chop and flush away the debris, preventing the disposal from overheating and getting damaged.

4. Use it often

use garbage disposal often

It may sound counterintuitive, but regularly using the garbage disposal can help to keep it in good condition. Running the disposal frequently prevents rust or corrosion from building up in the blades or the pipes, as well as keeping the parts lubricated. If you go a long time without using the disposal, it can seize up, making it harder and more expensive to fix.

5. Hire a professional for servicing

garbage disposal maintenance professional

To prevent future issues with your garbage disposal, you can call in a professional plumber to check and maintain it regularly. A plumber can clean and inspect the parts, repair any leaks or damages and offer advice on proper maintenance. Additionally, a plumber can detect and prevent issues from occurring, saving you money in the long run.

Routine servicing not only ensures you have a functioning disposal system but a healthy and safe kitchen environment. Homeowners who are proactive in keeping their garbage disposal system operating correctly have fewer emergency needs and more use between service appointments.

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