Help! My Garbage Disposal Stopped Working and I Don’t Know Why!

When your garbage disposal stops working, it can disrupt the flow of your kitchen. There are a number of reasons your disposal may quit operating, but it’s not always easy to pinpoint the problem. Keep reading for the most common reasons for garbage disposal malfunctions and what you can do to get it running again.

Most Common Garbage Disposal Problems

Not sure what’s going on with your garbage disposal? Here are some possibilities:

Electrical Issues: If you attempt to turn on your disposal and nothing happens, you are probably looking at an electrical problem. There may be a blown circuit, or the plug of the disposal is not in the electrical outlet, cutting off the power to the appliance. A few of troubleshooting steps you can try include:


  • Check the plug to make sure it’s plugged securely into the electrical outlet
  • Hit the reset button located underneath the unit
  • Check the electrical panel in your home to see if there’s a tripped circuit. If so, you can flip the circuit back into position.

If none of these steps turn on the disposal, you should call a professional plumber.

Clogs: A clogged garbage disposal will typically hum when you turn it on. The sound indicates it is getting power, but something is keeping the blades from turning as they should. It’s possible there is something hard lodged within the blades. If you want to check for clogs, be sure to turn off the power to the disposal first by unplugging the unit; then, you can use a flashlight and tongs to grab whatever is inside. Always use great care, so you don’t cut your hand on the blades.


Broken beyond Repair: Sometimes, there’s really nothing you can do to bring your garbage disposal back to life. The average lifespan of a typical disposal is 10-12 years. If it is close to this age and seems to be giving up the ghost, it’s time for a professional garbage disposal replacement.

If you need help diagnosing your garbage disposal problem or think it may be time for a repair or replacement, connect with our team at Stormy Plumbing now. Our experts will get your kitchen back in optimal working order right away. Contact us online now or call 803-201-2689 to schedule service if your garbage disposal stopped working.