Garbage Disposal Won’t Turn Off? Try These Fixes


The garbage disposal is one of the kitchen appliances that are bound to have a few issues every once in a while. Many times after dinner, you’re likely to throw whatever is left on your plate into the garbage disposal. You may not know that only certain types of foods can go in the disposal. Usually garbage disposals are meant for food scraps like pieces of meat, fruit, or vegetables. There are certain biodegradable items that should not be put down a garbage disposal and this includes fibrous vegetables.

It likely isn’t a surprise when the garbage disposal has an issue because it might’ve been weakening over time. If you’re experiencing garbage disposal issues, it’s good to know what caused it so you don’t keep ruining it. One issue that might surprise you, however, is a garbage disposal that won’t turn off. There are many ways to fix a garbage disposal that won’t turn off, however, you should always consider calling a professional to take a look at it.

How Does a Garbage Disposal Work

Knowing how a garbage disposal works will help you fix it. A garbage disposal chews up the food scraps that are fed into it down the drain with a flow of water. The disposal is mounted on the underside of the sink drain and it has an electric motor that is hardwired or plugged into a box or receptacle. This receptacle is usually located at the back of the sink.

Important: If you use Amazon a lot, you can enjoy FREE same-day delivery as well as FREE Two-Day Shipping on millions of items for 30 days with an Amazon Prime free trial. Sign up in 2 seconds with the click of a button if you're already logged into Amazon.

If you're still struggling to find good shows to watch on Netflix, you can also enjoy instant streaming of thousands of movies and TV shows. Other Prime perks include unlimited, ad-free access to over a million songs, borrowing books for FREE from the Kindle Owners' Lending Library, and skipping the lines with 2-hour delivery on a wide selection of fresh ingredients.

Inside the garbage disposal is the grinding chamber that has shredding blades. They break down the food. There’s also an impeller arm and plate that forces the particles and liquid down the drain. Dishwasher drain water also runs through the garbage disposal so that any large particles are ground up before they release the drain.

There are two types of garbage disposals that are usually available. There is a continuous feed type, which is activated by a switch as you run the water, and there’s a batch feed type, which is activated by turning a stopper after loading the disposal with garbage. Most disposals fit in the standard drain outlet. Local safety codes will determine the distance the switch must be located from the sink because the further it is from the sink, the safer it is.

Now that you know how your garbage disposal works, you can maybe pinpoint what issues it is having.

Garbage Disposal Won’t Turn Off

Unplug the Garbage Disposal

The first thing you should try when your garbage disposal is malfunctioning is unplugging it. Before you try anything else, unplugging it and plugging it back in might serve as a kind of reset for the machine.

Make sure you keep the wall switch in the off position. If the garbage disposal keeps going, then here’s what you need to do. Open the cabinet under the sink and find the power cord that goes to your disposal motor. It should be plugged into an outlet on the wall. Once you find the cord, you need to unplug it. After 10 seconds, plug it back into a different wall outlet. You can plug it back into its original outlet only after you verified that the outlet works. You might consider plugging in something that requires power to work and seeing if the outlet powers it.

Once you have a garbage disposal plugged in, flip up the switch. Once you’ve done this, the garbage disposal should not run. If you hear the garbage disposal continue running, then you have a wiring issue. You need to either have an electrician or an HVAC technician come to rewire the disposal. Well you could probably try to rewire it yourself, you want to be careful to not ruin anything especially since you’re working with electricity. It’s better to let a professional deal with the electricity issues in your house.

Check the Circuit Breaker

One of the things that could be the reason for your garbage disposal not working correctly is the circuit breaker. Your circuit breaker is operated by an electrical switch that’s made to protect us electric circuits from damage.

Your circuit breaker can be reset to operate normally again, and you don’t want to disregard it turning off because that means that there is an issue in your home. Once the circuit breaker detects what’s wrong, it must open to interrupt the circuit. This is done because the circuit breaker mechanically stores energy inside of the breaker to separate the contacts. Circuit breakers also have to use higher current caused by the Fall to separate the contacts. The smaller ones usually have manual control over the lever to switch off or reset itself.

When your garbage disposal won’t turn off, you should check for a circuit overload or a short circuit. A short circuit means that there are two wires that should not be coming in contact with each other touching. A short circuit can happen in an outlet, switch, or where there are loose wires. When an electrical short happens because of a short circuit, it causes a sudden surge of electricity in the wires and the circuit breaker will trip as a safety measure. This may cause your garbage disposal to malfunction and stay on.

A circuit overload happens when there’s too many things on the same circuit as your garbage disposal. You probably noticed that when your circuit breaks, your power goes out in your living room or other parts of your house. This means that a single circuit is powering multiple outlets and switches. This is an indication that there are too many outlets and switches being powered by one circuit. This wiring is commonly seen in houses that are over 40 years old, so this could be an issue that you’re having if you have an older house. If you haven’t gotten any of this replaced, then it’s very likely that you have a circuit overload in an older house.

To check if you’re having a short circuit or a circuit overload, here’s what you have to do. If you want to test for a circuit overload, you need to go to the electric panel when the breaker trips. Turn off all the switches in the affected areas and unplug all of the appliances and devices in this area. Make sure you wait a few minutes to see if the circuit will stay on.

Each time you turn on a light or appliance, you’ll be drawing more electricity through the wires and if the breaker trips before you turn on all the appliances, then you want to do this again but in a different order. Go through this process several times to get an idea of how many appliances you can use at the same time before you overload the circuit and it trips.

You can’t fix this issue yourself. You need to call an electrician so they can add more circuits or fix your wiring. You should leave this up to an electrician because you’re dealing with dangerous electricity in your home.

Hit the Reset Button

Here are a few reasons why you should reset your garbage disposal.

One of the reasons is when your garbage disposal will not turn on when you flip the switch. It indicates that there’s an electrical problem preventing the appliance from getting current, but also the garbage disposal might not be accepting any current. Resetting it might solve this issue. The red reset button operates a built-in circuit breaker function and it will reset it if it’s tripped.

Another sign that you need to reset your garbage disposal if the motor makes their humming sound when you flip the switch. This indicates that the inner flywheel is jammed. This causes the appliance’s reset button to pop or the circuit breaker to trip very quickly. You don’t want to deal with this for a long time because it can burn out the disposers motor unless the reset button or circuit breaker shuts the thing off. This is why you want to reset your garbage disposal first if you think this is the issue that you’re having

Another sign that you need to reset the garbage disposal is a slow drain. Slow draining can be caused by a number of problems but it’s usually caused by clogging. The solution usually involves disassembling the drain trap and discharging the pipe to remove any food waste that’s clogging the pipes. After you reconnect all of these things, you’ll definitely want to reset the garbage disposal to make sure it works correctly.

These are all signs that you need to reset your garbage disposal, but you might want to reset it every once in a while just to ensure that it is working smoothly. Here’s information on how to reset your garbage disposal properly.

How To Reset Garbage Disposal:

1. Make sure your garbage disposal switch is turned off. This is one of the first things you want to make sure you do because you don’t want to have to take a trip to the emergency room.

2. Use a flashlight to look inside of it. Look for any clogs or foreign objects that may be stopping your garbage disposal from operating correctly. If you do see these items you need to use a pair of needle-nose pliers to remove them carefully. Your garbage disposal may have a hex key Jam that you can use to remove food clogs also.

3. Now press the red button in word to reset your garbage disposal. If it does not retract, then wait 5 to 10 minutes before trying again. It should stay down after you push it.

4. Turn on cold water from your faucet. Let the garbage disposal switch into the on position and it should be running properly now.

5. If your faucet’s reset button doesn’t remain retracted or the unit makes you frequently reset the overload protector in your garbage disposal might need a component replaced or the entire thing replaced (view on Amazon). You need to contact the manufacturer for instructions or call a professional plumber to do the replacement for you.

If known of these issues are what’s wrong, then you might need a new garbage disposal (view on Amazon). There are alot of things that you can forget to do when you’re installing a garbage disposal, so you should call a professional to install it. Instead of struggling underneath your sink, calling someone who can do it in no time is a much better use of your time. When you get a new garbage disposal, you should remember to properly maintain it so it doesn’t have issues in the future.

You Need to Know This About Your Garbage Disposal

If you’re noticing problems with your garbage disposal, you need to know what’s causing the issue and if you’ll need to get the disposal repaired or replaced. Having a working disposal is crucial for any home, and fixing it is just one form of home improvement, but there are many more.

If you want to save $100s on Home Repair, learn the most important home maintenance procedures, and increase the value of your home, you can use our Home Improvement Solutions book. With it, you’ll learn about a wide range of home maintenance and improvement topics, and you’ll be able to make your home a better place to live. There are also a bunch of tips in there that’ll save you loads of time and money when it comes to repairs, DIY, and general home hacks that you can’t find anywhere else.

Whether you are a new homeowner, have owned a home for years, renting or just love home repair and improvement topics, our guide will give you an in-depth explanation of many everyday home maintenance procedures. A lot of our readers use this book to increase the value of their homes, and they’ve saved a lot of money on things like repair that would have cost a professional handyman $100s of dollars.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here