Disposer FAQ - Teevax

Disposer FAQ


Q: why does my disposer smell?

Buildup of debris.

There are many cleaning products designed specifically for disposers which may be purchased at your local appliance or hardware store, however Here at TeeVax, we recommend the following trick. First, place a few slices of lemon in your disposal. Second, dump out your icemaker bucket into the disposal and run the disposal for a few moments while also running a small amount of cold water. The ice, lemon and water will turn into a large slush like substance, continue to run the disposal for a short period of time, then run warm water to purge out the drain. This should clear the majority of any buildup in your disposal.

Restriction of drain.

If your drain is restricted, you may notice that the sink will intermittently back up with water. It is recommended to clean the disposal per the instructions under buildup of debris, however if this does not fix the problem, it may be time to call a plumber or clean the p-trap.


Q: why won’t my disposer turn on?

No power to the unit.

Verify that the disposer has power by plugging a lamp or any other device into the outlet supplying the disposer, turn on the switch you would use to turn on your disposer and verify that power is present. If the lamp doesn’t turn on, check the circuit breaker of your home, or call an electrician. If the lamp does turn on see the reset button is tripped.

The reset button is tripped.

IMPORTANT: Before pressing the reset button, make sure the wall switch is in the “off” position or, on batch feed models, remove the stopper from the “run” position.

Many disposers are equipped with an internal motor protection device. The way to reset this device is by means of pressing a button (usually red) on the bottom of the disposer. If your disposer functions after resetting this button, be certain there is no debris inside of the disposal which could be jamming the turntable / grinding plate, as there is typically a reason why your reset button has tripped. See the turntable is jammed.


The turntable is jammed.

If your disposer turns on but doesn’t rotate (usually it will make a humming noise when this happens) check to see if the turntable is stuck/jammed. Firs and foremost, be certain the disposer is unplugged! Many disposers have a small access hole in the bottom on the underside (right in the center) where you can insert an Allen Wrench to manually turn the turntable. Insert your Allan Wrench and manually turn the disposal, if you feel any resistance, odds are that there is something stuck in the turntable. Shine a flashlight in the top of your disposal to see what may be jamming it up, remove the debris and see if it works!


Q: why does my disposer back up?

Clogged sink drain.

See buildup of debris under the why does my disposer smell? Section.

Unit is not being turned on before the dishwasher is ran.

Be certain to run the disposer before starting your dishwasher. In most installations, the dishwasher drains into the disposer, if there is debris in the disposer when the dishwasher drains, dirty water may back up into the sink.


Q: why does my garbage disposal keep clogging?

The unit is being overloaded.

Keep in mind that when disposers were first introduced, they were only made to break down small things like peas or cooked beans. As time progressed, people continued to test the limits of their disposers. It isn’t uncommon for us to go out on a service call to find that a customer has been placing corn husks and potatoes down their disposal, which will typically cause an unpleasant buildup in the drain. Try running small batches through your disposer at a time while always running water down the drain, and avoid large bulky items such as potato skins, melons and fruit rinds.

Your plumbing may need to be snaked out or upgraded.

If you continue to have a persistent clog, it may be time to call a plumber to have your drain snaked and/or have your plumbing reconfigured.


If you have any further questions, please give us a call. We are always happy to help!


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