When your garbage disposal breaks, it can be a big problem. Before you rush to call the plumber, figure out what the problem is. Some issues can be taken care of with a quick fix, others will need a whole system replacement.

Won’t turn on.
There could be a short in the wiring between the switch and the disposal, in which case replacing the wiring should be a quick fix for the problem. However, it’s also possible that you have a burned out motor. The motor comprises a large part of the disposal system, and replacing it is often not worth the cost. If your disposal motor isn’t functioning properly, you’re almost certainly better off just installing an entirely new system.

Destroyed Impeller
The impeller is the part of the disposal that is responsible for chopping up the food waste you put into the chamber. The impeller is not a set of sharp blades, as many people think, but a series of blunt propeller-like protuberances that chop things up by brute force. This puts a lot of stress on the part, and often part of it will break off. While it’s definitely possible to just replace part of the impeller, if the part is in poor enough condition you might want to consider replacing the entire system. Talk to a plumber to see what they think about your specific case.

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