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How to Troubleshoot a Garbage Disposal Before Placing a Maintenance Request

How to Troubleshoot a Garbage Disposal Before Placing a Maintenance Request

A garbage disposal is a handy kitchen appliance, but like any machine, it can encounter problems. Before you place a maintenance request in the tenant portal, there are several troubleshooting steps you can take to try to fix the issue yourself. This guide will walk you through the process with clear instructions.

Step 1: Safety First

Important: Always ensure your safety before starting any troubleshooting. Make sure the garbage disposal is turned off and unplugged. Never put your hand in the disposal.

Step 2: Check for Obstructions

1. Use a Flashlight: Shine a flashlight into the disposal to check for any visible obstructions. Do not put your hand inside.

2. Use Tongs or Pliers: If you see any objects, use tongs or pliers to remove them carefully.

Step 3: Reset the Disposal

1. Locate the Reset Button: Find the reset button on the bottom or side of the disposal unit. It is typically a red or black button.

2. Press the Reset Button: Press the button firmly. This may resolve the issue if the disposal was overloaded.

Step 4: Check for a Jam

1. Use an Allen Wrench: Most disposals come with an Allen wrench (or hex key) to manually turn the blades and free any jams.

2. Insert the Wrench: Insert the wrench into the hole at the bottom of the disposal.

3. Turn the Wrench: Turn the wrench back and forth to dislodge any stuck objects.

Step 5: Inspect the Circuit Breaker

1. Locate the Circuit Breaker Panel: Find your home’s circuit breaker panel and check if the breaker for the garbage disposal has tripped.

2. Reset the Breaker: If it has tripped, reset it by switching it off and then on again.

Step 6: Test the Disposal

1. Plug the Disposal Back In: Once you’ve performed the above steps, plug the disposal back in.

2. Turn On the Disposal: Turn on the disposal to see if it works properly.

When to Place a Maintenance Request

If your garbage disposal still doesn’t work after these steps, it may be time to place a maintenance request. Persistent issues could indicate a more serious problem that requires expert attention.


By following these troubleshooting steps, you can potentially fix common garbage disposal issues on your own. Always prioritize safety and if you’re ever in doubt, don’t hesitate to place a maintenance request in the tenant portal.


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