How To Troubleshoot A Commercial Garbage Disposal

Restaurants, cafeterias, and food services require commercial garbage disposal for shredding waste into smaller pieces and preventing clogged drains. So, if your restaurant garbage disposal shows problems, you should hire a commercial appliances repair technician to inspect and fix the issue.

If you want to carry out some inspections yourself, learn how to troubleshoot your garbage disposal.

Troubleshooting A Commercial Garbage Disposal

Leaking Commercial Garbage Disposal

There are three major reasons for leaks in garbage disposals for food businesses.

Improper Installation

If your garbage disposal is just installed and you’re noticing a leakage, the culprit is improper installation. Mostly, it will be a connection not sealed properly. So, check all the connections and make that they are fastened securely. If the leakage is from the flange, use a plumber’s putty to seal the flange.

Sink Flange Or Putty is Worn

Garbage disposal leaks from the top are due to worn sink flange or putty. If this is the case, all you need to do is reseal the top with a new sink flange or putty. For this, you will need to detach the garbage disposal, remove the old flange, and install a new flange. Similarly, if it’s a cracked or worn putty, reseal it with fresh putty again.

Loose Connections

Commercial garbage disposal is not always to blame when there is a leakage. If the leakage is coming from the side of the garbage disposal, the drain lines on the sides may be leaking due to a loose connection or deterioration.

You should tighten the metal clamps on the sides and also check the rubber gasket and replace it if it’s worn. If the garbage disposal wasn’t used for some time, the rubber gasket may have dried up. This leads to leaking.

Deteriorated Seal Within The Unit

The dreaded reason cause of a leaking commercial garbage disposal is the rusted or deteriorated internal seal of the appliance. This means that the garbage disposal unit can’t be used anymore and you should proceed with a replacement.

Even if a technician tells you that it can be repaired, the cost will be higher and the repair won’t guarantee that the same leak won’t occur again. Therefore, you’re better off replacing the garbage disposal to ensure a smooth business operation.


If the garbage disposal was hit by something, the impact can cause various types of leaks. It can crack the flange or putty, loosen the connection, or crack any other part of the unit. An inspection by a commercial dishwasher repairs technician is required to detect the problem.

Commercial Garbage Disposal Is Not Draining

The common cause of garbage disposal not draining is clogged drain lines. If the drain trap assembly is clogged, you may notice garbage disposal slow draining, not draining, or waste backing up.

Moreover, another reason for garbage disposal not draining is a clogged flywheel, impellers, or blades. Plus, if the impellers or blades have become dull, they won’t crush the waste properly leading to blockages and clogs.

Clearing Clogs

An easy method of clearing clogs in your restaurant garbage disposal is grinding ice cubes in the machine.

If ice cubes don’t clear the clog, start checking the drain itself after turning off the appliance. After clearing it, check the flywheel and other components and clean them. You can also use a plunger to clear the drain. Make sure to add liquid to the sink before using the plunger. And if it clears the blockage, remove anything you can find up what drain before turning it back on.

Moreover, to keep your garbage disposal clean, grind Lemon peels in the appliance regularly. Also, use water before, during, and after waste disposal.

If you clear the clogs and waste is still backup or the disposal is not draining, consult an appliance repairer. Moreover, the problem could be with the drain lines of your commercial property as well and you may need the help of a plumbing service for sewer and drain clogs.

Preventing Commercial Garbage Disposal Clogs

Commercial garbage disposals can remove many items but there are a lot of things you should not go there, and if they do, the garbage disposal will react in the form of clogs and waste backing up.

Things you should not put in the garbage disposal:

  • Coffee grounds
  • Eggshells
  • Potato peels
  • Banana peels
  • Solid bits and bones
  • Swelled dry food
  • Broken glass
  • Broken metal pieces

Commercial Garbage Disposal Humming

Putting heavier food items like bones can jam commercial garbage disposal. You will hear the garbage disposal humming, but the blades won’t spin.

Most models of restaurant garbage disposals can shut down automatically if the unit hums but don’t spin the blades to avoid overheating and motor failure. So, if your garbage disposal turns off after humming, you clean the garbage disposal and press the reset switch. This switch is located on the bottom of the garbage disposal.

However, if this happens again, consult an expert before it damages the motor or other components of the machine.

The problem of humming but not grinding is mostly due to large pieces of non-food items or clogs, but sometimes, it’s due to the dull blades or overheating of the machine. Therefore, clean the blades and have the motor inspected by a technician when you face this problem.

Commercial Garbage Disposal Won’t Turn On

Many things can cause a garbage disposal to not turn on. Check the circuit breaker and make sure that the breaker that gives power to the garbage disposal is on. Then, move to the outlet.

Check the outlet and the power cord of the garbage disposal. If you notice any damage to the outlet, plug the power cord into another outlet. Moreover, make sure the power cord is firmly plugged into the outlet and the cord is not damaged from any place.

Oftentimes, a garbage disposal is turned off automatically. When it does, you can’t turn it on unless you press the reset switch at the bottom of the unit. Turn on the machine after flipping the reset switch.

Be cautious: If the unit turns off again after you turn it on, you should not switch it on again and consult an appliance repairer.

Noisy Commercial Garbage Disposal

Commercial garbage disposal makes noise when operating and grinding food. But if you notice an increase in the noise or some other noise is overlapping with it, you should inspect the unit.

If you hear a metal grinding noise, it could be due to something stuck in the blades that should not be there like a spoon or a worn part of the disposal getting into the way of the blades.

Turn off the garbage disposal and look for any large items inside the garbage disposal. If you find an item, remove it, and run the appliance again. If the noise is back to normal, you can proceed with grinding food. However, if metal grinding noise is still coming, get it inspected by an expert.

On the other hand, if your garbage disposal is making squeaking noises, turn it off because the motor may be failing and contact an expert.


You can diagnose some problems with commercial garbage disposals by inspecting them yourself. However, to avoid damage to costly parts of the machine, it’s best to consult a commercial garbage disposal technician right away when you notice a problem. topac

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