How To Repair A Garbage Disposal That Has A Burning Smell

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  • Rated as REALLY EASY
  • 1 step by step video

Motor and Motor Capacitor

If your food waste disposer has a burning smell, it may be jammed with food debris or a foreign object may be in the grinding chamber causing the motor to overheat. Disconnect the power and look into the sink drain opening. If there is a foreign object that is visible, try to remove it by rotating the grinding plate manually. On some models this can be done from the bottom of the unit with a special offset wrench that would be supplied with the unit. For other models you can try to rotate the grinding plate from the top opening using a wooden lever such as a broom handle. When the foreign object or food jam has been cleared then you can reconnect the power and operate the unit while flushing with cold water. If the burning smell remains or if the grinding chamber was clear, then you may have a damaged motor or motor capacitor. These are usually not available as replacement parts and the disposer may need to be changed.

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