Garbage Disposal

When you are using the disposal, keep the cold water running to flush food particles down the pipe.  Do not use the garbage disposal for medical products, meat, bones, or fibrous material such as corn husks, coffee grinds, rice, or animal fat as this will clog the disposal and damage the motor. Try not to overload the grinding chamber. This may jam or burn out the motor.

Do not attempt to dislodge any items by reaching or looking into the drain while the garbage disposal is in use. If you have access to your circuit breaker, turn the power off to the garbage disposal. Be sure the disposal is first switched "off."

Tips to keep your garbage disposal working:

  • Grind food waste with moderate flow of cold water until grinding is complete.
  • Grind peelings from citrus fruits or baking soda to eliminate odors in your drain. You may use a household disposal cleaner, degreaser or deodorizer as needed.
  • Try not to overload the grinding chamber. This may jam or burn out the motor.

PLEASE NOTE: Improper use of the garbage disposal will cause the dishwasher to overflow as it uses the same sink drain. Always run the garbage disposal before turning the dishwasher on.

Not Working

If your disposal isn’t working correctly, try the reset button.  Usually this will be a red button on the bottom of the garbage disposal. The garbage disposal is the cylindrical item directly under the sink. Underneath the disposal, you should find a red reset button. Press the button so that it stays depressed. Next, run the water and try the disposal.  If you are still having trouble, submit a FixIt request.

Have a maintenance request?

Submit your maintenance issue through FixIt, our on-line maintenance portal. 

Emergency requests should be called into Facilities Central at 202-994-6706 option 2.