How to Repair a GE Garbage Disposal

A garbage disposal is an important part of most kitchens, one that many people can't live without.
Credit: Bill Oxford/iStock/GettyImages

A garbage disposal is an important part of most kitchens, one that many people can't live without. So when you flip the switch and your GE garbage disposal starts humming, it's not because it doesn't know the words. It's because there's a problem. If your GE disposal GFC325V is not working, it might be something you can fix yourself, saving you the cost of having to call in a plumber.

Common Reasons for Disposal Problems

A common cause of GE garbage disposal problems is a faulty switch or lack of power to the disposal. A batch feed disposal works by placing a stopper in the top of the disposal and twisting it, activating a switch that turns the disposal on. If the switch is bad, the disposal will not turn on when twisting the stopper and will need to be replaced.

If you have the more common continuous feed GE garbage disposal and nothing happens when you flip the switch to turn it on, the first thing to check is the wall switch or outlet. Also check your breaker or fuse box. If the disposal is getting power but will not turn on, it might have gone on reset. If it makes a humming noise, your GFC325F garbage disposal is probably jammed.

How to Unjam Your Disposal

Step 1: Press the Reset Button

If the motor overloads because your GE GFC325F garbage disposal jammed, it will go on reset and shut off. To reset, turn off the wall switch or unplug the cord under the sink. GE Appliances instructs to wait two to five minutes, then turn the switch back on. Locate the red reset button, usually on the bottom but sometimes on the side of the disposal. Press the reset button, hold for a second, and release. Test to see if your GE garbage disposal works.

Step 2: Turn Off the Power

If the disposal didn't go on reset, there might be a utensil or plastic stuck in the garbage disposal. First, turn off the power switch to your GE garbage disposal. If the disposal is plugged into an outlet under the sink, unplug the cord.

Step 3: Use an Allen Wrench

Find the opening at the bottom of the disposal, located at the center of the housing. Insert a 1/4-inch Allen wrench into the opening and work it back and forth until it moves easily. This is designed to free a stuck grinding plate. Most disposals come with a wrench, but if you don't have yours, any 1/4-inch Allen wrench will work.

Step 4: Look Inside the Drain Opening

If your GE disposal GFC325V is not working or still feels jammed after trying to work the wrench back and forth, look into the drain opening at the top with a flashlight to try to locate the obstruction. If you find that there is silverware or a piece of plastic stuck in the garbage disposal, you can try to pull it out with a pair of tongs. Never reach into a disposal with your hands, even if the power is off.

Step 5: Try a Broom Handle

If you can't find the obstruction or it can't be removed, insert a broom handle or a long screwdriver into the drain opening and wiggle the plate until you can move it freely back and forth. Once the grinding plate is free, turn the power back on and try the disposal. If it still hums or doesn't work correctly, the disposal will need to be replaced.

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Gary Sprague

Gary Sprague

Gary Sprague is a retired master plumber who now works as a writer. He lives with his family in Maine.