Garbage Disposal Trips GFCI? Here’s How to Fix It

They say that one person’s trash is another person’s treasure. But what happens when your garbage disposal becomes more of a headache than a helpful tool?

If you find yourself constantly tripping the GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) with your garbage disposal, fear not! I’m here to guide you through the process of fixing this common issue.

Let’s dive in and get that garbage disposal back up and running smoothly!

Garbage Disposal Trips GFCI? What Should I Do Now?

If your garbage disposal trips GFCI, follow these steps: 1. Check the power source and connections, and reset the GFCI outlet if needed. 2. Inspect the wiring for damage or fraying, and replace any damaged wires or tighten loose connections. 3. Clear blockages or jams with an Allen wrench and remove foreign objects.

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Key Takeaways

  • Check the power source and connections, and reset the GFCI outlet if needed.
  • Inspect the wiring for damage or fraying and replace any damaged wires or tighten loose connections.
  • Clear blockages or jams in the disposal using an Allen wrench and check for foreign objects in the disposal chamber.
  • Regular maintenance, such as avoiding disposing of hard items and running water before and after use, can prevent issues with the garbage disposal from tripping the GFCI.

Check the Power Source

Now, let’s see if the power source is causing all the trouble by checking if there’s a loose connection or a faulty GFCI switch.

When it comes to troubleshooting tips for a garbage disposal that keeps tripping the GFCI, one of the first things you should do is examine the power source.

Start by making sure that the disposal is securely plugged into an outlet and that there are no frayed or damaged wires. If everything seems fine with the physical connection, move on to inspecting the GFCI switch.

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The GFCI switch is designed to protect against electrical shock by quickly shutting off power when it detects a fault in the circuit. However, these switches can sometimes become faulty themselves.

To check if this is the case, press the ‘test’ button on your GFCI switch to see if it trips and cuts off power. If it doesn’t trip or reset properly, then you may need to replace the GFCI switch.

Another common electrical issue that can cause a garbage disposal to trip a GFCI is water getting into places it shouldn’t be. Check for any signs of moisture or water damage near your garbage disposal and its wiring connections. If you find any, make sure to thoroughly dry them before attempting to use your disposal again.

By following these troubleshooting tips and checking for common electrical issues with your power source, you can determine whether or not this is causing your garbage disposal to trip the GFCI switch.

Reset the GFCI Outlet

First, you’ll want to check if the outlet has been tripped and needs resetting. This is a common problem with garbage disposals that can easily be fixed by following a few troubleshooting tips.

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Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Locate the GFCI outlet: The Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) outlet is designed to protect you from electrical shocks by shutting off power when it detects a fault. It usually has two buttons – ‘Test’ and ‘Reset’ – located in the middle of the outlet.
  2. Press the ‘Reset’ button: If the GFCI outlet has tripped, simply press the ‘Reset’ button firmly until it clicks into place. This should restore power to your garbage disposal.
  3. Test the garbage disposal: After resetting the GFCI outlet, test your garbage disposal by turning it on. If it still trips the GFCI, there may be another underlying issue that requires further investigation.

By following these steps and troubleshooting tips, you can tackle common problems with your garbage disposal tripping the GFCI outlet. However, if the issue persists or you’re unsure about performing any electrical work yourself, it’s always best to consult a professional for assistance.

Inspect the Wiring

To ensure the safety and functionality of your electrical system, it is advised that you inspect the wiring of your garbage disposal.

Start by checking the circuit breaker to see if it has tripped. If it has, reset it and test the disposal again. If the problem persists, move on to inspect the motor.

When inspecting the wiring, there are a few key areas to focus on. First, visually examine all wires for any signs of damage or fraying. Any exposed wires should be replaced immediately to avoid potential electrical hazards.

Next, check all wire connections for tightness and make sure they are securely fastened. Loose connections can cause intermittent power issues or even complete failure.

In order to guide you through this inspection process, here is a table outlining what to look for:

Wiring ComponentPotential ProblemsRecommended Action
WiresDamage or frayingReplace

By following these steps and thoroughly examining the wiring in your garbage disposal, you can identify any potential issues that may be causing your GFCI to trip. Remember to always prioritize safety when working with electricity and consult a professional if needed.

Clear any Blockages or Jams

Take a moment to check if there are any obstructions or blockages causing your garbage disposal to get stuck. This is a common issue that can easily be fixed without the need for professional help. Here’s how to troubleshoot garbage disposal issues and clear any blockages or jams:

  • Turn off the power: Before you begin, make sure to turn off the power to your garbage disposal at the breaker box. This will prevent any accidents while working on it.
  • Use an Allen wrench: Locate the small hole underneath your garbage disposal unit and insert an Allen wrench into it. Gently move it back and forth to dislodge any objects that may be causing the jam.
  • Check for foreign objects: Using a flashlight, carefully inspect inside the disposal chamber for any foreign objects such as bones, fruit pits, or utensils. Remove them using tongs or pliers.

Regular maintenance is important for keeping your garbage disposal in good working condition. Be mindful of what you put down the drain and avoid disposing of hard items that can cause damage or clogs.

Additionally, running water before and after each use can help flush out food particles and prevent build-up.

By following these troubleshooting steps and practicing regular maintenance, you can keep your garbage disposal running smoothly and avoid future problems.

Call a Professional if Necessary

If all else fails and your garbage disposal is still giving you trouble, it may be time to bring in a professional to work their magic.

Hiring an electrician who specializes in garbage disposal repairs can save you time, effort, and potentially costly mistakes. These experts have the knowledge and tools necessary to troubleshoot the problem efficiently.

When you hire an electrician, they will first assess the issue by conducting a thorough inspection of your garbage disposal system. They will check for any faulty wiring or connections that could be causing the GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) to trip. This safety feature is designed to protect against electrical shock by automatically shutting off power when it detects a ground fault.

Once the electrician identifies the root cause of the problem, they will take appropriate measures to fix it. This may involve replacing damaged components, repairing faulty wiring, or even installing a new GFCI outlet if necessary. Their technical expertise ensures that the repair is done correctly and safely.

By hiring a professional electrician, you can rest assured knowing that your garbage disposal issues will be addressed effectively. Troubleshooting electrical problems can be complex and dangerous without proper training, so it’s best left in the hands of professionals who know what they’re doing.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can a garbage disposal trip the GFCI outlet even if it is not turned on?

Yes, a garbage disposal can trip the GFCI outlet even if it’s not turned on. This is often caused by water leaking into the disposal or a faulty electrical component.

Can a faulty GFCI outlet cause a garbage disposal to trip?

Yes, a faulty GFCI outlet can cause a garbage disposal to trip. Troubleshooting a garbage disposal involves checking the GFCI outlet for any faults and repairing or replacing it if necessary.

How often should the wiring of a garbage disposal be inspected?

Wiring inspection frequency for troubleshooting a garbage disposal depends on usage and age. Generally, it is recommended to inspect the wiring every 1-2 years to ensure proper functioning and identify any potential issues before they become major problems.

What are some common blockages or jams that can cause a garbage disposal to trip the GFCI?

Common causes of a garbage disposal tripping the GFCI include blockages from food particles, foreign objects, or excessive grease. Troubleshooting tips involve checking for obstructions, resetting the GFCI outlet, and ensuring proper electrical connections.

What are the signs that indicate it is time to call a professional to fix a garbage disposal?

If you notice any of these signs of malfunctioning garbage disposal, it’s time to call a professional: strange noises, frequent tripping of the circuit breaker, leaks, or if it fails to turn on at all. To troubleshoot a garbage disposal, check for blockages, and reset the unit.


In conclusion, troubleshooting a garbage disposal that keeps tripping the GFCI can be a complex task. However, by following the steps outlined in this article, you should be able to identify and resolve the issue on your own.

Hello, I'm Eva, a professional electronics engineer with a passion for optimizing your home appliances. I'm your go-to expert for all things appliance troubleshooting, here to simplify your challenges.

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