Barracuda garbage disposals are good units that grind food waste just fine, and are good options especially when you consider the budget. Sold by Anaheim, the same company behind Waste King, the disposer is easy to install as it often uses a 3-bolt mount system to mount it under your sink.
But despite being of quality standard, a Barracuda garbage disposal can also have its fair share of challenges and problems that may prevent it from doing its job properly. Before you consider service or a replacement for a problem you might have at your disposal, it helps to perform some troubleshooting to see if you can resolve the issue without paying a technician.
The following is a simple how-to and troubleshooting guide for some common Barracuda garbage disposal problems.
How to Operate a Barracuda Garbage Disposal
As the unit’s swivel impellers initially swing into place, they make a clicking sound. This indicates normal operation.
- Remove the sink stopper. Turn on a medium flow of cold water.
- Turn the switch to the ON position; the motor is turning at full speed and ready to use.
- Scrape in food waste. Down the drain go table scraps, peelings, rinds, seeds, pits, small bones and coffee grounds. Cut or break up large bones, rinds and cobs to speed up your garbage disposal.
- Large bones and fibrous waste require more time to grind and are more easily thrown away with other trash. Do not be alarmed that the garbage disposal slows down while grinding. The garbage disposal is actually increasing torque and is operating under normal conditions.
- Before turning off the garbage disposal, let water and the garbage disposal run for approximately 15 minutes after shredding or grinding stops. This is to ensure that all the waste is thorough flashed through the trap and drain.
- It is not recommended to use hot water while running the garbage disposal. Cold water will keep waste and fats solid so that the disposer can flush away particles.
Check this too: How to Turn On a Garbage Disposal Without a Switch
How to Troubleshoot a Barracuda Garbage Disposal That Won’t Start
If your Barracuda garbage disposal does not start follow the troubleshooting instructions below to try fix the problem:
- Unplug the power cord or turn either the wall switch or breaker box switch to “OFF” position, depending on model and wiring configuration.
- Remove the stopper and/or splash guard.
- Check to see if turntable will rotate freely by using a wooden broom handle.
- If the turntable rotates freely, replace the splash guard and check the reset button to see if it has been tripped. The reset button is the red button located on the front of disposer.
- If the reset button is tripped, push the button in until it clicks and remains depressed.
- If the reset button has not been tripped, check for shorted or broken wire connecting to the garbage disposal. Check the electrical power switch, circuit breaker or fuse box. If the wiring and electrical components are okay, the unit may have internal problems that require service or replacement.
- If the turntable does not rotate freely, check for any foreign object lodged between the turntable and grind ring. Dislodge the object by rotating the table with a wooden broom handle and remove the object. If there is no foreign object lodged, there may be internal problems.
Why is My Barracuda Garbage Disposal Leaking?
If your garbage disposal is leaking at the top, it may be due to the following reasons:
- Improper seating of sink flange( gasket centering, putty or tightening)
- The support ring is not tightened properly.
- Defective or improperly installed cushion mount.
If your unit leaks at the waste elbow, the leak may be due to improper tightening of elbow flange screws.
Barracuda Garbage Disposal Mounting: Assembly Installation
Before proceeding to install mounting assembly, pay close attention to the order of the mount assembly parts, as they have been correctly assembled by the factory.
Follow these instructions to install mounting assembly for Speed Master Mount Systems:
- Disassemble mount assembly from the disposer by turning mount ring clockwise (to the left) and remove.
- Raise mount ring toward top of sink flange. Remove cushion mount. Remove mount ring.
- Unscrew support ring from sink flange and remove fiber gasket. You are now left with sink flange and rubber gasket.
- The rubber gasket is used instead of plumbers putty with stainless steel sinks. Other sinks will require putty.
- If no putty is used, insert sink flange through rubber gasket into sink opening. Do not rotate sink flange once it is seated.
- If you use putty instead of the gasket, form a ring around underside of sink flange. Insert flange into sink opening, press down hard to squeeze out excess putty. From under sink, trim off excess putty flush with bottom edge of sink opening.
- From underneath sink, slip fiber gasket onto exposed sink flange. With arrows pointing up, screw support ring onto the sink flange, hand tighten until the sink flange will not move. At this point you may want to insert stopper in the sink and fill with water to check sink flange seal and ensure there are no leaks.
- Place mount ring over sink flange and hold in place while installing cushion mount (large side down) so the groove on the side of cushion mount fits over lip on sink flange, like putting the lid on a plastic container.
- The disposer must be installed so that the reset button is readily accessible.
Why Is My Barracuda Garbage Disposal Just Humming and Not Working?
If your garbage disposal makes a humming sound but doesn’t work, this may indicate that the motor is clogged or jammed. Usually, this causes the disposer’s reset button to pop or the circuit breaker to trip.
To fix this problem:
- Turn off power to the garbage disposal.
- Remove the stopper and/or splash guard.
- Check to see if turntable will rotate freely by using a long screwdriver or wooden broom handle.
- If the turntable does not rotate freely, check for any foreign object lodged between the turntable and grind ring. Dislodge the object by rotating the table with a wooden broom handle and remove the object.
- If the turntable rotates freely, replace the splash guard and check the reset button to see if it has been tripped. The reset button is the red button located on the front of disposer. If the reset button is tripped, push the button in until it clicks and remains depressed.
How Do You Reset a Barracuda Garbage Disposal?
The unit has a red reset button located on the front of the disposer. If the reset button is tripped, the disposer will not start until the button is reset.
To reset a Barracuda garbage disposal, push the red reset button in until it clicks and remains depressed.
Why Did My Barracuda Garbage Disposal Suddenly Stop Working?
If the garbage disposal is not running at all, it could be a power problem. Check the power to the circuit that feeds the garbage disposal. If the breaker is OK, then check the power at the switch. If you have power coming to, but not leaving the switch, then the switch is bad. Turn the circuit off and replace the switch.
The problem may be caused by a foreign object which lodges between the turntables and grind ring. First make sure you turn off the switch to the garbage disposal.
Then check for foreign objects and dislodge the object by rotating the turntable with a long screwdriver or broom handle and remove the object.
A tripped reset button could also be the culprit. The reset button may trip if the unit jams or experiences another problem.
If the button is tripped, the garbage disposal will not work until it is reset. To reset, you need to push in the red reset button at the front of the garbage disposal until it clicks and remains depressed.
How to Unclog a Barracuda Garbage Disposal
If your garbage disposal gets clogged, it may drain very slowly or may not drain at all. This causes water to back up when running the garbage disposal. You will need to remove the clog to have the garbage disposal working and draining properly.
To unclog the garbage disposal, you may need the following tools:
- Scrub brush or wire
- Channel-type pliers
- 25-foot drum auger or drain snake
Then follow these instructions to unclog the garbage disposal;
- Place a catch bucket beneath the drain trap of the garbage disposal (U-shaped plumbing fitting). This is to prevent water and food waste that spills out of the pipes as you disconnect them.
- Using a channel-type pliers, disconnect the slip-nut fittings on the drain trap to remove the P-Trap.
- Once removed, check for clogs or obstructions in the trap fitting. Use a small scrub brush to dig out any debris. You can also use a straightened wire.
- If the clog is not in the trap, it may lie in the trap arm. This is the horizontal drain fitting that connects the trap to the branch pipe going into the wall. You can remove the trap arm by loosening the slip nut where the arm meets the vertical branch drain and pulling the arm out. Clean inside the trap arm with a brush or wire.
- If the P-trap and trap arm were relatively clean when you removed them, the clog could be in the branch drain leading to your home’s main drain. The best way to clean the branch drain is by using a drain snake or drum auger. Feed the auger cable into the branch drain from under the sink, turning the drum as you go to work the cable past pipe bends and break up the clog. Run the cable out and back several times to be sure the clog is cleared.
- Once you are sure the clog is cleared, reinstall the trap arm and P-trap, tightening the slip nuts just snug.
- Run water down through the disposal for several minutes to flush any loose debris through the drain system.
Check this too: Kitchenaid Garbage Disposal How-to & Troubleshooting Guide
Why Won’t My Barracuda Garbage Disposal Turn Off?
If your garbage disposal won’t turn off, first determine if it a hard wired or connected to an outlet. Then follow the directions below to troubleshoot.
If the garbage disposal is plugged into a standard wall outlet;
- Check the circuit breaker or fuse. To be certain, switch the breaker off then on, or replace the fuse.
- If the breaker or fuse is OK, check that the electrical switch is working properly. To test this, unplug the garbage disposal and plug something else into the outlet.
- Flip the switch on and off several times. Your test device should turn on and off with the switch. If the electrical device used for the test does not turn on and off with the switch, your outlet has a problem.
- If the electrical device turns on and off with the switch, your garbage disposal requires service.
If your garbage disposal is hardwired;
- Check the circuit breaker. To be certain, switch the breaker off then on, or replace the fuse,
- If the garbage disposal still does not turn off, the problem may be in the garbage disposal, or in the electrical system.
How to Fix a Loud/Noisy Barracuda Garbage Disposal
You may hear loud noises from your garbage disposal during grinding of small bones and fruit pits. Other than those, if the unit is really noisy, it is as a result of an accidental entry of a bottle cap, spoon or other foreign objects.
To fix a noisy Barracuda garbage disposal, follow these instructions:
- Turn off electrical switch and water.
- After the garbage disposer has stopped, remove the splash guard and use a flashlight to look down the drain and see if you notice anything that could be causing the noise.
- Remove any foreign object with long-handled tongs.
- Replace the splash guard.
Why is My Barracuda Garbage Disposal Backing Up?
If water backs up when running your garbage disposal, it is likely because you have a clog in the drain lines. Disposals also can back up over time because the waste line or trap gets coated and eventually obstructed with food waste.
A garbage disposal backing up often indicates a problem in the drain trap (U-shaped plumbing fitting) that is located downstream of the disposal discharge pipe.
How Often Should You Clean a Garbage Disposal?
Garbage disposal is that one appliance in your home that comes with loads of benefits from saving time used to handle food remains to conserve our environment.
It is, however, so easy to forget that the garbage disposal still exists in your kitchen since it is perfectly concealed and hidden away under your sink.
Your garbage disposal just like any other appliance needs proper cleaning regularly. This miracle appliance’s work is to grind up food remnants and peelings then flush them out.
During the process, small pieces may be stuck in the grinding chamber and the splash guard, eventually decaying. This creates a good breeding environment for mold and harmful bacteria in addition to foul odors around your kitchen.
Your garbage disposal will need some proper cleaning every fortnight to keep it odorless and free from harmful microorganisms using cleaning procedures that will not take much of your time.
You can use various inexpensive household supplies like vinegar, baking soda, lemon peels, ice cubes, or rock salt to clean the garbage disposal.
How to Clean a Garbage Disposal: Step By Step Guide
The good news is that cleaning your garbage disposal is a simple task that will not consume much of your time.
It is advisable to use natural cleaning agents to help maintain the metal parts of your appliance in perfect condition as most chemical cleaners tend to be corrosive.
Step 1: Disconnect the power to the unit
Switch off the garbage and unplug from the socket to ensure your safety while cleaning the appliance.
Disconnect the power by either pulling out the plug connected to an outlet located under the sink or turning off power from the breaker box.
To be sure that you disconnected the right circuit by trying to turn on the garbage disposal before starting to clean it.
Step 2: Cleaning the splash guard( also known as a baffle or gasket)
This is a rubber component with many grooves and crevices, which in turn collect and trap lots of small food particles and grease. Carefully pull out the splash guard from the drain and place it in the kitchen tub for a thorough cleaning.
Use a scrubbing brush or an old toothbrush and dishwashing detergent to scrub all the grooves to remove any slimy grime and debris. Rinse off with clean water and set it aside.
Step 3: Inspect the grinder
Removing the splash guard in the above procedure will give you access to the grinder. Use a flashlight to check for any particles escaping the grinder and use a pair of pliers or tongs to pick out the pieces of food.
Be careful not to pick the pieces using your fingers as the blades are very sharp even when not in motion.
Step 4: Replace the splash guard and Pour in baking soda and vinegar
Measure and pour half a cup of baking soda into the garbage disposal and let it sit for half an hour. Baking soda is used to deodorize the disposal.
After 30 minutes add a cup of vinegar to the disposal. This will cause a chemical reaction with a foamy liquid bubbling up into your sink.
Allow the reaction to zap away the grime in your disposal for three to five minutes, and then flush with hot running water from the faucet or boil some water in a pot.
Step 5: Clean and sharpen the grinder blades
Reconnect the power of the garbage disposal to effectively perform the rest of the procedures. Pour two cups of ice and a cup of salt into the disposal run the cold-water faucet then switch on the appliance.
Let it run and grind all the ice and salt. These two used together are an effective way of scrubbing and sharpening the grinder blades of the garbage disposal unit.
Step 6: Freshen your garbage disposal up by grinding lemon peels
This should be the last step and the popular lemon peels will help you leave your disposal and kitchen sink smelling fresh with some pleasant citrus scent.
Stuff the peels from one sizeable lemon into the disposal then run cold water from the faucet and turn on the appliance.
How Do You Keep a Garbage Disposal Clean?
To prevent your garbage disposal from running into occasional breakdowns that nobody wants to go through, it is best to practice safe routines that keep the disposal working smoothly for longer.
Below are some basic garbage disposal dos and don’ts that will help you maintain your favorite kitchen appliance in good condition and avoid costly replacements or repairs while extending its lifespan.
- Using cold water. Hot water causes fat to hide and stick on the interior and the blades creating a grimy build-up after a few days. Coldwater is the way to go as it also helps in cooling the unit and avoiding overheating. For the garbage disposal to work effectively, keep a steady flow of cold water during the grinding and 15 seconds after every use to ensure that all the food washes through.
- Inspect and clean the drain regularly to avoid clogging and keep the sink well-drained. Inspect the drainage pipe snaked once every two years or immediately you notice water draining slowly.
- Clean with ice and salt occasionally. Put a cup of ice and two tablespoons of salt into the garbage disposal and run it. This will scrub hidden parts and crevices and keep your unit clean.
- Clean with a disposal de-greaser regularly to avoid fats from building up. This helps keep the unit working efficiently and eliminates foul smells.
- Freshen and sanitize using citrus by grinding up citrus peels from oranges, lemons, or limes to keep your garbage disposal smelling fresh. Natural citric acid from the peels helps prevent the growth of harmful bacteria in the unit.
Do not run fibrous waste grease, fat, and pasta through the garbage disposal as they are most likely to leave you with a clogged drain. Tough plant fibers like potato skins and celery should be disposed of as solid waste. Pasta is notably notorious for clogging drains so you should keep it away from your garbage disposal.
- Only use the garbage disposal to grind food waste. Don’t stuff the garbage disposal with non-food like paper towels, rags, or plastic as this will damage parts of the appliance and render it useless as a result.
- Avoid running hot water while grinding. Hot water can still be used to do other cleaning work but not when using the grinder in the garbage disposal. Always use cool water during the grinding process because hot water makes fats hide and stick to the blades and interior parts of the grinding unit.
- Don’t over-stuff your garbage disposal. A cramped-up disposal will not be able to grind a huge load of waste. Make sure to feed the grinder gradually if you have a lot of food waste to grind to prevent the disposal from jamming.
- Don’t use harsh chemicals to clean the garbage disposal. These can be extremely corrosive and cause great harm to the appliance as well as the drainage system, as they drain through.
Is it OK to Pour Boiling Water Down a Garbage Disposal?
It is okay to use boiling water while cleaning your garbage disposal where you mix white vinegar and baking soda in equal parts then flush it using boiling water.
On the other hand, never use hot water when grinding food waste as the hot water liquefy grease and oil and facilitate it to stick and clog on hidden parts and crevices when the temperature is lowered.
Is it OK to Put Ice Cubes in a Garbage Disposal?
You should schedule to grind up ice cubes in your garbage disposal as an effective routine to keep the appliance in good condition. This can be done once a month by stuffing a handful of ice cubes into the disposal then running it as usual.
The ice sharpens the grinder blades without causing harm to other components and the tiny chips from the ground-up ice act as a powerful scrub to clean hard-to-reach parts inside the disposal.
Using frozen vinegar in place of ice is a great hack in eliminating bad odor, grime, and bacteria from the disposal while sharpening the blades at the same time.
Why Should I Use Cold Water With My Garbage Disposal?
Most plumbers recommend using cold water when running garbage disposal, not hot water, to prevent clogs. The best protection against clogs is to avoid putting grease, fats, and oils down the drain in the first place, but cold water can help too.
When grease or oil cools, it solidifies using cold water, your garbage disposal can chop up bits of grease before they reach the trap.
Hot water, in contrast, will allow liquid oils to flow down the drain and into your pipes, where they will naturally cool down, solidify, and accumulate to form clogs.
Always remember to keep the faucet running before, during, and after using the garbage disposal to prevent the grinder from seizing and to flush away food particles.
Check this too: How to Turn On a Garbage Disposal Without a Switch