Moen garbage disposals are good quality units, but just like other disposals, they may run into some problems or users may have challenges setting up or operating the unit. Troubleshooting your garbage disposal can often help resolve some of the problems it may have, consequently helping save money on service and/or replacements. Most of the issues can easily be fixed by performing basic troubleshooting procedures. In the following how-to and troubleshooting guide, we look at some of the commonly-reported Moen garbage disposals problems and their fixes.
How to Hardwire a Moen Garbage Disposal
- Wire Cutters
- Cable Connector ( Strain Relief Connector)
- Wire Nuts
- Wire Strippers
- Safety Glasses
Before hardwiring the garbage disposal, consider the following requirements:
Under deck requirements
The garbage disposal must be connected to a grounded, metal, permanent wiring system; or an equipment-grounding conductor must be run with the circuit conductors and connected to the equipment-grounding terminal or lead on the garbage disposal.
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Connect the garbage disposal into a properly grounded outlet. Outlet must be 110-120 V, 60 Hz AC current only.
Above deck requirements
Outlet must be controlled by a dedicated wall switch with a marked “off” position, and have a proper switch installed by a certified electrician.
The switch must be mounted within sight of sink opening or garbage disposal.
To safely hardwire a Moen garbage disposal, follow these steps:
- Turn power off at the circuit breaker or fuse box.
- Remove the metal plate on the bottom of the garbage disposal.
- Using wire cutters, cut the white neutral and black hot wires close to the connectors and cut the green ground wire just before the groove where the cord enters the garbage disposal.
- Pull the electrical cord out of the housing.
- Install cable connector into the access hole and secure it by tightening the nut.
- From the wall, insert power supply cable through the connector and tighten the connector.
- Connect internal disposal lead wires to coordinating wire lead from electrical source. Connect white to white, black to black or red, and green ground wire to the ground lead with wire nuts.
- Push the wires into the garbage disposal and replace the metal bottom plate.
How to Clean a Moen Garbage Disposal
Moen garbage disposal is self-cleaning and scours its internal parts with each use. However, the following cleaning tips can help clear food buildup on the blades and get rid of smells from the unit’s splash guard and drain.
To clean your garbage disposal:
- To remove food buildup on the blades, place frozen orange and lemon peels in the disposal and grind them up. The oil from the citrus peels will help remove buildup while leaving a clean, fresh fragrance.
- Alternatively, you can also use a tray of ice cubes and 1/2 cup of baking soda to clear buildup from the blades.
To clean the garbage disposal drain:
- Pour a 1/2 cup of baking soda into the drain.
- Add a cup of hot white distilled vinegar, and let it sit for a few minutes.
- Then pour a quart of boiling water down the disposal to flush everything down the drain.
To clean the garbage disposal splash guard:
- For removable splash guards: While wearing gloves, remove the splash guard, then scrub the top and bottom of the rubber guard with soapy water and a toothbrush. Then rinse and replace.
- For non-removable splash guards: With gloves on, scrub the top side of the guard first and then rinse. Then, lifting up the rubber guard a section at a time, scrub the splash guard’s underside until all slime and gunk are gone. Then rinse.
Moen Garbage Disposal Odors
If there are odors coming from your garbage disposal, confirm the unit is draining properly. Clogged or slow draining garbage disposals may develop a noticeable odor.
Odors may also come from the splash guard. The splash guard can be pulled out to remove and cleaned. It is dishwasher safe. But, always make sure you cut off power from the unit before pulling the splash guard out.
To manually wash the splash guard:
- Once you confirm that the power is off, pull the splash guard out.
- Scrub the underside of the splash guard with baking soda and warm water,
- Rinse splash guard off with warm water.
- Re-install the splash guard.
- Plug the garbage disposal back in or turn the power back on.
Why Does My Moen Garbage Disposal Inner Turntable Appear to be Rusted?
Minerals deposits from your water can form on the stainless steel turntable, giving the appearance of rust. Do not be alarmed the stainless steel turntables used will not corrode or rust.
How to Remove a Moen Garbage Disposal
- Unplug the disposal or if the disposal is hardwired, turn off the electrical power at the circuit breaker or fuse box. Use a wrench to disconnect the drain line where it attaches to the disposal discharge tube.
- If the dishwasher is installed, make sure the dishwasher is not running. Unplug the dishwasher or turn off the electrical power at the circuit breaker or fuse box. Remove the dishwasher drain hose from the disposal.
- While supporting the disposal, remove disposal from sink flange by turning lower mount ring to the left. If you are unable to turn the lower mount ring, tap on one of the extensions from the ring with a hammer. Some mounting systems have tubular extensions. Inserting a screwdriver into one tube will provide additional leverage for turning the mount ring. Some disposals may require the removal of a clamp. If your disposal is hardwired, completed step 4. If you use a plug in cord, go to step 5.
- Turn off power at circuit breaker or fuse box. When the old disposal is removed from sink flange, disconnect any hardwired connections or unplug the unit.
- Inspect current mounting ring seals, your new disposal may be compatible with the existing mounting ring and could be reused. If unable to be used, remove the old sink flange from the sink. Clean the sink thoroughly.
How to Free a Jammed Moen Garbage Disposal
If your Moen garbage disposal jams and is no longer grinding, follow the steps below to fix the problem:
- Tongs or Needle Nose Pliers
- Wooden Spoon or Un-jamming Wrench( Moen part #1037 sold separately)
- Unplug the garbage disposal or if the garbage disposal is hardwired turn power off at the electrical box.
- If your garbage disposal has a removable splash guard, remove it now.
- Using a flashlight, check for any foreign objects lodged between the turntable and grind ring. Before proceeding, verify that the power is off. Using tongs or needle nose pliers, remove the foreign object(s).
- Once the foreign object (s) has been eliminated, use a wooden spoon or un-jamming wrench up against a swivel impeller and begin to push. The motion of pushing the swivel impeller should allow the entire turntable to be rotated manually. Continue this rotation until you are able to rotate the turntable clockwise or counter-clockwise a full revolution insuring it has released.
- Continually attempting to power on may cause the reset button to trip. Before starting the garbage disposal, push the reset button located in the opening towards the bottom of the garbage disposal, opposite the side the power cord comes out. Depending on the garbage disposal, the reset button may be set back slightly and may require a screwdriver to push it.
Why isn’t My Moen Garbage Disposal Working?
If your garbage disposal is not working, check to confirm it has power. To troubleshoot a garbage disposal that has no power:
- Confirm the activation method being used to power the garbage disposal.
- If using a wall switch, the switch needs to be wired to a dedicated outlet.
- If the batch feed stopper is used to turn on the garbage disposal, it activates an internal cherry switch that is built into the side wall of the housing. If the cherry switch gets stuck or breaks, the unit will not turn on.
- The fiber optic switch looks like a sinkhole cover that you press to activate the garbage disposal. There is a fiber optic cable that runs from above deck switch to the outlet below. Confirm that it is connected and not damaged.
- The air switch has a visible button in the center that is pressed to activate the garbage disposal. There is a tube that runs from above deck air switch button to the outlet below. Confirm that it is connected and is not damaged. Reconnect or replace if necessary.
- Check the power source. Test the outlet to make sure that it is getting power by plugging another electrical device, like a cell phone charger, into the outlet to see if it works.
- If the electrical device you used to test the outlet works, plug the garbage disposal back in and push the red reset button. The reset button is located on opposite side of the power cord. Test the garbage disposal to see if it works. If the garbage disposal does not turn on, it may need to be replaced.
- If the electrical device you used to test the outlet does not work:
- Check the electrical service panel for the house. The breaker may have tripped or a fuse may need to be replaced, depending on the style of the box.
- Re-test the outlet with another electric device to see if it now works. If it does, plug the garbage disposal in and push the red reset button (located on the opposite side of the power cord). Test the garbage disposal to see if it works. If the garbage disposal does not turn on it may need to be replaced.
- If the electric device you used to re-test the outlet above does not work, the outlet is broken which may require an electrician to replace it.
- If the above instructions don’t resolve the problem, try performing a motor reset. Moen garbage disposals have a reset button that can be used if the internal breaker has been tripped. To reset the internal breaker, push the red reset button located on the opposite side of the power cord. If the garbage disposal does not turn on, it may need to be replaced.
- The garbage disposal could be jammed. Troubleshoot the garbage disposal as per the instructions on how to free a jammed Moen garbage disposal.
Why is My Moen Garbage Disposal Leaking?
If the unit leaks at the top, it may be due to:
- Improper seating of the sink flange (gasket centering, sealant or tightening). Re-check the installation.
- Mount screws are not tightened properly. Re-check the installation.
- Defective or improperly installed Hush Cushion. Re-check the installation.
If the unit leaks at the waste elbow or from the bottom of the unit, it may be due to:
- Improper installation of the discharge elbow and gasket. Re-check the discharge elbow and gasket installation.
- Improper tightening of elbow flange screws. Re-check the discharge elbow and flange installation.
If the unit leaks at dishwasher hose connection:
- Check the hose and clamp connection.
If the unit leaks elsewhere, there may be an internal problem that required service or replacement.
Moen Garbage Disposal Won’t Turn Off
If your garbage disposal runs when the switch is OFF or otherwise won’t stop running, try these troubleshooting instructions:
- Check first to be sure that your garbage disposal is not plugged in into a dual-outlet receptacle with one side that is always on. This is common mistake and can easily be fixed by switching where the cord goes.
- It is also possible that your switch is broken. Have a qualified electrician check to see whether repairs are needed. If the switch or circuit is okay, it may be that your garbage disposal is broken. You may try resetting the unit in an effort to fix the problem.
Moen Garbage Disposal Tripping Electricity Breaker
If your Moen garbage disposal keeps tripping the breaker when switched on, the shredding plate might be jammed. Check this by making sure the switch is OFF and the breaker is OFF. If your unit has a removable splash guard, remove it now. Then using a flashlight, check for any foreign objects lodged between the turntable and grind ring, and remove them using tongs or needle nose pliers.
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Once the foreign object (s) has been eliminated, use a wooden spoon or un-jamming wrench up against a swivel impeller and begin to push. The motion of pushing the swivel impeller should allow the entire turntable to be rotated manually. Continue this rotation until you are able to rotate the turntable clockwise or counter-clockwise a full revolution insuring it has released.
If after doing the above and all is clear but the unit still trips the breaker, the garbage disposal could be faulty and may need to be replaced.