Why Is My Commercial Garbage Disposal Not Spinning?

Commercial garbage disposals are specifically designed to handle huge amounts of food leftovers daily. These heavy-duty machines are usually found in hospitals and restaurants. Commercial garbage disposals are rigid and tough machines but they can run into problems such as failing to spin. We will go through the potential reasons in detail along with some prevention tips to make things easier for you in the future. However, if you don’t want to take risks, call in a commercial kitchen appliance repair professional to take a look at your garbage disposal. Let’s begin!

Jammed Flywheel

A commercial garbage disposal comprises several different parts. To begin with, it contains a grinding chamber or a hopper sitting on the top. This is the area of the garbage disposal where hands or fingers must not be. Inside this is a metal plate that spins (called flywheel) and a ring. These components are responsible for shredding the food particles.

If you turn on the garbage disposal and observe that it isn’t producing any noise or the blade isn’t spinning, it means it is jammed. You will have to take a closer look to make sure there are no food leftovers or debris stuck in the shredding ring and flywheel.

To diagnose the issue, you should turn off the disposal first. Then, grab the user manual and remove any parts that might prevent access. Keep in mind that you will also have to wear protective gear as garbage disposals contain sharp blades and components that could lead to serious injuries.

Furthermore, you will need appropriate tools such as a wooden spoon or tongs that help you reach the blockage and remove it. Once the situation is clear, turn on the garbage disposal and see if the problem is fixed.

If the flywheel still doesn’t spin, it may be that the motor is bad. This will be covered later in this guide.


Overheating is another reason your commercial garbage disposal might not be spinning. This usually happens when the unit has been used for a while without any breaks. Modern commercial garbage disposals are smart and packed with features that not only keep the user safe but also prevent expensive repairs and replacements.

In the case of overheating, you cannot do much but give the unit some rest. Plus, it could also be that a fuse is blown or the circuit breaker is malfunctioning. If there is electric fluctuation, it could cause the circuit breaker to trip in an attempt to protect the garbage disposal from damage. This is why you need to check the circuit breaker along with blown fuses as well.

Overheating can be a hint at a big issue. So, never ignore overheating of any commercial kitchen appliance. After a rest, if you turn on the unit and it overheats again, you should turn it off and consult an expert.


Another common reason your commercial garbage disposal might not be spinning is due to clogs. If you find that your sink is full or the commercial garbage disposal is functioning lazy, it means there is a problem. One thing you need to keep in mind while using commercial garbage disposals is that bones, plastic, and other food leftovers should be removed before they enter the disposal.

Many people assume that commercial garbage disposals are made to handle all types of food items and therefore, they tend to place all the leftovers without thinking that the blades will not be able to process them. As a result, the commercial garbage disposal might overheat or simply jam.

If there is a clog, the commercial garbage disposal will undergo additional stress. Although the unit might shut itself down knowing there is a problem, that is not the case when it comes to older versions. You must be careful while placing the leftovers in the disposal.

Clogs in commercial steamers can also make it difficult to drain. If that happens, you should clean the appliance. However, if the problem persists, get help from a commercial steamer repair Northern VA company.

Faulty Motor

As mentioned earlier, commercial garbage disposals comprise several different parts that work together as a team to break down the food particles. Even though commercial garbage disposals will last several years if maintained properly sooner or later will run into problems.

Electric components like mechanical components also come with a limited lifespan. This means that constant use will result in wear and tear and the components will turn weaker with time as well. In this case, you cannot do much but make sure to maintain and care for your unit.

In addition to your employees looking after the commercial garbage disposal, you should also hire a professional to thoroughly inspect and clean the machine based on the usage frequency. If the motor is failed, the expert will replace it.

The Unit Is Old

While a component needing repair or replacement is normal, if your commercial garbage disposal is frequently running into problems, it means the unit is simply old. In this case, you will notice your commercial garbage disposal running into problems more frequently.

Then again, you cannot do much but replace the unit. Most business owners waste money on expensive repairs and replacements without realizing that the unit is old and cannot run trouble-free. Instead of spending on repairs and replacements, you should save it and invest it into a new unit.

Modern commercial garbage disposals are smart, intelligent, effective, and efficient. They will also help you save electricity bills while dealing with mountains of food leftovers.

How To Prevent Commercial Garbage Disposal Problems?

Commercial garbage disposals are indeed powerful but they need maintenance as well. To keep your commercial garbage disposal in perfect running condition, you will need to follow the right care and cleaning techniques. To begin with, you should make sure to scrape off any major food items that might get stuck inside.

At the same time, you should only use cold water while running the disposal to ensure debris is cleared out. However, if there is a lot of oil or grease, you will need to use hot water to remove them. Furthermore, you should develop a maintenance schedule that ensures your unit is looked after on time.

Restaurants and hospitals are extremely busy places and it can be hard to maintain the disposal considering the volume of food leftovers the disposals have to deal with. In this case, you should not only train your employees but also hire a professional company who visits and looks after the machines on time.

Moreover, if you prefer to maintain the unit on your own, you should use the right chemicals. Not every chemical is suited for every type of garbage disposal out there. You might end up buying and using the wrong chemical that could damage the parts inside.

This is why you should either consult an expert or go through the user manual before opting for the right product.


In the end, troubleshooting a faulty commercial garbage disposal is not that difficult. The tips mentioned above will help you troubleshoot the issue. However, to prevent future complications, you need to keep the unit maintained. Always hire a certified commercial garbage disposal repair Alexandria service to ensure your investment is worth it.

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