GE Garbage Disposer Stopper Switch Won't Turn on Disposer

The part(s) or condition(s) listed below for the symptom Garbage disposer stopper switch won't turn on disposer are ordered from most likely to least likely to occur. Check or test each item, starting with the items at the top of the page.

Most Frequent Causes for Garbage disposer stopper switch won't turn on disposer

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Cause 1Start Switch

Some garbage disposer models have a stopper switch (or batchfeed stopper). The batchfeed stopper activates the start switch to start the disposer. If the start switch is defective, the disposer will not turn on. To determine if the start switch is defective, use a multimeter to test the start switch for continuity. If the start switch does not have continuity, replace it.

Cause 2Incoming Power Problem

Garbage disposers can be either plugged into an outlet or hardwired in. They may be actuated by a wall switch. If the unit is plugged into an accessible wall outlet you can plug another small appliance into the outlet to confirm there is power. If you cannot access the incoming power connection easily, confirm the circuit breaker suppling power to the disposer has not tripped or the fuses have not blown.

Cause 3Wall Switch

The wall switch might be defective. Use a multimeter to test the wall switch for continuity.

Cause 4Batchfeed Stopper

If the garbage disposer stopper switch won’t turn on the disposer, the batchfeed stopper might be defective.

Cause 5Start Switch Is Stuck

If your disposer uses the stopper to turn the unit on and off, and it won't turn, the start switch is either stuck or damaged. You can try removing and reinserting the stopper several times to attempt to get the start switch to work properly. If the unit still won't turn on running, the start switch will need to be replaced. To keep the disposer from running, you will have to either unplug the power cord or shut off the breaker to the garbage disposer.