Fix a garbage disposal in the sink by checking the electrical connection, pressing the reset button, and removing clogs or securing seals, recommends About.com. The specific troubleshooting method depends on the problem and the disposal model.
For an InSinkErator brand disposer that is clogged, insert the self-service wrench or a 1/4-inch Allen wrench into the hole at the bottom of the disposer, states Emerson Electric Co., the manufacturer of the device. Crank the wrench right and left until it can rotate fully in each direction. If the overload protector has tripped, press the red button to reset it. Use tongs to remove any materials stuck in the grinding chamber.
For leaks at the drainpipe, tighten the bolts connecting the discharge pipe to the garbage disposal or replace the gasket, recommends About.com. For leaks at the dishwasher, replace the dishwasher hose or tighten the clamp connecting the hose to the dishwasher.
If the sink is leaking, turn off power at the electrical panel, warns About.com. Turn the disposal counter-clockwise in the mount and remove it from the flange. Tighten the mounting bolts. If they are already tight, loosen the bolts, push up the flange and seal plumber's putty around the hole between the flange and the sink. Tighten the bolts and remove any excess putty. Install the disposal and restore the power.