Trouble Shooting Your Garbage Disposal Air Switch

The air switch plays an important role in your garbage disposal as it responsible for the over all operation of the garbage disposal.

Each garbage disposal has an pneumatic push button located on the counter top or wall,

Garbage Disposal Air Switch

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and a pneumatic air switch located in an electric to pneumatic converter box that operates garbage disposal. The converter box directly connects to a 120V power supply to control the garbage disposal operation. A piece of flexible PVC tubing leads from the push button to the garbage disposal switch.

Presair’s pneumatic control is a safe switching mechanism as it eliminates the possibly of user’s experiencing electrical shock, as there is no electricity at the point of actuation.

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Garbage Disposal Air Switch Troubleshooting

More times than not, when customers call Presair, we are able to help them find a solution to why the air switch in a garbage disposal isn’t working. There are three things to check for first when troubleshooting your garbage disposal: the air switch, the air switch tubing, and the garbage disposal button. For more info on each, keep reading below!

Garbage Disposal Button

Sometimes the issue is found to be within the garbage disposal button, tubing, or the air switch. To determine which of these has the failure, follow the instructions below:

  1. Press on the air button assembly andWhite Air Button Sink Top Switch for Garbage Disposal listen for a ‘click’ sound in the air switch.
  2. If the ‘click’ happens, then the push button is sending enough air to trigger the air switch.
  3. If no ‘click’ is heard, the air switch isn’t sensing air pressure therefore the issue lies with the air tubing or push button.
  4. Now, if your button sticks and stays in the depressed position, you will need to purchase a new air switch unit.
Garbage Disposal Tubing

Typically, the operator the operator is able to find a kink or leak in the airline that is not allowing air to pass through. If no air is able to pass through, the switches contacts are unable to open or close. This is easily fixed by either replacing the tubing or relocating it.

If there is no leak in the air tubing and you are hearing the ‘click’, your garbage disposal button should be replaced. Click here to view our replacement garbage disposal buttons!

Garbage Disposal Switch Test Procedure

If the switch doesn’t click, but makes a hissing sound like air is leaking from the air switch, then unfortunately the air switch diaphragm has blown and a new switch is necessary. You are able to determine the type of garbage disposal switch by looking up the identification number or by contacting Presair.

Now, what if the air switch is clicking, but still nothing is happening? Follow the steps below to troubleshoot the issue:

  1. First, verify the correct operation of the garbage disposal switch circuit.
  2. next, connect the multi-meter to a set of power leg/switch leg poles. Since there are only two poles on a SPST air switch, make the connection to each pole.
  3. following this, operate the air button.
  4. The multi-meter should, alternately, show continuity and no continuity, as the air button is operated.
  5. If the the multi-meter does not show continuity of the switch, you will need to replace the garbage disposal switch.

Check out more articles on our garbage disposal air switches and push buttons at the links below.

Garbage Disposal Switch Installation Guide 

Garbage Disposal Switch Options 

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12 thoughts on “Trouble Shooting Your Garbage Disposal Air Switch

  1. Pingback: InSinkErator Sink Top Switch Push Satin Nickel Disposals Button For Garbage Disposal | The Counters Blog

  2. Laura

    When I press the button switch water is regurgitating up through the button. I know this is coming from the disposal bc I poured out a milky substance and also ran the disposal – the water that usually comes up when pressed was now milky. Does this always happen? Normal? Why are water/fluids getting in my air line?

  3. kevin

    : InSinkErator button will not turn off, the only time it turns off is when i disconnect it. Why?

    Thanks, Kevin

  4. Steve Flaming

    Just replaced the entire switch and box. Everything is now working great. Old switch, which was actually new, would not come back up unless I disconnected the air line. Any ideas?

  5. David Ben Rawnsley

    we press the air switch garbage disposal is activated but will not turn off, air switch stays down in the mounting?
    please advise a probable cause

      1. Shop Manager

        Hi Noella,
        Can you tell me if you press the button again, does it turn off?

        If the button is staying down in the mounting, you may need to purchase a new button with air switch. It sounds like not enough air is travelling back up to the button which is causing it to stay down in the pressed position.

  6. Will

    My insinkerator will not turn off. I had to unplug it. The switch turned it on one day and 15 seconds later it would not turn it off. Any ideas? Thanks

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