How to Fix a Jammed Garbage Disposal Jam
Turn Off the Garbage Disposal
When you encounter a jam, the first step is to cut off power to the garbage disposal. This can be achieved by either unplugging the unit or turning off the circuit breaker dedicated to the disposal. Avoid attempting to remove the jammed item directly to prevent injuries.
Find Your Allen Wrench
Locate the Allen wrench that came with your garbage disposal. It’s a small tool designed to fit the hexagonal socket at the bottom of the unit.
Insert the Wrench into the Bottom of the Disposal
Go under the sink and insert the Allen wrench into the hole at the bottom of the disposal. This hole is connected to the flywheel, and turning the wrench will rotate the flywheel, hopefully dislodging the jammed item.
Move the Wrench Back and Forth
Rotate the wrench clockwise and then counterclockwise in short bursts. This motion should help dislodge the obstructing object. Once the item is freed, the wrench will turn the flywheel in a complete circle.
Power the Disposal Back On in Short Bursts
Afterward, restore power to the garbage disposal and press the reset button located on the bottom of the unit. Try running the disposal in short bursts while running water to ensure the obstruction is completely cleared.
Check for Other Issues
If you experience persistent problems with your garbage disposal, such as leaks or frequent breakdowns, it might be time to consider replacing the unit. If you have a home warranty, these issues might be covered, reducing the cost of replacement.
Additional Tips for Different Disposal Models
For EZ Connect Units:
- Turn off the disposer and water.
- Insert one end of the wrenchette into the center hole on the bottom of the disposer.
- Work the wrenchette back and forth until it turns one full revolution.
- Reach into the disposer with tongs and remove the object(s).
- Wait for the disposer to cool if controlled by a wall switch, or unplug if controlled by a push-button air switch.
For All Other Units:
- Insert a wrench into the hole at the bottom of the garbage disposal.
- Work the wrench back and forth in both directions.
- Check the overload protector and reset it if necessary.
- Inspect the grinding chamber for any obstructions.
- Turn on the water and then the garbage disposal.
Pressing the Reset Button
If the disposal still doesn’t work after the above steps, you might need to press the reset button. Unplug the unit, visually inspect for debris, press the reset button, wait for 15 minutes if it pops out again, run cold water, and test the disposal.
Rotating the Disposal Blades
Insert an Allen wrench into the hole underneath the disposal, turn it counterclockwise, then clockwise, and run cold water to test the unit.
Manually Removing Blockages
Turn off the electrical supply, look for blockages, use tongs or pliers to remove debris, and spin the blades with a special garbage disposal wrench if needed.
How to Fix Garbage Disposal Jam, Showing in a Video
Video Credit: ehowhome
Garbage Disposal Stuck Won’t Turn
Fixing a jammed garbage disposal is a manageable DIY task with the right tools and knowledge. Remember to prioritize safety, follow the steps for your specific disposal model, and consider professional help if issues persist. Regular maintenance and proper use can extend the life of your garbage disposal, keeping your kitchen efficient and functional.
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