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How to Fix Garbage Disposal Jam | A DIY Guide [2024]


Do you face problems with your garbage disposal jam? In our previous experiences, we saw that this was a big issue for every home. That’s why we decided to write about How to Fix Garbage Disposal Jam with the most common experiences that we have faced in solving this issue for many years.

Dealing with clogged garbage disposal can be a real headache in the kitchen, disrupting the natural flow of cooking and clean-up. It’s a common issue many homeowners face, and the culprit is often something getting stuck in the disposal, like food scraps or foreign objects. 

But fear not! Fixing a jammed garbage disposal might seem intimidating, but with a bit of DIY knowledge, you can easily get it back on track.

In this guide, we’ll explore the steps and tips to help you troubleshoot and fix your garbage disposal. Whether you’re a seasoned DIY enthusiast or new to home maintenance, these simple solutions will empower you to resolve the problem and keep your kitchen running smoothly. 

So, let’s dive in and learn how to tackle this common kitchen pain, ensuring your garbage disposal is back to grinding efficiently in no time. Also, if you are not able to fix this issue on your own, then contact Plumbers Sherman TX. We will solve this perfectly. We are based in Sherman, TX.

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.

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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.

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Additional Tips for Different Disposal Models

For EZ Connect Units:

  1. Turn off the disposer and water.
  2. Insert one end of the wrenchette into the center hole on the bottom of the disposer.
  3. Work the wrenchette back and forth until it turns one full revolution.
  4. Reach into the disposer with tongs and remove the object(s).
  5. 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:

  1. Insert a wrench into the hole at the bottom of the garbage disposal.
  2. Work the wrench back and forth in both directions.
  3. Check the overload protector and reset it if necessary.
  4. Inspect the grinding chamber for any obstructions.
  5. 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.

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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

When faced with a garbage disposal that is stuck and won’t turn, it can be a frustrating situation that disrupts your kitchen routine. The most common cause of stuck garbage disposal is often a jammed flywheel, where an object has become lodged between the impeller on the flywheel and the shredder ring.

In such cases, it’s crucial to turn off the power to the garbage disposal immediately to prevent any potential hazards. Using the appropriate tools, like an Allen wrench, you can attempt to manually rotate the flywheel to dislodge the obstruction.

Additionally, pressing the reset button on the bottom of the disposal and ensuring the disposal is not overheated are essential steps in troubleshooting the issue. If these DIY methods fail to resolve the problem, seeking professional assistance may be necessary to assess and address the underlying issues causing the garbage disposal to remain stuck and unresponsive.

Also Read: How to Prevent Outdoor PVC Pipes From Freezing

Garbage Disposal Allen Wrench Won’t Turn

Encountering a situation where the garbage disposal Allen wrench won’t turn can be perplexing. The Allen wrench, also known as a hex key, is a common tool used to manually rotate the disposal’s flywheel in case of a jam.

When it refuses to turn, it could indicate a more complex problem. First and foremost, ensure the disposal is switched off before attempting any troubleshooting. One possible cause for the Allen wrench resistance might be a severely jammed flywheel that requires additional force or a different angle to dislodge the obstruction.

However, if persistent efforts with the Allen wrench prove futile, it could suggest a mechanical issue within the disposal unit itself, necessitating professional intervention.

In such instances, reaching out to a qualified technician may be the most effective way to diagnose and resolve the underlying problem preventing the Allen wrench from turning and the garbage disposal from functioning properly.

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Metal Stuck in Garbage Disposal

Discovering metal stuck in your garbage disposal can be a troublesome situation, potentially leading to operational issues and damage. When foreign objects like metal utensils, bottle caps, or small metallic items inadvertently find their way into the disposal, they can cause the unit to jam or produce unsettling noises during operation.

If you suspect metal is obstructing the disposal’s blades, it is crucial to turn off the disposal and disconnect the power before attempting any removal. Using caution and protective measures, such as gloves, try to visually inspect and gently retrieve the metal object.

In some cases, a pair of pliers or tongs may be helpful. However, if the metal is deeply lodged or you encounter difficulty, seeking professional assistance is advisable to avoid causing further damage or compromising safety.

Professional technicians possess the expertise and tools necessary to safely address and resolve such issues, ensuring the efficient and secure functioning of your garbage disposal.

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How to Unjam a Garbage Disposal With a Broom

Unjamming a garbage disposal with a broom can be a practical solution when faced with a minor obstruction. Start by turning off the disposal and unplugging it or cutting off the power supply to ensure safety.

Once confirmed, use a flashlight to inspect the disposal chamber for any visible blockages. With the broom handle, gently insert it into the disposal from the top and maneuver it in a circular motion to dislodge any stuck material.

Avoid using excessive force to prevent damage to the disposal’s internal components. After attempting to unjam the disposal with the broom, turn it back on to check if the blades are rotating freely. If successful, run cold water to flush out any remaining debris.

However, if the problem persists or if the disposal’s motor seems strained, it is recommended to seek professional assistance to prevent further damage and ensure a thorough resolution of the issue.


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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