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How can you fix a Jammed Disposal?

Posted by Tingey Plumbing, Heating & Air
on 02 August 2016
Garbage Disposal

Blog Highlights:

  • Fixing a jammed disposal on your own can help you avoid unnecessary expenses
  • A jammed disposal would stop running and would create a humming sound
  • Never put your hand inside the garbage disposal even if it is turned off
  • Any visible blockages should be removed by a tong or with the help of different tools
  • You can reset the garbage disposal by pressing the reset button below the disposal

While many homeowners would not hesitate calling a professional whenever their garbage disposal gets jammed, there are actually a few things that you need to try first before hiring someone else to fix it.

Hiring a professional plumber is a great idea especially when it comes to complicated tasks and repairs. But when it comes to trying to fix a jammed disposal, it might be best if you try to do it on your own so you can avoid spending a lot of money.

In most cases, the garbage disposal would stop running and the user would hear a humming sound within. If this is what’s happening to your disposal, then chances are its jammed. Fortunately, there is an easy fix that you can try.

Here’s how you can fix the jam:

1.  Turn the disposal off

If you don’t want to get hurt, turning off the disposal and shutting off the water in the sink should be your first priority.

2. Look for visible blockage

You should never try to put your hand inside to try to feel for any blockages. Instead, get a flashlight and use your eyes to check for any lodged debris. You can use different tools to help you remove any visible clogs.

3. Get the view from below

Look underneath your sink. At the bottom of the disposal, in the center, you can insert a ¼ inch Allen wrench in the hole. Try to work it back and forth until you can fully rotate it. Look inside and remove any debris with the use of a tong or any similar tools.

4. Manually rotate the blades

If you cannot look inside from below, try to rotate the blades using a broom handle or something similar that you can put inside the hole into the disposal. Put the tool against the blades and try to rotate it back and forth until it can freely move. Try to do a visual inspection once more and remove anything that has been dislodged with a tong.

5. Reset

Most disposals have a reset button located at the bottom. Push the button and reset the garbage disposal.

6. Turn it back on

Turn the water back on and put power back to the disposal. Try to check if it can now rotate freely. If not, you can repeat the entire process again.

Even if it is turned-off, never put your hand into the garbage disposal. The steps mentioned above can help you fix jammed garbage disposals. But if it does not work, it might be best for you to call a professional plumber and have an expert fix it for you.