Garbage disposal, which is stuck, can be identified by the loud electric sound made by it as soon as it is turned on.
The motor won’t be able to turn the disposal; it should be switched off immediately to avoid the motor from burning. Even if you have a safety switch, this is very harmful to the motor.
This problem can be solved very quickly and will not even take very long. Unless you encounter a situation where a metal item is securely lodged and is unable to be removed – this is not a rule but an exception.
Let’s move on to how to unstick garbage disposal now. They are usually an easy fix and can even be dealt with an Allen wrench in a couple of minutes.
Before starting, remember that the unit must be switched off.
Press the Reset Button
1. Pull the plug out or switch off the garbage disposal unit to ensure the appliance is not activated when you work on it. Safety should be your top priority when working with electrical appliances.
2. Find the reset button on the disposal’s underside and press it. The jam may get fixed by resetting right away.
If the reset button doesn’t stick out, you can switch to other methods that involve rotating the grinders manually to clear the blockage. The unit should remain unplugged throughout.
3. Wait for 15 minutes to see if the button pops out again. When the garbage disposal overheats, this button will pop outback.
Allow it some time to cool down and press this button again, repeat until it stays in place. If this also doesn’t help, switch to other methods like running down some cold water.
Turn the faucet on and check to ensure the water is severe enough, let it run down the drain for a couple of minutes.
4. Testing the garbage disposal. Once you are done doing the above, plug the unit back and switch it on.
The reset button should be in its place as the blades begin to spin again. If you still see them stuck, listen to the motor humming, which indicates that the disposal is functional.
If you still do not hear any humming sound and the power supply is on, there is a probability that it is broken and needs replacement.
Rotate Disposal Blades
1. Insert an Allen wrench in the hole present below the disposal. Unplug the unit and climb under the sink to locate the hole under the disposal. This should be hexagonal and will be in the center. Grab the Allen wrench, which came with the unit and enter its head in this hole.
If your unit did not have any wrench, buy a hex head Allen wrench of ¼ inch from your nearby hardware store.
2. Turn the disposal’s motor shaft by cranking the wrench. Turn the wrench anticlockwise as much as you can, and then clockwise so that it does not go any further.
Continue cranking it like this until it can rotate in a full circle. You can apply force when doing this, as the wrench is designed to be bent and will not cause damage to the disposal unit.
3. Turn on the tap to run water and test the disposal. Remove the wrench and turn on the tap, running some water will rinse the debris which is still stuck in disposal blades.
If the wrench was rotating smoothly, the unit should normally be working. However, if it was unable to be turned or does not work still, unplug, drain the water and go for a different method to treat it.
Removing blockages manually
1. Switch off the room’s power supply. Go the fuse box present in the home and locate the switch corresponding to the room where the disposal is placed, and flip this to switch it off.
You can also do this by switching off the light switch near the disposal unit, but this only works id the switch controls the outlet where the unit is plugged. Check for any humming noise from the unit.
2. Check the drain for any blockages. Use a torch or flashlight to see if there are any blockages over the outer edge of the unit.
Look for the disposal blade’s small teeth at its outer edge and check if there is any obstructing item.
3. Use pliers or tongs to remove these blockages. Avoid sticking your hand in the disposal unit for safety.
Get a pair of pliers or kitchen tongs instead of doing this. Stick them down the sink into the disposal unit, and break away any blockages you see using them.
4. Use a special garbage disposal wrench instead of an Allen wrench to spin the blades if they are still stuck. A special wrench looks similar to a claw having two prongs on ends.
Stick these prongs down the drain till you see them around the blades of the unit. Spin the blade clockwise and anticlockwise until they can rotate freely.
A lot of force is needed to spin the blades like this, so keep turning the wrench alternately like this until the blades are free.
5. Now pull the wrench out and switch on the unit after restoring power in the room. Now turn on the disposal and have a test run for the unit.
If the disposal is still not working, it needs to be replaced.
By now, you must be able to unstick your garbage disposal. The special wrench can be used most times, which comes with the unit, or an Allen wrench of the same size will also work.
Most of the problems will be fixed by working the wrench back and forth. The Allen wrench shall handle the problem most of the time and do the job very quickly.
If there is an even severe problem, then you may have to bring in a repairer or, in the worst case, buy a new garbage disposal unit.
Hopefully, one or the other way will bring you success. Now that you know how to unstick garbage disposal and are done with the jammed unit of yours, you can move on the next action now – maybe going to an adventure hike!