How to Fix a Clogged Garbage Disposal

Nothing is more aggravating than not being able to use your kitchen sink because the garbage disposal is clogged or jammed. Although the problem may seem to be huge, most of the time it can be surprisingly quick to fix with a little understanding of how your garbage disposal works. This article will provide tips on how to fix a clogged or jammed garbage disposal without the help of a plumber, saving you time, money, and headaches.

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You can unplug a clogged garbage disposal.

Step 1

Turn off the power to the garbage disposal at the breaker box. Double check to make sure you've turned off the correct breaker switch before performing any work of any kind.

Step 2

Inspect the drain with a flashlight to see if you can locate any objects that are blocking the drain. Extract any foreign objects using tongs or something similar.

Step 3

Locate the Allen wrench socket on the bottom of the disposal unit. Insert the correct sized Allen wrench into the socket and turn it clockwise to loosen the flywheel. You should immediately feel some type of loosening happening if you rotate it enough times.

Step 4

Insert a broom handle carefully into the drain to where it can rest upon one of the bolts that hold the blades down, and push it to rotate the flywheel and further loosen up any food that has been lodged in the drain. Rotate the flywheel manually several times with the broom handle until it spins fairly easily without a lot of "elbow grease" required.

Step 5

Turn the power back on, run some water, and flip the switch very quickly to see if the motor will respond. You may have to keep the switch in the "on" position for about 5 or more seconds to really see if the motor will begin to start spinning the flywheel, but if it's been 10 seconds or more with no rotation, you need to turn the power back off and manually rotate the flywheel with the broom handle or Allen wrench a little more. If the power does not come on when the switch is flipped, push the red reset button on the bottom of the unit and try again.