Your Guide To Fixing A Jammed Garbage Disposal

Nothing is worse than beginning food preparations for a meal or gathering, only to discover that your garbage disposal is jammed and refusing to shred your food waste. If your garbage disposal is jammed, there are a few things you can do to try to fix it yourself. Keep reading for your guide to fixing a jammed garbage disposal.

Start by Resetting the Unit

If your garbage disposal isn't making any type of sound when you try to use, it's likely that the unit isn't jammed but rather isn't receiving power. Make sure the unit is plugged in. Once you confirm that the unit is receiving power by checking that none of your electrical breakers have tripped, you need to reset your garbage disposal.

Sometimes, when a garbage disposal is overloaded, it will stop working so that the disposal isn't damaged. You can restore function to the unit by resetting it. Garbage disposals have a small reset button on the portion of the unit under the sink. To reset the unit, all you need to is press the reset button in.

Clear the Disposal for Jams

Should resetting the unit fail to restore power to the unit, it's time to clear any jams from the disposal. Garbage disposals have a small, hex-shaped holes on the portion of the unit under the sink. You can insert an appropriately sized hex wrench into this hole and manually turn the unit's impellers to clear the jam. 

If you find yourself without a hex wrench, a broom handle will suffice. Make sure to disconnect power to your garbage disposal before going the broom route. Stick the handle of the broom into the hole and try to rotate the impellers to clear the jam. 

Check the Disposal and Plumbing for Clogs

It's easy to mistake a clogged garbage disposal for a jammed unit. However, if you've freed the garbage disposal's impellers of debris and large food items and the unit still doesn't work, it's likely the disposal is clogged. If your garbage disposal has standing water, this is another sign that it's clogged, not jammed.

Clearing a garbage disposal of a clog requires a bit of dirty work, tools, and plumbing expertise. Many people prefer to call a plumber to deal with clogged garbage disposals. If you want to try to fix the clog yourself, be prepared to remove and dismantle the drain pipe that connects to your garbage disposal to pinpoint the source of the clog. Have a bucket on hand to drain water and old food debris from the pipes. For more information, contact a plumber in your area.