Jammed Garbage Disposal? Here’s How to Fix It

Jammed Garbage Disposal? Here's How to Fix It

Garbage disposals are an invaluable part of modern kitchens, making it easy to dispose of food waste without clogging the sink or filling up the trash can. However, if you’ve ever experienced a jammed garbage disposal, you know how frustrating it can be. Not only can it cause unwanted odors, but it can also impede the proper functioning of your kitchen. Luckily, fixing a jammed garbage disposal is not as difficult as it may seem, and you can do it like a pro with the right tools and knowledge. In this article, we’ll take a look at how to fix a jammed garbage disposal.

Tools Needed to Fix a Jammed Garbage Disposal

Before attempting to fix a jammed garbage disposal, it’s essential to have the right tools on hand. Here’s a list of tools you’ll need:

1. Allen wrench
2. Pliers
3. Screwdriver
4. Flashlight
5. Bucket
6. Gloves

While some garbage disposal manufacturers include an Allen wrench with their products, others do not. It’s essential to have an Allen wrench in your tool kit in case your garbage disposal jams. Pliers and a screwdriver are also necessary for removing any obstructions from the disposal. A flashlight comes in handy to inspect the disposal, while a bucket catches any water that may spill out when working around the disposal. Finally, gloves can protect you from sharp or dangerous debris in the disposal.

Steps to Fixing a Jammed Garbage Disposal

Now that you have the necessary tools let’s take a look at the steps to fix a jammed garbage disposal:

Step 1: Turn off the Power
Before working on your garbage disposal, make sure it’s turned off. You can do this by unplugging it or turning off the power at the circuit breaker.

Step 2: Inspect the Disposal
Using the flashlight, look into the disposal to determine the source of the jam. If you see any objects, remove them with pliers or tongs.

Step 3: Use an Allen Wrench
Insert the Allen wrench into the hexagonal-shaped hole on the bottom of the disposal. Use the wrench to loosen the jammed blades by turning it back and forth.

Step 4: Remove Obstructions
With the power still off, use pliers or tongs to remove any large obstructions that may have caused the jam. Be cautious and use gloves to avoid any injuries.

Step 5: Turn on the Power
After removing any obstructions, turn the power back on and turn on the garbage disposal to see if it’s running properly.

Step 6: Run Water
Once the disposal is running, run water while it’s running to ensure proper drainage.

Common Issues with Garbage Disposals

While jamming is a common issue with garbage disposals, there are other issues that may arise. Here are a few common problems you may experience:

1. Clogs
Clogs occur when the disposal can’t properly grind the food waste, causing a backup. If you notice water backing up into the sink, it’s likely there’s a clog. To prevent clogs, avoid putting food waste, such as bones or fibrous vegetables, down the disposal.

2. Leaks
Leaks can occur when the seal between the disposal and sink is damaged or broken. To avoid leaks, ensure the disposal is properly installed and tightened.

3. Loud Noises
Loud noises can be a sign of a damaged impeller or any other internal component. If you hear loud noises, it’s best to call a professional to diagnose the issue.

When to Call a Professional

While fixing a jammed garbage disposal is a straightforward process, there are times when it’s necessary to call a professional. If you experience any of the following, it’s best to let a professional handle the repair:

1. Electrical Issues
If you suspect any electrical issues with your garbage disposal, it’s important to call a professional. Attempting to fix electrical issues without proper training can be dangerous.

2. Damage to the Disposal
If the disposal is damaged or broken, it’s best to have a professional install a new one. Attempting to fix a broken disposal can lead to further damage and injury.

3. Issues with the Plumbing
If the issue is not with the disposal but with the plumbing, it’s best to call a professional plumber to diagnose and fix the issue.

Fixing a jammed garbage disposal may seem overwhelming, but with the right tools and knowledge, it’s a simple process. Remember to turn off the power before attempting any repairs, and always use caution when working around the disposal. By following these simple steps, you can fix your jammed garbage disposal like a pro. If you experience any other issues or are unsure about the repair process, don’t hesitate to call a professional for assistance.

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