About the Post

Jerry Hardy

Author Information

I was a Building Contractor along with owning rental properties where I did most of the repairs myself. Its my pleasure to pass on to you some of the methods I had used in the past. Hopefully, this will save you the expense of hiring a professional to do the work.

Garbage Disposal Jammed

 In most cases, garbage disposal  jammed conditions can easily be corrected without having to call on the services of  a plumber.


Steps in freeing a jammed garbage disposal:


1.  Turn off power

Check to see if the power cord attached to the garbage disposal is plugged into a wall outlet. If so, unplug it.  If not, turn off the power to the disposal at the circuit breaker box.

2.  Remove any debris

After you are certain that the power is off, look inside the disposal with a flashlight and check for any debris laying at the bottom.  Using a long nose pliers, reach in and remove it.  If you don’t succeed using the pliers, try getting it out by hand if your hand is small enough to  pass through the opening.

3.  Free disposal with wrenchGarbage disposal wrench

Looking at the center of the bottom of the disposal, you will see  a small hole. The purpose of the hole is for attachment of a garbage disposal wrench.   After placing the end of the wrench in the hole, turn it both clockwise and counterclockwise to loosen the jam.  Once the wrench turns freely, you will know that the jam has been cleared.   If you do not have a wrench as shown on the right, you can use an Allen wrench.

4 Check again for debris

Take a look inside the disposal again for debris and if found, remove it.

5. Reset the disposal

On the bottom  you will find a red button which is a reset switch.  It acts as a circuit breaker to shut off the current when the disposal is under extreme load.  Push the button inward to reset the power.

6. Turn on power

Next, plug the disposal back in the outlet if it has been removed or turn the power back on at the circuit breaker box.

7. Flush out

The final step is flushing out the unit.  Turn on the cold water tap at maximum while running the garbage disposal.  Let it run for a minute or so to clear out all debris.

8. Final word

The garbage disposal should now be operating smoothly.  To prevent further garbage disposal jammed conditions, provide plenty of water while grinding and continue running the water up to 30 seconds after grinding.  This will insure that the disposal is clear of all debris.

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