Unjamming The Disposal

I have a secret that I’m going to share with you, and it pains me to admit this, but here it goes: I’ve worked in the plumbing industry for nearly 5 years, and I have still managed to destroy my garbage disposal,  despite my knowledge of what NOT to put down it.  Once, I accidentally knocked the rocks from the Betta fish bowl, and proceeded to turn on the disposal. Not my brightest moment and definitely something you do NOT do.  Unfortunately, the disposal had to be replaced, and we endured many jokes at my expense from the plumbers here.  If you do find yourself in my situation, with a disposal that’s jammed and not running, what can you do?  We have some tips you can take on unjamming your disposal yourself.

Step One: Confirm Electricity

Start by checking that your disposal has electricity running to it.  You can do this by going to your main electrical panel and checking the circuit breakers and/or fuses going to your kitchen.  If all is well with the breakers and fuses, go to the disposal’s wall switch and turn it on.  Hopefully, this works and your disposal is now working again.  However, if it’s not, you’ll need to reset the disposal.

Step Two:  Resetting the Disposal

If you have confirmed that there’s no electricity to the disposal, you may need to do a reset of the unit.  To do this, reach into your sink cabinet and press the button that’s located at the base of the disposal. This is the thermal overload button, and should restore power to the unit.  Check the unit by flipping the wall switch.  If power isn’t restored, at this point, you may need to contact an electrician.  If you hear the motor humming, immediately turn off the wall switch and proceed to the next step.

Step Three:  Unjamming the Disposal

First of all, unplug the disposal.  If you have already unplugged the disposal, confirm that it’s unplugged and keep it unplugged.  I can’t stress enough how important it is to ensure that the disposal is unplugged during this step.  You’ll need an Allen wrench for this step, so make sure you have one handy.  Once you have your tool and confirmed that the disposal is unplugged, take the Allen wrench and insert it into the hex-shaped hole located at the base of the disposal.  Use the wrench to manually turn the disposal’s motor shaft alternating between clockwise and counterclockwise.  You’ll want to do this until the obstruction is dislodged and the motor shaft spins freely.  Test your disposal by running water into the sink and turning on the disposal.  If this worked, then you’re done!  If it didn’t work, we recommend calling in the pros to assist in further removal of the obstruction.

We like to have fun with our customers and blog posts, but occasionally, we do have to get serious and this is one of those times. We want to offer our customers these money-saving, do-it-yourself tips to help save time and money, but have to advise that these blog posts are tips only and are not professional advice.  Remember, we are always here to help and answer any questions or concerns that you may have!  You can reach out to us via email at info@medlockservices.com or by phone at 972-562-4444.  We hope you have an awesome week, and we’ll explore toilet tips next week.  If you have a blog post you would like to see, please reach out to us via FB or Twitter, or email us!

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