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Garbage Disposal Jammed? Here’s How to Safely Fix It

It’s a common problem, a wash cloth or other object falls into the sink, jams the garbage disposal and it stops running. Now what?

First, and most importantly, never attempt to clear the disposal until the power has been disconnected. Do not rely on turning power off at the switch, unplug the disposal from the wall outlet located under the sink. If the unit is hard-wired and has no plug, turn off the power at the circuit breaker.

It is not recommended that you forcefully try to remove whatever object is stuck inside the disposal. Instead, most under sink disposals can be unjammed using an allen wrench to manually turn motor shaft and free the impeller. The flywheel lug is located on the bottom of the disposal. Insert the wrench and turn the shaft counterclockwise, then clockwise until the obstruction is cleared and you can feel the motor shaft spinning freely. It may takes several attempts to free the shaft. Once it has been cleared, restore power the disposal, turn on the cold water and check that it is operating correctly.

If the disposal cannot be powered on, you may need to press the reset button located on disposal. Make sure the disposal power switch is in the OFF position before pressing the reset button.

Have garbage disposal problems? Call ABC Southwest Plumbing & Air Conditioning, we can help with all your plumbing, sewer and drain repairs.

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