Fixing Garbage Disposals

Of course the biggest problem you’ll encounter with your disposal is clogs. Here are a few tips and tricks for taking care of them.

Most garbage disposals come with an Allen wrench to help clear them when clogged or jammed. If yours didn’t, or you’ve misplaced it, most Allen wrenches will work. But first, before doing anything, make sure the power to the unit is off, flipping the circuit breaker off if necessary. Then locate the small hole on the bottom of the garbage disposal, insert the Allen wrench and move it around a few times, until it moves freely in a circle. You may actually feel the jam clear as you do this. Then restore power to the unit, turn on the cold water, and flip the switch.

If your disposal lacks a hole on the bottom, you can try a broomstick to get it unstuck. Stick the broom handle in at the top of the disposal, and, while pressing down gently, “stir” the stick around.

Once things are turning freely inside your disposal, it should be fixed. But sometimes a hard object (like a wedding ring!) gets wedged inside and prevents the jam from clearing. Take a flashlight and shine it into the hopper. If you spot an obstruction, try using tongs or pliers to remove it. Remember; don’t put your hand inside the hopper!

If all these fixes don’t help your garbage disposal to work again, it’s probably time to call in a professional from HELP Plumbing, Heating, Cooling and Electric (513) 333-HELP (4357).