If your garbage disposal unit jams, chances are something is stuck inside it. When you turn the switch on, you should hear a humming sound from the disposal for a few seconds before the circuit breaker turns the disposal off. If it does not make a humming sound, it is likely the unit is fried. To troubleshoot the disposal:

  1. First, press the reset button on the bottom of the unit.
  2. If the unit does not make any sound, plug something else in to verify there is power going to the outlet.
  3. If the reset button does not get electric, and there is electric going to the outlet, the unit needs to be replaced.
  4. If you hear a sound, and the unit turns off again, it is likely there is an obstruction.

If there’s an obstruction:

  1. Locate the Allen wrench key that came with the disposal.
  2. Unplug the disposal and insert the Allen key into the slot on the bottom center of the disposal.
  3. Attempt to rotate the key back and forth until you can continually turn the key around multiple times in both directions.
  4. If you can’t free it, try to remove all of the contents by hand until you have removed all obstructions and the blades inside can spin, including the metal saucer they sit on. WARNING! Remember to unplug the disposal before putting your hand into the unit or risk serious injury.
  5. Once the disposal is spinning free, plug the disposal back in and run the water.
  6. Turn the disposal back on.
  7. Toggle the switch on and off a couple of times to ensure the obstruction has been removed or has passed.

If this doesn’t un-jam the disposal, we recommend you call your local neighborhood plumber to handle the repair.