Garbage Disposal Jams

Reblogger Debbie Walsh
Real Estate Agent with Shahar Management


When dealing with garbage disposal problems always make sure to never put your hand anywhere near the blades without making sure it is completely shut off.  This is a great how to when dealing with garbage disposal problems.


Original content by Lennar Corporation

Garbage disposals can come in extremely handy, but have you ever had the experience of turning on the switch and hearing silence in place of whirring blades? Before you run out and buy a new garbage disposal, make sure that yours is not just jammed. Our Lennar team has put together a how-to on dealing with this situation, as well as some other tips on caring for this small appliance.

Garbage disposals can be very sensitive and sometimes, pieces of food or other items can cause them to jam. The garbage disposal is not meant to be used with large amounts of leftover food, especially items like potato peels or eggshells. Large bones and fibrous materials can actually damage the disposal. Make sure to refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for information on exactly how to use this appliance.

When using the disposal, run cold water to wash down materials, letting it run for a sufficient amount of time to carry the particles down and into the main line, this will help prevent buildup on the transit pipes.

If your disposal does not appear to be functioning properly, there is a method for working the gears free. Before you do this, make sure you turn the switch to the garbage disposal off and unplug it from the wall. Never place your hand into your garbage disposal. Take the special tool (it looks somewhat like an Allen wrench) that comes with your disposal to work the gears free. Remove the jammed item. Once the unit is cleared, put it back together, press the reset button on the bottom and plug it in. You may have to try a few times before the gears are freed. Once this is done, it should work properly.

See below for a video demonstration about garbage disposals.


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Mark Hitz
Keller Williams - The Colony, TX

I put the unjamming tool in a zip lock bag and tape it to the side of the cabinet by the disposal.  That way I always know were it is.

Sep 14, 2010 09:37 AM #1
Lora "Leah" Stern 914-772-4528
Coldwell Banker, 170 N Main Street, New City NY 10956 - New City, NY
Real Estate Salesperson

Debbie, thanks for the tip.  Never knew the disposal came with an unjamming tool.  Love Marks tip for storing.

Sep 14, 2010 10:15 AM #2
Sandy Shores FL Realtor®, Melbourne Real Estate
M & M Realty of Brevard Inc. - Melbourne, FL
Brevard County Real Estate, Florida's Space Coast

Debra, Great, simple fix for unjamming that garbage disposal.  I bet you just saved many people from someday going out and buying a new disposal.

Sep 14, 2010 10:36 AM #3
Robert L. Brown - Grand Rapids, MI
Grand Rapids Real Estate Bellabay Realty, West Mic

I don't have one but i'm very cautious around them. Younever can tell when they want to turn on and your fingers are inside.

Sep 14, 2010 10:46 AM #4
Tricia Hoffmann
Your Home Free - Highland Village, TX

I have used a broomstick before but the tool works way better!

Sep 14, 2010 11:34 AM #5
Janice Ankrett
Janice Ankrett Home Staging - Burlington, ON
Staging Professional

Debra, I'm not a fan of garbage disposals. They tend to jam and smell if not maintained properly. Thanks for the tip.

Sep 15, 2010 03:36 AM #6
Carra & Shae Riley
Brokers Guild Cherry Creek Ltd - Westminster, CO
Helping people Transition at all ages!

Debra....I'm sure we've all had the unpleasant experience of a jammed disposal.  The unjamming tool works very well, if you can find it.  I like Mark's way of knowing where it is!

Sep 15, 2010 04:22 AM #7
Nick T Pappas
Assoc. Broker/Broker ABR, CRS, SFR, e-Pro, @Homes Realty Group, @HomesBirmingham & Providence Property Mgmnt, LLC Hun... - Huntsville, AL
Madison & Huntsville Alabama Real Estate Resource

Debra, fortunately I've not had to deal with a jammed disposal, however, I have had to unplug some drain pipes.  In my opinion that's usually because not enough water is run when using the disposal.  I really don't like them (disposals) but they are a convenience for many.

Sep 15, 2010 02:39 PM #8
Debbie Walsh
Shahar Management - Middletown, NY
Hudson Valley NY Real Estate 845.283-3036

Mark-What a great idea!

Leah-Love these types of posts.  Always great for homeowner questions too.

Sandy-I wonder how many have bought new ones because of this!

Robert-I have never had one so I have no experience with these problems.

Tricia-LOL I would think the broomstick would suffer some major damage!

Janice-I have never been interested in them either.

Carra-I thought it was a great idea too.  I have known many people who have had nothing but problems with theirs.

Nick-I don't really like them either.

Sep 20, 2010 11:14 AM #9
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Debbie Walsh

Hudson Valley NY Real Estate 845.283-3036
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