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Remove a Foreign Object from a Garbage Disposal

  • Transcript

    LESLIE: Stephanie in Arkansas, welcome to The Money Pit. What can we do for you?

    STEPHANIE: I have an aquarium rock that is stuck in my garbage disposal.

    TOM: Oh, I hope the fish isn’t stuck in there too.

    STEPHANIE: No, no, no, they’re in the tank. (Tom chuckles) But I got the key out and I figured out – because I’m a first-time homeowner …

    TOM: Mm-hmm.

    STEPHANIE: … and I’m blonde.

    TOM: Oh, OK. (Leslie laughs)

    STEPHANIE: But I got the key – I got the key out and I figured out how to …

    TOM: Which explains how the aquarium rocks ended up in the garbage disposer, huh? (chuckling)

    STEPHANIE: (chuckling) That’s how it got there. It’s a blonde error. But I figured out how to unstick it with the key underneath.

    TOM: OK.

    STEPHANIE: And I felt in there and I thought I got everything out but as soon as I turn it back on it’s still in there. So …

    TOM: Alright. Well, are you just hearing it sort of like, you know, run around? Like in other words, it’s not stuck. It’s not jammed.

    STEPHANIE: It is stuck right now but I can get it unstuck.

    TOM: OK. And – but so it’s still in there and when you turn it back on it jams again because the rock kind of gets jammed in there?

    STEPHANIE: Correct.

    TOM: Alright.

    STEPHANIE: And it’s an older garbage disposal so is there a way that I can clean it without turning it on? (INAUDIBLE)

    TOM: (overlapping voices) Yeah, I’ve got an idea. I’ve got an idea for you. Alright, first of all, get it unstuck so it’s just down there and loose.

    STEPHANIE: Mm-hmm.

    TOM: Make sure the disposer is off. Get a vacuum, turn it on and stick the suction of the vacuum down there and pull that rock right out.

    STEPHANIE: OK, great.

    TOM: OK? Or get some …

    LESLIE: Hey, that’s a fun trick.

    TOM: Get somebody to help you with it. Yeah.

    STEPHANIE: If worse comes to worse and I have to take this off, is it hard to put them back on? Is there anything specific that I have to really watch for, for it to work right?

    TOM: The disposer? Ugh. That would be – that would be a big hassle.


    TOM: You should be able to get that rock out or, you know, wear it down to the point where it just goes down the drain. (Stephanie chuckles)

    LESLIE: Just grind away at it?

    TOM: Grind away at it. Yeah, exactly. Now, if it’s loose and inside the disposer, you just can’t like see it, you know, very often when stuff gets stuck in there you can stick a flashlight down there and see it and grab it.


    TOM: But of course, the power has to be off. That’s critical. But if you – and if you use a vacuum – you know, even a shop vac or wet/dry vac – lot of suction, stick it down there. It’ll probably pull it right up.

    STEPHANIE: OK, great. Thank you so much.

    TOM: You’re welcome. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.

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