Garbage Disposal Woes: How to Get Out of a Bind

Garbage Disposal Woes: How to Get Out of a BindWhen your garbage disposal jams it often automatically shuts off, and may not restart when you flip the wall switch. Many homeowners don’t know there’s a reset button located on the bottom of the unit. It’s usually very small and often red or black. So get a flashlight and look under the unit. If you see the button, push it. Then, when you turn the disposal on, listen to hear if it sounds like it’s binding. If it’s binding it might be jammed.

Unsticking a garbage disposal is a tricky operation, but it can sometimes be done with a broom handle or wooden stick. Turn the power off, unplug the unit and then try to use the stick to move the impellers of the disposal around. If that doesn’t work, it’s time to replace it. You shouldn’t try to repair it because it’s just not cost effective.

In terms of brands, Insinkerator has a model with an anti-jam function that increases the torque to power through impending jams.

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