Got a jammed garbage disposal? This problem can easily throw off your entire day as it will make it hard to use your kitchen sink. Sometimes food products or other items get stuck in the garbage disposal and slow down the flow of water.

As a result, the sink’s drainage may slow down or come to a total standstill. If you’re in need of a solution, check out our 6 easy steps to clear a jammed garbage disposal.

Tools and Materials Needed

  • Flashlight
  • Allen wrench
  • Long tongs or pliers


1. Turn off the Power

Start by turning off the power to prevent an electric shock or accidental operation of the disposal as you work to dislodge the jam. The last thing you need is an injury or other catastrophe.

2. Identify the Reset Button

Find the reset button next to the disposal unit and press it to reset the motor. The reset button is small and red. Doing this may help you restore the function of the disposal. Sometimes small power surges or power overloads are detected in the currents, which cause the ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlet to halt the delivery of power to the electronics. This protects the unit from certain damage. By pressing the button, you will reset the break and restore the proper delivery of electricity to the unit.

3. Use a Flashlight

If resetting the outlet didn’t work, you may use a flashlight to look down into the disposal unit to see if there is anything visible that is contributing to the jam. If you see it, remove the obstruction using your tongs or pliers.

We caution you to never put your hand into the disposal. By putting your hand in the disposal, you will run the risk of getting it caught in the blades which can easily become a dangerous situation. Avoid such hazards by using your tools instead.

4. Rotate the Blades With an Allen Wrench

Sometimes all you need to do is rotate the blades to help the obstruction go through the system smoothly. Grab your Allen wrench and insert it into a hold on the underside of the disposal. Then, turn it back and forth, rotating the blades. This will make the obstruction move away from the place where it is stuck.

5. Rotate the Blades With a Broom

Can’t find your Allen wrench? Use your wooden broom handle to try to rotate the blades. Simply insert it into the disposal and gently rotate the blades by moving them back and forth. As you do this, do not use excessive force because that can damage the blades.

6. Reset and Test

When you’ve finally cleared out the obstruction, you will be ready to restore the usual operation of the disposal unit. Press the reset button and restore the power to the entire unit. Run some water through the disposal unit and run it by using the switch to ensure that it is now working again.

Call Erica’s Plumbing Today

Garbage disposals can create a lot of frustration, especially if they continue to jam. If you’ve tried all that you can and the problem persists, you will need the assistance of a professional plumber such as the ones at Erica’s Plumbing. Call us for easy and prompt restoration of your issue. Our plumbers will help you get back to enjoying the smooth operation of your kitchen.

Related Content: Do I Need A Plumber in Boca Raton to Fix My Garbage Disposal?

company icon