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How to Unclog a Garbage Disposal

added by homeclick 8/8/2013 12:00:00 AM
How to Unclog a Garbage Disposal. It can be expected that at some point your garbage disposal will become clogged. Here's how to unclog it.
  • Allen wrench
  • Tongs
  • Flashlight
  • Plumbing
  • Kitchen
  • New Jersey
  • Less than 30 Minutes
  • Novice
Warning: Always make sure the power is off to the garbage disposal before working on it.

Never reach your hand into a garbage disposal – always use tongs or pliers.

A freshly unclogged disposal can shoot water out. When restoring power to the disposal, stand back and wear eye protection.

5 steps on 'How to Unclog a Garbage Disposal'


Shut Off Power

Shut Off Power

Before working on your garbage disposal, make sure the power is off at the switch and the circuit box.


Check if an Object is Lodged in the Disposal

Check if an Object is Lodged in the Disposal

Using the flashlight, look into the drain to see if you can see the object that is clogging it. If you are able to see something, use metal tongs or pliers to remove it.


Fit Hex Wrench into Slot on the Bottom

Fit Hex Wrench into Slot on the Bottom

If you no longer have the Allen wrench (hex wrench/Allen key) that came with your disposal, you can purchase one in a hardware store near the garbage disposals or use one that you already have that fits. Place this wrench inside the slot made for it on the bottom of the disposal.


Turn Wrench

Turn Wrench

Turn the Allen wrench until you feel resistance and then turn it the other way. The resistance you hit is the item clogging your garbage disposal, so try to break it free.


Restore Disposal Power

Restore Disposal Power

Turn the breaker back on and press the reset button, also located on the bottom of the disposal. Turn on the water and flip the disposal “on” switch to see if the disposal is now unclogged. If the blades move freely but there is still standing water in the sink that will not go down, the pipe beyond the disposal is clogged, and you will need to follow the steps for dealing with a clogged pipe.

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