All of a sudden today my wife says the garbage disposal just hums when you
flip the switch.
I tried to turn it by hand (with the power off of course) and it is locked
Is it shot or is there something I can do?
If it hums, there is still electricity going to it. Take the allen wrench
and turn it from underneath. If you can't find the allen wrench that goes
to it, you can put a socket on a long extension through the hole and grip
the center nut on the assembly. When you do get it free, feel or look down
in there to find the offending particle. DO NOT turn it on again, as this
shard can fly outward and punch a hole in the outer casing. Don't ask me
how I know.
2 folks have said to turn it with the Allen wrench to unjam it, but
they didn't say to turn it *backward* to unjam it. Hopefully that will
free up whatever has it jammed. If it's humming, odds are the breaker
on the unit didn't pop, but it's worth checking anyway.
You usually "wiggle" it back and forth until it moves freely.
If it "jams" very soon again without obvious cause (you don't put another
spoon down it) you can get a flashlight and look inside for something that
should not be there. Use common sense and whatever is handy to remove it.
Another trick before replacment is to remove the outlet tube and see if
there is come kind of back up. Again, use common sense as to the best way
to remove "stuff."
As they age, they get "sloppy" inside and don't chop as well. The bigger
pieces tend to jam.
As things go, disposals are pretty cheap (if you don't get carried away) and
easy to replace. Find a model with the same dimensions and you can replace
it in a few minutes. You can leave the part what attaches to the sink.
You remove and attach the electric while the disposal is sitting down.
Then it's easier than changing, say, a worn out switch.
Amen to that. When I went purchasing replacement disposals, I would look at
the ones big enough to digest semi truck tires and say, "Huhhhhh?"
They're disposable disposals, folks. You can get a good one for $60. Less
on sale. If you use them to chew up very large chunks of "stuff", you might
want a bigger one. Or, if you're of the school that you NEVER turn on the
garbage disposal or dishwasher until you can't put another cubic centimeter
of "stuff" in there, then you might need a big one.
The first one's a bugger to change, and after that, they take less and less
time until you can change one in a very short time.
Other than this part, I agree with this reply:
"You can leave the part what attaches to the sink."
My old Kenmore had a rubber shield that was sandwiched between the
sink and the chrome drain ring (the part you see when looking into the
sink.) After years of sticking our hands into the disposer to retrieve
plastic bottle caps, bars of soap, etc. half the shield was ripped
away. We definitely did not want to leave this in place when we
replaced the unit.
We went with the InSinkErator Evolution series which has a removable
shield that just drops into the drain opening. With this shield in
place the disposer is so quiet that there are times I don't realize
it's on until I turn the water off. In order to install this disposer
properly, everything from the old unit had to be replaced.
Thanks to all for the advice.
I took some of it and the disposal is working fine again.
The allen key did not work because it was really jammed but I can see how
that should work.
I finally got frustrated and took a screwdriver I had that is 12 inches long
and has a pretty thick shaft (about 1/2" of steel) and put it down the sink.
I pushed the blades counter-clockwise and it suddenly spun.
I put something over the drain so nothing could spin out at me and turned on
the disposal and it spun like a new top.
I think there might have been part of a coffee bean stuck in ther.
Again, thanks to all!!
You got lucky. If it had been something hard like a bone or a bottle cap,
you could have knocked a hole in the housing.
Spinning the blades without finding the cause of the jam = a bad idea that
can cost you a good disposal.
-- I think there might have been part of a coffee bean stuck in there.
If a part of a coffee bean jammed your disposer, then I think you need
a new one!
The InSinkErator I have says that you can put small bones in it - rib
bones, drumsticks, etc. (although I never have)
The sounds you can here at this site are very accurate -
and this site shows a commercial - lemons, bones, corn cobs, pineapple
http://www.insinkerator.com/disposers/commercial_vid.php (click on the
Well, possibly whatever jammed it is now down the drain.
That was the only thing light enough to come back out into the sink.
I did check to see if there were any big pieces, etc as well as any metal
objects before starting it. Nothing that I could feel or see so I started it
Turned out OK this time.
I remember my folks taking me to a home show over 50 years ago when
garbage disposals were just becoming mainstream consumer items and
watching some guy demo one on a table top.
The disposal was upright on a stand ith the motor running and the guy
was dropping glass marbles into it "dry" while we stood there and
watched ground glass streaming from the outlet into a bowl placed next
to it on the tabletop.
It was one of those memories that stays with you forever...
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