Garbage disposal frozen

Page 1 of 2  
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 in place.
Is it shot or is there something I can do?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

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.
Steve
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Jr. wrote:

Sounds like it is jammed, 1. Unjam it by using Allen key tool, 2. Make sure thermal breaker is not popped, reset it by pushing it in.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Tony Hwang wrote:

Hmmm, how could it hum if the breaker was popped?
Jeff
--
Jeffry Wisnia
(W1BSV + Brass Rat \'57 EE)
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Is that the new Monica Lewinsky model?
Steve
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Jr., 7/15/2007,11:08:34 PM, wrote:

There is usually a hole in the bottom you can insert an Allen wrench into and turn manually until it unjams.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

If that does not work, take a look inside to see if something visible is jamming it. Bone chink, spoon, etc.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I just use a wooden dowel thru the sink opening.
--
Jim Yanik
jyanik
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

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.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Indeed!
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.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

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.
Steve
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

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.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
In order to install this disposer

Hey, you got the whole thing apart. Why NOT put everything back new? It comes right there in the box. And that new ring and rubber thingus looks SOOOOOOO good.
Steve
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Use the DUSTBIN

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Jr. writes:

Get a curb key (Home Depot plumbing) or similar cheap implement to grab down on the impeller and work it loose.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
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!!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

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.
Steve
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

-- 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 -
http://www.insinkerator.com/disposers/sound_demonstration.shtml
and this site shows a commercial - lemons, bones, corn cobs, pineapple tops:
http://www.insinkerator.com/disposers/commercial_vid.php (click on the Lemons thumbnail)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

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 up. Turned out OK this time.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
DerbyDad03 wrote:

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...
Jeff
--
Jeffry Wisnia
(W1BSV + Brass Rat \'57 EE)
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Site Timeline

Related Threads

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.