Waste Disposal Problem

The waste disposal unit under my sink has packed up. Flick the wall switch and all you get is a faint hum, but no grinding of gnashing of teeth. It was working fine, then the next minute it wasn't. The onlt thing that went it in between was some manky bits of cauliflower, which I guess is going to rot if it doesn't come out soon.
Never having got involved in one of these before (it was in the house when we bought it new about 11 years ago. I'm clueless as to how they work or why it might not.. It looks to be, although its difficult to read the labels exactly a Waste Maid 250 1/2hp, if that makes sense. Is it something that I should leave to an expert, or is it likey to be something that may be repairable for a half competent novice? Given its age, should it be replaced anyway?
Thanks for any tips
Brian
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They basically consist of soemthing like a food processor down below the sink through which the water and waste (like your cauliflower) goes. There is a rotating blade of some sort to chop and mince the waste so it can be washed away.
The 'hum' you are getting suggests that the motor isn't rotating the blade, maybe the cauliflower was too much for it and has jammed it. The obvious thing to check is to see if something has jammed the blades and, if it has, unblock it.
If you do try and clear it out take great care that it's powered off when you try and clear it, waste disposal units are made to crunch up quite a lot so fingers are very vulnerable.
If the rotating parts can still rotate freely but aren't then I fear the motore has failed in some way, more expenisve and not really d-i-y.
--
Chris Green

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wrote:

They usually have a screw or hex fitting in the base which allows you to manually rotate the cutter disk to unjam it. Before poking anything in make sure the thing is switched OFF. Sometimes waggling the disc backwards and forwards on the manual rotation thing unjams it enough to allow it to get going again. You will need to fish around for the teaspoon in the cauliflower which probably jammed it. Make sure the damn thing is really off though unless you want finger&cauliflower soup.
Removing them is fairly easy - there is a locking collar at the top which frees it from the sink.
--
Peter Parry.
http://www.wpp.ltd.uk/
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wrote:

Not a teaspoon, but a conveniently placed removable insert from a garlic press.....must have fallen in off the draining board.
Problem now solved!
Thanks for your help (and to Chris too)
Brian
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Thanks guys.
One year on and this thread helped solve my problem and saved me mone (am sure)
All it was was a little piece of bone stuck in the base of the disposa unit. One broken wooden spoon later, I managed to dislodge it and m Wastemaid was as good as new
-- bhookey
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