Monday, November 5, 2012

How to Fix a Stuck Disposal

I have a GE disposal for my sink that would make a humming noise when I turned on the switch, but it would not spin.  I did some research and found out that this means it is stuck or something is preventing it from spinning.  In my case, it was probably rust or residue build up from having not used it for months.  See I never put solid foods down the drain so I figured I didn't need to use it, but now I know that you should still run the disposal every once in a while so it does not freeze up.

So how did I fix it?  First I took out the splash guard which is the rubber thing in the drain.  It just pulls out.  Next use a flashlight to look inside.  You will see the disposal wheel and anything that might be in there.  First I took a screwdriver and tried to scrape away any rust or debris that had accumulated on the inside.

Next I took a golf club handle and put it down into the drain, found a notch to catch it and slowly tried to rotate the wheel.  You can use any type of stick to do this.  It was very stuck and I didn't think it would work, but after a few minutes of pushing at it, it slowly began to break free and rotate.  I turned it back and forth manually for about a minute.

Finally I turned on the switch and low and behold it worked!  So if you have a sink disposal that makes a noise when you turn it on, but does not spin or grind, use the steps mentioned above.  Also see if you can find your owners manual either at home or online for tips on how to fix your exact model.  Good luck! 

Update 8-3-16:
I was not able to use my kitchen sink for several months and it ended up rusting stuck again. I tried to move it with a golf club handle but this time it would not budge. I looked around and found a large set of pliers. With the handle side down, I managed to lock it in place against the impellers of the fly wheel. Then I used the golf club to slowly crank the pliers in a clockwise direction. Slowly it began to break free and soon enough, it was spinning again!

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