Home Maintenance

Solving a Jammed Garbage Disposal: A Step-by-Step Guide


Jammed garbage disposals can be one of the most annoying and stressful issues for any homeowner. Garbage disposals are a great convenience and they can help to keep your kitchen clean and hygienic. But when they get jammed, it can be a real hassle to fix them. Here is a guide to help you troubleshoot and repair a jammed garbage disposal.

Identifying the Problem

The first step is to identify what is causing the jam. If the disposal is jammed and won’t turn on, it could be due to a clog or an overload. Check the power cord to make sure it is plugged in and working. Also, check to see if the reset button has been tripped. If the reset button has been tripped, press it back down and the disposal should work again.

Check the Disposal

If the reset button has not been tripped, then it is time to check the disposal itself. Unplug the disposal from the wall and remove the cover. Check for any objects that may be stuck in the disposal. If there are any objects, use a pair of pliers to remove them. You should also look for any signs of damage or wear and tear. If you find any damage, it is best to replace the disposal.

Clear the Clog

If you have identified a clog, then you will need to clear it. Start by using a plunger to dislodge the clog. If this does not work, you may need to use a drain snake. Insert the drain snake into the drain and move it around until the clog is cleared. If the clog is particularly stubborn, you may need to use a chemical drain cleaner. Follow the instructions on the packaging carefully.

Reassemble and Test

Once you have cleared the clog or identified and repaired any damage, you can begin to reassemble the disposal. Make sure to tighten all the screws and bolts and to check for any leaks. Plug the disposal back in and press the reset button. Test the disposal by running some cold water and turning it on. If it is working correctly, you should hear the grinding sound of the blades.

Preventative Maintenance

To avoid future jams, it is important to follow a few simple steps for preventative maintenance. Avoid putting any fibrous or starchy materials down the disposal, as these can cause clogs. You should also run cold water for a few seconds before and after using the disposal. This will help to flush away any debris that may be stuck in the blades. Finally, you should run the disposal on a regular basis to keep it in good working order.


Jammed garbage disposals can be a real headache, but with the right troubleshooting and maintenance, you can keep your disposal in top working condition. Remember to identify the cause of the jam, check for any damage, clear the clog, reassemble the disposal, and practice preventative maintenance.

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