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How to Unclog a Garbage Disposal

Many homeowners have installed a garbage disposal under their kitchen sink. A garbage disposal is a small tank with electrically powered blades that grind and shred chunks of garbage into small pieces, which are then discarded.

However, if the pieces put in are too large or too hard, the blade will get stuck and won't operate. You then have to dislodge whatever is stuck there. Follow the simple instructions below to learn how to do this.

  1. Disconnect the power to the garbage disposal.
  2. Shine a flashlight down the sink drain. If you can see what's preventing the blades from turning, try dislodging it by pulling it out with tongs, pliers or anything that will help you get hold of it. Never stick your fingers into the garbage disposal.
  3. Insert a hex-head wrench into the slot located at the bottom of the garbage disposal, under the sink. The slot is directly under the center of the disposal. Once inserted, turn the wrench back and forth. This will manually turn the flywheel to free it from obstruction.
  4. Insert a wooden spoon handle into the garbage disposal through the sink drain and turn the flywheel manually to make sure it moves freely. This makes sure that all is clear.
  5. Turn the power on again once you feel the flywheel moving freely. Your garbage disposal is now ready for use.

[sources: Carpenter Workshop, Gomestic]