How to Fix a Frozen Garbage Disposal

From time to time, garbage disposal motors may freeze, leaving them ineffective. You will know when this occurs when you turn on the disposal and only hear a slight hum instead of the grinding and crushing of a properly functioning garbage disposal. This hum is usually the result of an object getting stuck into the disposal, or possibly the appliance has not been used for an extended period of time.

You can generally find a reset switch on the bottom of the garbage disposal (usually a red button) and a hexagonal socket (an area where you can insert an Allen wrench). You’ll want to insert the Allen wrench (typically, they come with disposal) into the hexagonal socket and apply gentle pressure to attempt to get the wrench to spin. If you can get the wrench to turn, success! Now try the switch and see if the disposal is functioning correctly again. Now is an excellent time to check for leaks in the disposal or any plumbing in this area.

Please note, if the disposal is significantly frozen, attempting to free it may break the disposal or cause it to leak. If this occurs, it’s easy to get a new one and install it too.



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