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How do I unclog a garbage disposal?

The first thing you need to do is shut off the power to the garbage disposal at the main circuit breaker. That’s very important. You are dealing with electricity and water here, so don’t mess around.

  • Use a flashlight to look into the garbage disposal through the sink drain. If you can see any foreign object blocking the blades from turning, use tongs, pliers or another tool to grab and remove the object.
  • Locate the hex-head wrench that came with your garbage disposal. If you cannot find it, find a hex-head wrench that fits into the hole in the bottom of your garbage disposal.
  • Insert the hex-head wrench into the hole in the bottom of your garbage disposal and turn the wrench back and forth. This manually turns the flywheel to free it from obstructions.
  • Insert a wooden spoon handle or a broom handle into the garbage disposal through the sink drain and manually turn the flywheel until it moves freely.
  • Turn the power to your garbage disposal back on when you think the problem is solved, and test the results.

Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and safety of this information. Neither Westlake nor any contributor can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

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