Jammed Garbage Disposal (Stuck Flywheel)
If you turn your garbage disposal on and hear a humming sound, you have a jammed garbage disposal, caused by a stuck flywheel. If you keep the switch on for more than a moment, you are likely to trip either the reset button on the bottom of the garbage disposal, your circuit breaker. There is something stuck in either the flywheel or the shredder ring and the impellers, so you’ll need to free up the cause of the jam before running the motor any longer.
First, turn off the power at your circuit breaker before going any farther. It’s very important to make sure that the power to the unit is off before attempting to fix any type of garbage disposal problem, especially when putting your hand down the drain and near the blades.
Now, using the offset wrench that came with your garbage disposal, turn the flywheel clockwise to free up the jam. This is done by inserting the wrench into the hole in the very center of the bottom of the unit. If you don’t have the wrench that came with it, you can use an allen wrench, or pick up a replacement offset wrench at most stores that sell garbage disposals, as they are a pretty basic and common item.
The flywheel will turn freely once you have dislodged the jam, you’ll feel it. An alternative to the method above is to insert a broom handle down the drain and try to dislodge the jam be applying pressure to the blades and top of the unit from above.
After clearing up your jammed garbage disposal, go ahead and flip your circuit breaker back on. Before you turn your disposer on, be sure to check that the red reset button on the bottom of the unit is pushed in. Turn on the tap water and now you can turn on the unit, but only run it for a second. This will turn the flywheel for a moment and wash the obstruction down the drain.
That’s it, your jammed garbage disposal is now fixed and ready for more work!