How to unclog a garbage disposal:

When your garbage disposal clogs, don’t rush out and call a plumber. There may be simple methods for dealing with the problem.

You will need: a flashlight, an extraction tool, and an Allen wrench. Optional: a broom handle, a wooden spoon and a replacement garbage disposal unit.

Step 1) Locate and press the disposal reset button. Often, a disposal that’s overloaded will trigger a unit to shut down.

Step 2) Turn off the electric power to the disposal unit at your main electrical panel. Or, if you can easily access the power source to the disposal, unplug it.

Step 3) Examine the disposal unit with a flashlight and search for the object that might’ve caused the unit to clog.

Step 4) Remove the object with an extraction tool such as pliers or tweezers.

Step 5) Spin the disposal’s grinding unit with an Allen wrench in the hexagon shaped slot in the underside of the disposal. Insert a broom handle or wooden spoon into the disposal chamber and push it back and forth against the grinding arms.

Step 6) Remove any loose material in the disposal. Turn on the power and attempt to operate the disposal with the water running. *Don’t unbolt the screw in the center of the disposal chamber. The center bolt holds the unit together.

Step 7) If the clogging cannot be cleared with these techniques, you may have to replace the unit.

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