garbage disposal installation and repair Temecula, CA

How to Fix a Jammed Garbage Disposal: A Step-by-Step Guide from Donnie’s Plumbing in Temecula, CA

At Donnie’s Plumbing, we understand how frustrating a jammed garbage disposal can be. It disrupts your kitchen routine and can be a bit daunting to fix. But don’t worry! In this blog, we’ll guide you through the steps to troubleshoot and fix a jammed garbage disposal. Follow these steps, and you’ll have your disposal up and running in no time.

Step 1: Safety First

Before you begin, ensure your safety:

  • Turn off the Power: Disconnect the power to your garbage disposal by unplugging it from the outlet under the sink or turning off the circuit breaker.
  • Avoid Using Your Hands: Never put your hands directly into the disposal.

Step 2: Identify the Problem

Common causes of jams include:

  • Foreign Objects: Small utensils or non-food items can fall into the disposal.
  • Food Overload: Large amounts of food waste or fibrous items like celery can clog the blades.

Step 3: Manual Unjamming

  • Locate the Hex Hole: Most disposals have a hex hole at the bottom. Insert an Allen wrench into the hole.
  • Turn the Wrench: Turn the wrench back and forth to manually rotate the blades and dislodge the jam. You’ll feel resistance, but continue until it turns freely.

Step 4: Use a Wooden Spoon

If your disposal doesn’t have a hex hole:

  • Use a Wooden Spoon: Insert a wooden spoon handle into the disposal through the sink drain.
  • Manually Rotate the Blades: Use the spoon to manually turn the blades and break up the clog.

Step 5: Check and Remove Obstructions

  • Use Pliers or Tongs: After loosening the jam, use pliers or tongs to remove any visible objects or food particles.
  • Flush with Water: Run cold water to help wash away any remaining debris.

Step 6: Reset and Test

  • Reset the Disposal: Most disposals have a reset button located on the bottom. Press the button to reset the unit.
  • Restore Power: Plug the disposal back in or turn the circuit breaker back on.
  • Test the Disposal: Run cold water and turn on the disposal to ensure it’s working properly.

Preventative Tips

  • Avoid Overloading: Feed waste gradually to avoid overwhelming the disposal.
  • Run Cold Water: Always run cold water before, during, and after using the disposal.
  • Avoid Fibrous Foods: Keep fibrous foods like celery, onion skins, and corn husks out of the disposal.


By following these steps, you can quickly and safely fix a jammed garbage disposal. If the problem persists or if you’re unsure about any step, don’t hesitate to call Donnie’s Plumbing. We’re here to help!

Share Your Tips!

Have you faced a jammed garbage disposal before? Share your tips and experiences in the comments below! Your insights can help others tackle this common household issue. And don’t forget to share this blog with friends and family who might find it useful.

At Donnie’s Plumbing in Temecula, CA, we’re committed to providing you with the best plumbing tips and services. If you need professional assistance, give us a call today at (954)636-0085 or visit our website And for more helpful plumbing tips check out more blog posts at

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