Having a garbage disposal can make kitchen cleanup convenient, but having a jammed garbage disposal can put a wrench in your day. The good news is there are several quick things you can do to try to fix a jammed garbage disposal yourself. The first sign of a jammed garbage disposal will probably be a hum as the motor is trying to rotate but has an object keeping it from spinning. If it continues, the motor will overheat and shut itself off to prevent damage.
If you have a jammed garbage disposal, it is time to go get a flashlight and the hex wrench your garbage disposal came with. If you don’t have this hex wrench, don’t despair. An allen wrench will work too. Once you have gathered your tools, make sure you turn off the electricity to the disposal. This may be done by unplugging it or flipping a breaker if it is hardwired. Once the electricity is off, you should look down through the top opening and see if you can identify the source of the jam. Using a tool, try to free the jam. If that doesn’t work, it’s time to move under the sink. Insert your wrench in the socket underneath the garbage disposal and rotate back and forth to try to loosen the jam.
Once the spinner is free, reconnect the electricity and test while running lots of water through it. If it is still not working, you may need to contact a professional for help. It is possible that the motor has burned out. Garbage disposals typically last 3-10 years, depending on usage and care.