The Daily Ping

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September 27th, 2004

Garbage Disposal Problems

I’m having garbage disposal problems.

It won’t work.

More specifically, when I flip the switch, there’s a click and a slight sound, but there’s absolutely no action with blade movement. It doesn’t seem to be clogged, though that’s just using the “hand test.” One site indicates the motor might just be jammed and that using a broom handle to get things moving again may do the trick. Has anyone had a similar issue that can lend a hand? I’m the man when it comes to toilets (though I should probably mention I was battling two clogged toilets last week and almost lost to one of them… almost), but I’m not so goo when it comes to garbage disposals. But I’d really rather not pay silly amounts of cash for a plumber and/or a new disposal if all I need is a broom handle.


Posted in Miscellaneous

John September 2, 2006, 7:01 pm

A) Garbage disposal (GD) does not make any sound when I turn on:

1. Check the red button on the bottom of the GD. If it has popped up, push it in to reset (like you would on a blowdrier)
2. Check your fuse box to make sure you have not tripped the GD circuit

B) GD makes a humming sound but the blades do not spin:

1. Something is stuck in the blades and preventing them form turning properly -do not run the machine excessively
2. Find the Allen wrench tool (hexagonal head) that should have come with the GD or an Allen wrench that fits, insering into the hole at the bottom of the GD and keep turning until blades move freely. Turn on machine for 2-3 seconds, if it does not work repeat and try again.
3. If after multiple attempts the machine does not work, insert a broom handle or similar object into the top of the GD and turn the blades manually and after you’ve removed all hands and objects turn on machine for 2-3 seconds again. If it does not work, repeat and try again
4. If you still cannot get it to work, find a piece of wood (something around 1 inch wide and 8-10 inches long) and use a hammer to lightly tap the wood into the plate inside the GD several times to free up anything that is stuck inside.
If it still doesn’t work, read the other posts or call a plumber.

Michael September 7, 2006, 9:59 am

I have a In-sink-erator model 17-53. THis is a batch feed model requiring one to use a metal locking sink stopper to turn the disposal on or off.

Turning ON is no problem; it’s turning OFF, this is where the problem is. As of late, it takes 2-5 minutes to get the right angle or pressure. Sometimes I get lucky and it shuts off with a simple twist left or right but not consistanly.

Any suggestions?
THank you,

Roxy September 10, 2006, 11:45 pm

You are a lifesaver!! After paying a plumber a good chunk of change last week for a leaky toilet, my GD stopped working. Didn’t want to fork out more money, found your site and the old broom stick worked like a charm!! Thank you soooo much!!

Fumed Out September 12, 2006, 5:00 am

It’s the Garbage Disposal-Insinkerator. The problem seems not to be in operating it, the switch does turn it on. Here’s the problem – clogged up with dog kibble. Typically, it can clog up with egg shells or potato peelings, I then add Drano, let it sit, then plunge and whaa-la, it clears. For some reason, that sequence is not working at all. It’s been clogged for 18 hours. You turn on the disposer, and the extra smelly water just sits there spinning around going nowhere. I’ve reset the button, used the allen wrench underneath & the machine is working, it’s the water that’s not going down. Now the problem is excess Drano. Usually it cuts through standing water, not this time. I’m ready to call it a night & check it tomorrow. The Drano seems so toxic with it just sitting there – scooped out the standing water to the sink next to it (double sink) which works so I put more Drano since the water was down. What next? I can’t believe dog kibble did this! Any advice?

Mike September 13, 2006, 9:48 am

My GB is humming, already cleared debris out of it and blades move freely in
both directions. I can get it working if I turn the power on and start it manually using a wooden handle(dumb, I know) but if I turn the power off for longer than about 2 secs I get the humming again and need to manually start the spin to get it to work again. I seen other people with this problem on this post asking for suggestions, but didn’t see any recommendations. Has anyone been able to get this resolved without replacing the GD?

Benward September 16, 2006, 4:08 pm

Used the broomstick method and it worked great. Thanks for saving me money!

Chandra September 18, 2006, 1:24 am

My grabage disposal stuck with humming noise. Thanks for your help the broom did the trick for me.

GA September 19, 2006, 3:49 pm

Have put off installing a new GD for months, then decided to “check the net”. This was the first hit and the broom handle did the trick. Thanks to all who posted.

dgc September 19, 2006, 7:41 pm

PING, you are incredible. Tried the hex wrench. Nothing. Couldn’t even put it in properly because it is a tight, dark space. But the plunger handle made the little hum force it back into spinning and whirring. I am taking your website address and pasting it on my disposal. How many people spend hundreds of dollars to replace a disposal when a simple broom handle solves the problem? I don’t even want to go there. Thanks! Di

Charlene September 24, 2006, 5:02 pm

I need HELP. My Badger 5 garbage disposable is leaking under the sink. I noticed it when I was running it. Now even without turning it on when water goes down the drain, it stills pours into the bottom of the cabinet.

Can you help me? Please. . Please . .

bisi September 30, 2006, 4:27 pm

I just fixed my GD . It was backed up i.e there was water in the sink and the water would not go down . Th GD was coming on and it was making noise and you could see the water kind of bubbling . I tried the broom head the button uder the sink and the wrench non of those worked this time . I fixed it by using a plunger . I tried both sides . It worked on the GD side .

Chris October 1, 2006, 2:28 pm

I have same problem as Michael 9/7/06. Batch fed insikerator will turn on but won’t turn off unless i pull the power to gd.

The metal locking sink stopper won’t catch to turn off unit. I looked for were the metal stopper contacts the plastic recepter ring to turn unit off. I think the metal stopper wears-out the plastic contact points to the point of being ineffective. IMO, thats bad engineering, if I’m correct.

Seems that only fix will be to replace, unless somebody out there has an idea.
Thanks for the forum!

Another Chris October 2, 2006, 5:45 am

Problem: Insinkerator hums, lights dim, manually the blades turn freely from the top and from the hex on the bottom (but won’t spin when powered on).

Solution: Remove all debris within GD, especially from the holes around the inner edge.

Explanation: The debris that jammed my GD was really small stuff that I could break with my fingers. By rights it shouldn’t have jammed the GD. It shouldn’t have, but it *did*. That’s why I’d suggest you remove all debris. Who knows… maybe it locked the GD up just right, or maybe the sum of all the pieces together was strong enough to jam it. TIP: If you remove something that’s fairly hard, try the GD switch to see if it’ll go. If not, clear some more out & keep trying the switch.

Angela October 3, 2006, 5:41 am

Well I have a question as well… my garbage disposal stopped working a few days ago. I was not sure what happened and can’t afford to have someone to come look at it, incidentally my husband just deployed as well I believe the same day the GD went out. Well I was surching on the web about what this problem could be and someone mentioned to press the reset button on the bottom. I did this and then flipped the switch on my GD, got some noise but no action. Then I noticed a burning type of smell coming from the GD (under the sink). Also, before I discovered there was a reset button, my concern was that my sink is now draining into my dishwasher. Is my draining in my kitched destroyed? What do I do?/

Henry October 3, 2006, 7:12 pm

I have a Badger 5 GD. I have a clog… I tried the offst wrench, it did not work. I tried the broom stick, and it did not work either. I am not sure what to do now. Any ideas?

Neil October 17, 2006, 12:41 am

Extremely useful site. My GD stopped working yesterday. It only hummed whenever I turn on the switch. Tried the usual stuff – see if reset button had popped out, which it didn’t – tried to see if the blades were stuck, but that wasn’t the case either – tried to see if I could use a allen wrench to turn the blades, but the unit didn’t have turnable blades or a place to insert the allen.
Then I came across one posting on the site and as suggested ran a flat head screwdriver against the edge of the inside of the disposal where there is a small crevace, while trying to exert some downward pressure. And whola! it started!

NottaPlumber October 18, 2006, 12:32 am

Hey, thanks for the tips! Truly a great blog. My disposal is up and running again thanks to you!

Paul E. October 20, 2006, 5:31 am

I just fixed my ise disposal that stopped working after reading this thread. When I turned the disposal on it seemed to work but nothing would go down the drain. I turned the unit with the allen wrench and with a broom handle. It turned rather easily each way. I did notice that when I used the broom handle that the metal cup which rotates would wobble. I didn’t that was right so I went to home depot and looked at the display model and their’s didn’t wobble. It turns out that the big nut holding the plate down had fallen off. I remember about two months pulling a nut out of the unit but thought nothing of it since the unit worked fine and I have small children at home. I thought that they might have put the nut in the unit. Well anyway bought a new ise badger 5 and installed it with no problems. Thanks for all the info and I hope this helps someone else…

Juan Gonzalez October 20, 2006, 11:20 pm

Yeah, baby! The broom handle method did the trick!

lee October 24, 2006, 3:47 am

There is a lot of information here, but unfortunately none of them helped

The alex wrench
The reset button
the flat head screw driver
the plunger

I can rotate the disposer blades or the rotating bottom with a long screw driver freely. Alex wrench turns freely. One key thing was, disposer leaked water few weeks ago on and off but not a whole lot. Could that leak have damaged the unit?

I am almost about to call a plumber, i have another bath sink that has a diamond earing stuck at the bottom of U pipe, which i can’t unhook, might aswell get two jobs done with plumbers help.

thanks for the tips guys!

harry pilkington October 26, 2006, 12:28 am

the innarnets iz awesome. broom handle worked! thank you to whomever runs this thing and google for getting me here.

owen allan October 26, 2006, 2:42 pm

Found this page via google search.

Great tip about broom handle. I could not find allen key “whatever that was.”

I am in the UK and have the bottom of the range Waste King disposal unit. Semi aggresive turning of handle combined with the reset switch solved problem.

Thank you.

Kerry October 29, 2006, 5:38 pm

I too had the humming Insinkerator, I unplugged the unit, used the hex tool (Allen wrench) in the hole in the bottom to rotate the bottom plate once in each direction, powered on and it worked but I could hear something rattling. Unplugged and stuck my hand in and found a small nail. Plugged in and no power or hum, used same hex key to push the little red reset button on the bottom of the disposal and now it works like a champ.
Thanks for the tips, the plumber at work told me about the broom handle but that didn’t work for me!
– A Girl who just saved $100!

kurt November 3, 2006, 8:11 pm

To all those with the hum… free spin with hex…. but no action….

Working off a post above about keep spinning both ways…. I fixed mine by:

1) Turning hex with disposal on … this gets it turning. (but won’t start tuning without a push)
2) Spraying some pool filter cleaner stuff in there (removes mineral build up)…
3) Spraying some green degreaser stuff in there (removes oily build-ups)…
4) Let it run for a while longer…
5) Now it works great (not really sure which of the three techniques above did it)…
6) Put some White Lightning (bike lube) down there for good measure…

So, just raid your garage and give it a push start…

Great page… thanks.

patty November 3, 2006, 8:42 pm

I didn’t have an allen wrench thingie , if I did I didn’t know what it looked like…Anyway I used a big screwdriver to stick in the hole under the unit and turned it that way. I could hear the glass that had broken in it being ground up. I reset it with the red button and turned it on, Much to my surprise it worked!!!! I pushed some bread down it to make the glass particals go down… It’s now running fine …

Elinor November 15, 2006, 5:09 pm

i tried it all and couldn’t get my humming disposer to turn. Found that we have three of the allen wrench things after I went and bought another. (stocking stuffers?) I have been told by a plumbing guy to dump your ice cube tray down there once a month and grind it up to keep everything clean and sharp. I finally gave in and bought a new unit. But I must say, it was very easy to replace! So anyone thinking of doing a replacement yourself, don’t lose hope! Give it a shot. What do you have to lose? I always say, if I have to get a repairman to fix it, I’m gonna make sure it’s good and broken. So far, I have only had to call the repairman for gas appliances. I have a pretty good luck streak going with fixing stuff…not bad for a girl!

For anyone with a sinkguard 1/3 hp unit, if you need to replace it, I found mine on from a distributor called azpartsmaster and got the whole shebang for under $60. Cheaper than a plumber, 2 year warranty. I’m pleased. It hums AND turns. All by itself.

Good luck everyone!

carl November 15, 2006, 10:27 pm

I fixed my insinkerator by turning the allen bolt underneath the unit. I used the Allen wrench from an Ikea toolkit, it was the biggest one in the toolkit. At first it wouldn’t budge but with some little effort it started turning so I kept turning it until it was turning with hardly any effort. Pushed the red reset button, turned the power back on. And it works fine!

Stephanie November 16, 2006, 12:32 am

I was making soup today and put alot of vegetables down the GD, which abruptly stopped working. Now it’s backed up with water in it (and some drain cleaner). The GD turns on and seems to work (the water in the sink swirls a bit), but nothing is going down. Will the broom handle/allen wrench thing work for me?

Machelle from Montreal November 20, 2006, 12:40 pm


Several people on here had the problem tha their GD wouldn’t turn off. Ours is also the kind for which you have to twist the drain stopper to turn on and off. Ours has started to frequently get stuck and although the stopper comes OUT, it doesn’t shut the unit down.

Any Ideas????



Juli November 22, 2006, 3:55 am

Well I thought something was wrong with the switch until I reached in there and realized that there was a little jelly glass that had gotten ground up in there. After I dug as much of it out as possible I got on line and found this site. Red button got the motor going. I found a 7 pc. hex kit at Ace Hardware for two bucks. Use the 1/4″. I had to turn it really hard at first to grind up the glass, but I went like 20 times each way just to be sure. It started right up. Pretty good for a girl! (Not that a shirtless guy under my sink wouldn’t have been nice – as long as I didn’t have to give him money!) sigh maybe next time…

Thanks Ping!

Mike December 29, 2006, 1:02 am

We just had the same problem and came to this page for assistance. While the blades were free, the unit was jammed with some paper towels which had gone down into it. When you turned it on there was a humming sound, but no movement.

I tried the “broomstick” fix, using it to turn the unit enough to free the jam. It worked just as suggested. No mess, no plumber’s bill.


Kathy December 31, 2006, 6:54 pm

Great site!

Our Badger 5 was real loud and it didn’t seem to be grinding up the food. I couldn’t turn the hex nut clockwise, only counter until I read the info. from Zack in 2004, good advice for the start of 2007! I worked it back and forth and now the disposal works like a dream, must have worked whatever was stuck in there loose.

Thanks for the advise and a great site, hard to find but worth the time.

Philip Bump January 1, 2007, 5:44 am

Right now, my disposal seems to be running, but it isn’t sucking any liquid down. Doesn’t sound it is jammed – maybe clogged? Any ideas?

Ozaer SHah January 3, 2007, 6:10 am

My Insinkerator GD stopped working..used the allen wrench and cleared it. Pushed teh red reset button on the bottom and now it just keeps going…how do you stop it? The red reset button is depressed and wont pop up again. HELP!

Daniel Lewis January 4, 2007, 3:53 am

I have found the *ultimate* solution for clearing and preventing blockages.

*You will need:*

1) A small cube of cheese
2) A medium sized mouse

You can use your child’s pet, or purchase them from any pet store for a few dollars.

*Step One*
Drop the cheese into the disposal unit and turn it on. If your blades won’t turn, you may need to use a broom to force it down the hole. Run the unit for about half a second.

*Step Two*
Drop the mouse into the garbage disposal and seal the disposal with a plug. It should chase the cheese, clearing any blockages en route, by either forcing them out of the way, or eating them.

Wait twenty seconds.

*Step Three*
Turn on the garbage disposal. The cheese, mouse and blockage should now disappear.

*Advanced technique if this doesn’t work*

Open the plug carefully (so the mouse cannot escape) and *slowly* insert a small kitten, into a *running disposal* which should chase the mouse.

If you plan sufficiently ahead, you can starve both the mouse and the optional kitten for a few days, in order to make them more aggressive in chasing their respective goals.

Always lower the kitten into the disposal unit *feet first* and never head-first.

That way, you get to watch the expression on its face and get feedback.

I hope this technique helps. It will certainly reduce damage to broom handles.

Paul January 6, 2007, 2:28 am

Professor Plum …..

In the Kitchen ….

With the …. BROOM STICK!

Actually, I used the handle from a hammer, turned the switch, spun it with the handle and the hum turned to that wonderful grinding sound.

Then I put ice (suggested above), cheese (above), mice (above) and all the other stuff recommended (above) for good measure. Thanks all.

plumb thumb January 6, 2007, 3:24 am

The broom stick worked for me, but it smells like burning rubber. any thoughts

Nick January 12, 2007, 7:24 am

I was doing dishes during the holidays at Whole Foods in the seafood department and the garbage disposal backed up. I had to get a plunger and push up and down with it. The clog cleared. Good thing I had Levi blue jeans on though because if I did not I would have gotten messy. Jeans should be a requirement for guys to wear when they run a garbage disposal.

barb January 15, 2007, 2:04 am

Hey,thank you all…this is a wonderful site; I’ve been reading thru all the comments searching for something to help…our gd was humming, going round and round…nothing felt stuck, but nothing was draining down…I did the plunger didn’t work. I read some more on this site..went back and did the plunger thing several times again..on both sides..and hey..everything is draining..and well, I feel great! Don’t have to call a plumber tomorrow morning….got the dishes done tonight..thank you, thank you..

jennyjoy January 15, 2007, 9:43 pm

My 2 year old garbage disposal unit is leaking from underneath…seems to drip from the small screws on base plate…where the cut out button is…how can this be?? he plumber who fitted it did appear to be drunk at the time…maybe this is why! oh no…any advice please…i cant face another plumber…drunk or sober!

Junelle January 16, 2007, 5:13 am

Just wanted to put a note on here. I had done a lot of googling to try to figure out why water kept backing up in the water disposer. The maintenance man in my apartmnet kept telling me it was because it takes time for the water to drain through the little teeth of the disposer. He had checked the lines and they were all cleared. After months and months of frustration…and dealing with water backing up in the sink…I figured out the problem myself. It was the little drain basket at the top. Even though it has the main little hole for water and garbage to be placed into the disposer, it was actually trapping the water from going down into the disposer. Not sure whether to cut a bigger hole in the basket or if a new one is needed. The basket itself doesn’t look like it’s in bad shape but perhaps it has hardened in time and doesn’t flex like it once did. Anyway, just wanted to share this info for anyone else who might be having the same frustrating problem that didn’t make any sense.

Eric January 20, 2007, 3:49 am

thank you so much, you have greatly helped this “fixit challenged” homeowner. how easy it was to turn the hex key. keep up the good work.

Sharon January 24, 2007, 11:12 pm

They say that you can find the answer to any question on the web. Well, I decided before calling a plumber to try it out and sure enough you had the answer. I had a dish rag caught in my disposal and I thought that I would have to call a plumber. But I did like it said here and worked with a long wooden spoon handle back and forth for a while and got it lose. You saved me worry and money. Thank you

kesh January 27, 2007, 1:21 am

Broom stick worked for me!

Bill January 27, 2007, 11:57 am


My Bager 5 was installed new when our house was built 6 years ago. I read the advice here and found a 10″ long 1″ round hardwood dowel (wooden stick) in my garrage. With very little effort I could work the blades back and forth and suddenly they started rotating again (PRAISE THE LORD). My 3 day old beans are happily on the way to tour the city. Thanks Guys!

Oh, one last comment: The 6 year old badger 5 model has no opening in the bottom for a wrench of any kind. The stick through the top is the only way I could find to do this.

God bless everyone!


Warren January 27, 2007, 10:24 pm

GREAT ADVICE! The broom did the trick…great forum. Thanks!

Thomas January 27, 2007, 11:53 pm

Another person helped!

Thank you!

diane February 3, 2007, 6:57 pm

I didn’t realize at first I needed to turn on the disposal before putting the hex wrench in that hole on the bottom of the disposal. As soon as I did that, it became unclogged and I am back in business. I’ve now taped the hex wrench to the disposal so I’m ready if this should happen again. Great advice. Thank you.

Chris February 3, 2007, 10:48 pm

Tried it all. Is the sort of metal plate thing that you hit with the broomstick supposed to wobble? Mine wobbles. Is that the problem?

Melody February 5, 2007, 5:12 pm

My GD is grinding fine, but is leaking.

I have an InSink Erator Pro333 that just started leaking. I don’t know how old it is as I bought this house 3 years ago & it was there. The leak is a drip, drip, drip kind. It appears to be coming from the point where the upper chamber & lower chamber connect.

Can this be repaired or should I consider a new machine?

Thanks for any help offered.

Phillip Changoh February 6, 2007, 12:55 am

*Woohoo!!* I was really worrying about fixing my Insinkerator. Some sunflower seeds jammed it up. I turned it on / off a few times and the motor stopped humming. I was already calculating how much this was going to cost me. That was before I found this message board. One red reset button and a broom handle later (I actually used a plunger handle) and I’m back in business. THANK YOU ALL!!!!


Jeremy February 6, 2007, 11:27 am

Thanks a ton after running my hand in there forcing water down the drain. putting draino. I plunged the sink with the bathroom plungber. the got underneath moved the blades with an alen wrench and low and behold it works. Thanks a million

Tess February 6, 2007, 5:11 pm

I have an insinkerator. It had a dime lodged under the spin wheel and I removed it. The unit works but now it will not shut off even if the wall switch is in the off mode. I have reset the breaker outside and on the unit. Any suggestions?

Christina February 9, 2007, 11:48 pm

Got a very new good quality Insinkerator. Worked well for two weeks. Soemthing must be stuck. Something metalic Perhaps even a little spoon. It makes a horrific noise when I try to start it, so I stopped. What am I supposed to do before calling a plumber?

James February 10, 2007, 12:52 am

THANK GOD FOR THE INTERNET (and post like these).
My GD has been out of commission for about 4 days. I was
on the brink of calling the plumber (again)… But, after remembering how much I was heckled by my co-worker the last time I got ripped off (got me for $150), excuse me, called a plumber… I decided to research and see if this was a POSSIBLE job for my alter ego “Mr Fix it”. Ok, so long story short, there was a dish rag in the GD. I had to struggle w/ it a little but managed to get it free… then I hit the rest button on the bottom and I was “good to go”. So much better thank writing a freakin check! I tell ya, this has made my day. Thanks again!


Beth February 10, 2007, 1:22 am

Great site! I also had the clog issue going where the GD was running, but water wasn’t being sucked down. I was able to fix use the plunger suggestion, but now I can’t get the GD to shut off using the wall switch. Resetting the breaker didn’t work. Any other suggestions?

Mike Rullmann February 13, 2007, 12:25 am

I did not have any luck with any of the suggestions above (lots of them). thank you for this site. has been great! more than I ever cared to learn about the subject matter.

anyway, my issue turned out to be a popsicle stick that had been wedged curved into the groove around the side of the moving plate. one day works fine, other day needed pushing. anyway, after several hours of looking/reading/testing/tinkering, it works great. I finally got the popsicle stick out the top (small piece did go down below the spinning plate). my big hands are raw from poking and prying with multiple instruments to get it out.

thanks alot!


steve February 13, 2007, 9:40 pm

I used google to find this entry and it worked like a charm. A couple points to add to Zacks posting.

1) The reset button is hard to see. It is on the left bottom of the unit a little in from the edge. It is probably easier to feel than to see. It is made of plastic. By resetting this button i could see that the disposal was still working as it spun for a second before getting stuck again.

2) As Zacks specified the hex tool is 1/4″. The hex tool goes in the bottom of the disposal dead center. I just put in in there and moved it back and forth and when I turned on the disposal the next time it worked.

Thanks again.

Jared in Calgary, Canada February 19, 2007, 4:33 am

Thanks guys… much appreciated.

I got mine fixed, and in perfect time, my kitchen was starting to smell like pretty revolting.

thanks again

Ray February 20, 2007, 3:22 am

Please help!!!!!!

I have a badger 5 unit that is 6 years old. Suddenly water started dripping from under the unit where the power cord comes out. When I power it on it works just fine except for the leak.

I tried the wrench, tried the broom, plunger and now trying Drano. I looked through all the postings and still stuck.. Would appreciate any help!!!

Paully February 21, 2007, 2:10 am

Badger 1….humming….no spinning. Tried resetting, still no spin. Used brrom stick (1 inch dowel rod) Got the blades spinning and found the plastic shard that stopped it up. Fished it out. Purrs like a kitty now. Thanks msg board!!! This happened in the same week my fridge’s defrost heater crapped out, so I was pretty freakin’ jazzed that this was a 30 second FREE fix.

Kirsten Sherk February 25, 2007, 8:47 pm

Thanks for the heads up about the Allan wrench and the bolt underneath the Insinkerator! The broom handle didn’t work, but I moving the teeth from below finally knocked loose the tack (!) that was jamming them. Now it’s growling away like it’s supposed to!

Becca February 28, 2007, 1:57 pm

Brilliant!!! This thread was EXACTLY what I needed. (Hit the reset button and turned the thing manually…) If I could send the O.P. cookies to say thank you, I would. ๐Ÿ™‚

Kevin March 4, 2007, 1:01 am

Great advice about the broomstick. Thanks a ton.

KeithS March 4, 2007, 6:52 pm

I had the same problem as Sean (by the way thank you Sean!). I was getting no humming sound, the red button on the bottom of my unit was already pressed in (tried it anyway to no avail), and I tried the flip the circuit breaker which didnt work either. I figured I must not be getting power. I took plate off the bottom of my Badger 5 (after flipping the circuits off of course) and noticed the wire nut of the white wire pair was loose as well. Unscrewed it and screwed it back on tighly and voila!

Great thread!

Mark March 5, 2007, 1:48 am

Just installed an insinkerator premier. Worked great the first two times, then just hummed and then tripped the reset breaker. I used the allen wrench and the unit is not jammed. I gave the allen wrench a spin when it was humming and it started spinning real slow and then stopped. I double checked my wiring and tried it again, no luck except this time it started smoking. The wire nut on the black wires was melting. I flipped off the breaker in the basement and started praying that insinkerator will honor their 5 year in-home warranty.

JC March 8, 2007, 5:49 am

Great help for unplugging my Badger 1 (1/3 HP).
I also referenced:
See page 7. Good luck.

Tara March 8, 2007, 7:00 pm

Has anyone encountered the problem where the disposal makes a clicking sound but seems to work as the blades still go around but the water back fills and comes up into the portion of the sink the disposal is in as well as in the main portion of the sink. So I’m stuck with standing water in my sink and I’ve tried a few different drain cleaners to check to see if there was a clog but no luck. I’ve also taken apart the pipes below and ran water but there doesn’t seem to be a clog. I know nothing about garbage disposals and was wondering if anyone out there has encountered a similar problem.

Kevin March 12, 2007, 2:10 am

My Badger 1 in-sink-erator does not always turn on when I flip the switch. Sometimes I have to flip the switch on/off a few times before it starts. Sometimes it starts but shuts off right away as if it triggered a circuit breaker. Flipping the switch on/off a few times makes it work again. Any ideas on what might be causing this?

Julie March 13, 2007, 3:34 am

Thank you, thank you! As so many have said before, the broom trick worked beautifully! Great advice!!

Amy March 15, 2007, 6:13 pm

My husband has been too busy/lazy to fix our disposal, and things were starting to get a little…erm…funky. So I took matters into my own capable girlish hands and tried the broom method. To my nose’s delight, it worked! Take that, Mr. “I’ll do it tomorrow”! Thanks a lot for the help!

Piper March 18, 2007, 6:11 pm

I can’t believe that I’ve been dealing with a stuck garbage disposal for over a month when it was so simple to fix (I couldn’t find a re-set button anywhere on the disposal). You guys rock!

TB March 18, 2007, 8:18 pm

I’m having the same problem as some others on here, and can’t find an answer. The blades rotate freely (or the disc shelf, at least). I can spin that thing around like a top using the hex tool. And, I can get it spinning again when I push it counter-clockwise with the handle of a screwdriver.

But when I first turn on the GD, it just sits there and hums. It won’t spin until I jab it with the screwdriver handle. Is there any way I can fix this, so I don’t have to “jump-start” it every time?

This reminds me of my grandfather’s Volkswagon, that would only run if you coasted down a hill first.

Heather March 28, 2007, 3:53 pm

We are trying to replace our old GD with a new one. We are having trouble removing the old flange. It looks as though it should screw offfrom the bottom of the sink. We can’t budge it. I read on-line that I should be able to pop off the flange from the sink side. No luck there either. What am I missing?

Jun March 31, 2007, 11:13 pm

You guys rock!!
An Allen wrench saved my day

thanks to you all.


Sue April 1, 2007, 8:06 pm

Prior listed problem from Tara….Standing water in sink with disposal, the unit runs and turns the water but it does not drain. Have taken about the bottom portion of the pipes and their is no clog in the pipes. Could I have a clog just in the disposal?? How long will a disposal last anyway? I am sure this one is probably 15 years or older. Any suggestions?

Mike April 2, 2007, 2:48 pm

Wife was complaining about the GD not working, and I went to unclog it looking for the hex screw like my last one, but my Whirlway 291 doesn’t have one. So I googled and found this thread on the first hit. The broom stick worked like a champ! However the offending piece of bone or metal would not go away banging around in there like a new years eve noise maker.

I had read the posts about removing the GD and turning it upside down to remove such pieces, but that seemed like too much work. A quick visit to the garage was made and I returned with the old trusty Wet / Dry Shop Vac. I ran the hose down the top of the GD (With it turned off, off course – Legal Disclaimer for the Dee Dee Dee’s out there) and viola, the offending piece was sucked out of the unit and it’s like new again!

I’m a hero again!

Sherry April 5, 2007, 12:06 pm

Ihave a insink GD and it is working fine but has a order comming from it how do i clean it or get rid of the order???HELP

Yiggy Do Digidy April 9, 2007, 2:44 am

Dang it! I have the Insinkerator batch feed model 17 that won’t turn off also.

I installed it so I know pretty well what to expect.

Used some WD40 months back and thought I took care of the stuck switch.

Took some finessing to get it to turn off and now it’s stuck on 24/7.

I wired it to it’s own switch used by the old disposal for safety and sure enough that’s how I turn it off and on now.

Bought for safety, but obviously it’s not well built.

Now I gotta crawl under the musty sink and twist the lunker off and try and clean it out where the switches are.

No miracle solutions out there heh?

Fill the GD with baby oil? Dump 50 gallons of hot solvent?

Train your parrot to hang upside down and scrape with a toothbrush?

$500 Disposal..what a piece of junk.

All these flashy new products are worthless.

Especially my GE fridge. Don’t buy ANY GE family brands- Magic Chef, Maytag, Admiral, Hoover etc. It’s all junk. G.E. Stands for E.xtended warranty!

Britney April 10, 2007, 11:49 pm

My GD came toe-to-toe with a shot glass and now, it hums and no spinning. I’ve tried just about every size Allen wrench to move the blades manually, and nothing seems to fit the hole in my piece-of-crap GD. I’m not sure what to do and really do no want to spend any money to have someone come out here at look at it. Any ideas or suggestions?

Linda April 13, 2007, 3:08 am

Bought a house with an insinkerator pro 333 and no users manual. It leaks every time I turn on the GD. Runs out of the three little holes on the about half way down the model. Do you know what I can do and/or what is wrong?

Adam April 27, 2007, 4:02 am

I am an extremely nice and quiet guy, realy nice one ๐Ÿ™‚ but after the batch feed model 17 was running an hour while I was trying to turn it off and finally I had to flib the breaker b/c it was no way to stop it and it started to get pretty hot even w/ water running – I would like to find the inventor/creator of this POJ and put his hand down in the sink while I am standing next to the breaker panel to see how quick he can turn it off.

It is (*JUNK!*) and an expensive JUNK.
Batch feed control….? A Mindlessly stupid idea!
No, I did not buy it. It was in the house I bought and it is about a year old. But I have no receipt and have no clue where they bought it and I do not know what color socks the installer had on but I have an exact idea about where the inventor/the insinkerator company with its dumb contact form should go.

Rebeca April 30, 2007, 12:45 am

Can some one explain exactly how the broom thing works. I get the buzzing noise but the disposal came with the house so no idea where the tool is.

Debra May 8, 2007, 3:41 am

Hey Guys,

Thanks a lot!!! I tried the broom handle, pressed the reset button and Viola! It worked! You saved me one plumbing bill now I just got to learn how to replace the tub drian. The level broke off. Thank God for the internet and people like you.

Roger May 8, 2007, 8:12 pm

My Badger 5 is leaking from the bottom. Several others have posted the same problem but I haven’t seen any solutions. Does it sound like the unit needs to be replaced? Thanks!

Charles May 9, 2007, 12:43 am

For the problem characterized by: “Standing water in sink with disposal, the unit runs and turns the water but it does not drain” you probably have a clog where the disposal drains out to the same pipe the sink does. I just had the same experience and treated it like you would any other clog; plunger. With the unit off I plunged several times until the water started to drain. Turned the unit and water back on waited for it to fill up again and then repeated with plunging (with the unit off). After a few tries whatever was causing a problem got pulled out enough for the disposal to handle it.

Good luck!

Gene May 11, 2007, 2:16 pm

Due to mys sons cleaning his aquarium, I had little pink rocks that lodged in the garbage disposal, but the broom stick trick worked like a charm.

One thing though, watch out for these cheap sinks. While i was trying to get leverage I noticed that the sink itself was bending and flexing, that was not comforting at all.

And we pay how much for these homes nowadays???

This certainly is a good site though.

Thanks all.

Gene out!

kundan May 14, 2007, 2:35 pm

hey guys i too had the same problem, it was humming first and the blades are not workin …..then i went thru this page ….as they were sayin abt the broom stick method… i tried it but it wasnt workin for me…so i used a plunger, it worked perfect.
What u gotta do is

1).fill water into the sink.
2).user plunger on the hole.
3).check whether it works.

Abby May 18, 2007, 4:36 pm

I’m having issues with my disposal. This site was great, I used the reset, and the allen wrench, but I think my blade is loose. Is the plate supposed to wiggle? It won’t come out, but it’s very loose. Maybe I turned the wrench too many times in one direction? I need some help!

Abby May 18, 2007, 5:18 pm

I also needed to add that the plate moves freely when I turn it, feels like it’s broken off of something, but just sits in place and shakes when it’s turned on. I don’t think that’s a jam. I’m not too familiar with plumbing, but I did install my own faucet once when our old one came apart.

Shaun May 20, 2007, 12:02 pm

The Broom handle saved the day again! I tried for nearly an hour underneath with the Allen Wrench, no luck, a few seconds with the broom handle and back in action. Thanks everyone!

Bobby May 25, 2007, 3:15 pm

drain works fine unless disposal is on and water comes up in other sink.?

Charlotte May 26, 2007, 2:35 am


My garbage disposal was clogged for the past two days (too much spaghetti is definitely not a good thing for disposals!). After trying every kind of clog remover known to man with no luck whatsoever, I did a web search and found this site. Your advice about using a plunger worked! I bought a small one that fit the opening perfectly and used the “pull” instead of “push” method. It took about a half hour of patient plunging but it saved me a ton in plumber fees!

Tom May 27, 2007, 1:30 am

One of my wheels on my GD is good & stuck. The allen wrench won’t budge even with brute force. I’ve tried all the suggestions for loosening, but mine is so jammed that the whole unit turns in the sink, using a tire iron I might add. Figured I’ve got nothing left to loose. I had to laugh about the guy with the GP that fell off & a few of the other comments. So I’m off to the hardware store to get a new one tomorrow. Figure I’ll take the old one out, try to unjam it once more, and if that fails, swap the the old out for the new, maybe upgrading a half horse with some sound insulation. The last one was 1/2 HP, my third GP in seventeen years, although I don’t push it when it comes to what goes inside. I recommend having another pair of hands available, when you get to the nitty gritty of positioning the new unit. Being partially disabled, it’s almost a must for me. Ah well, at least I got a few laughs reading some of these blurbs. I pulled an all-nighter ealier in the week, moving the 240 & 120 sources for a new washer & dryer, because the delivery was moved up a day. Wish I’d had a place like this to vent at 3 in the morning, when I overshot the new holes for the break out boxes. That one ended on a good note though ๐Ÿ™‚

Tom May 30, 2007, 12:43 am

Back again ..on the weekend after removing the GP for a better look, I discovered a wood screw wedged between the outer rim of the disposal chamber & the grinding wheel. It took about 20 mins to pry it loose with an assortment of tools, resulting in a minor dent in the wheel. Put it back in though & it’s good to go. However I discovered my wet bar sink is leaking now too. These things seem to come in spades or not at all for me. Managed to wrap that one up as well, after discovering that the original builder put a gasket formed from ordinary cardboard in addition to a rubber gasket ..God knows why. Anyway, I decided to replace the drain hole hardware, & it’s good as new. Grand total parts & labor for both jobs $5!

Lynda May 30, 2007, 12:42 pm

I had a plumber come to unglog my kitchen sink several months ago and they used like a motorized snake – very loud.

I have my first disposal jam since their visit and it’s never been a big deal – always easily fixable with the allen wrench supplied. I’ve always been able to “feel” the movement with the wrench when I turn it, but noticed with my first disposal jam since their visit the allen wrench doesn’t seem to contact or catch anything when I try to use it. It just turns around in the hole, missing any contact with anything. Could this be related? Did they probably have to take apart or remove the disposal to work to dislodge the clog from under the sink? What could have changed?

Thanks, L,

JIm June 1, 2007, 10:18 pm

Much thanks,

After trying to move the disposal back and forth and then giving up and start to think about taking it down, I found this site and the broom handle worked.

Thanx for saving me the $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$!

Randi June 6, 2007, 1:57 am

I have a temperamental Insinkerator and too-narrow pipes so clogs are common here. Because I have a double sink (small one with the GD on the left and a big one on the right), plunging has always been a two-person job and very difficult.

Recently, after 24 years in this house, I discovered a fool-proof, one-person method for plunging. Put the stopper in the GD sink. Put plunger through standing water and position over drain in big sink, but do not plunge. In the past, plunging would just push the stopper on the GD out, and the clogged up gunk all over the place.

Instead, turn on the GD. It creates a vacuum that holds that stopper on better than another person pressing down with all his/her might! Then plunge like mad in the big sink and in seconds, the clog will be gone.

I never use Drano, etc. in my GD because of the fear of clogs and not being able to plunge without ingesting Drano.

The broom handle/plunger handle and the Allen wrench are also my best friends.

Now my GD is making a big sound like something is loose. I see several people asked about the loose clanging sound but no answers have been posted! Help!

john June 7, 2007, 12:51 am

Wow, i too have a badger 5 that is leaking from the bottom, but as of today, nobody has been able to help on here. If someone knows the answer please post.


kp June 10, 2007, 4:55 am

THanks forum – had the problem of a hum and constant tripping of the switch. Used the broom did not work – used the broom again with some convistion and hey presto – works well.

Bobbydacron June 12, 2007, 2:34 am

I have an Insinkerator 17 that won’t turn off. Its about 8 years old, is it time to replace it or there some magical trick that I should be doing ? Please help. Many thanks

Seth June 20, 2007, 3:07 am

spent an hour + looking for my wrenchette…

Saw this site, did the end of the broom trick, and it worked. This tortured soul can go to sleep now!

Henry June 20, 2007, 4:32 pm

Tried to repair my Kenmore 400 Disposer using a “broom”, & the disposer unit literally dropped off, i.e the heavy unit dislodged from the ring (Body Flange) that holds it in place. Removed the Body Flange ring at top, and tried to put it back on the disposer unit before lifting it up to connect, but the body flange ring seemed to be wider than the top of the disposer unit! How can this be?

Michelle June 21, 2007, 5:55 pm

Thank you all so much. My disposal was humming but not turning. I hit the reset and it didn’t work, so I came up and searched and found you guys! I used the end of the plunger (my broom handle is cheap, thin plastic) and now it works!

I really appreciate all of your expertise–You saved me some time and money!!!!

c h June 24, 2007, 10:01 am

Broom handle worked, Thank you everyone who submitted here!

Grace June 24, 2007, 2:43 pm

I used the plunger handle. AND IT WORKED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
NO PLUMBER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sinde June 25, 2007, 3:06 am

OMGosh…Did not know my Insinkerator had a reset button. I tried the “Reset Button” and VOILA- It is working again. Not sure what tripped it up in the first place, last thing I remember putting down there was 12 hard boiled egg shells. Wont be doing that again.
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS INFO–saved me money and a huge burden!!


Cynthia L Collins

Karen June 28, 2007, 3:37 pm

Does anyone know why my kenmore disposal wont turn off? I have to pull the plug to get it to stop.

Wally July 7, 2007, 5:21 pm

I had a dishrag stuck. I got a single-blade razor and cut off the rag near the bottom of the GD. That way I could see what I was doing. Then I used long-handled channel lock pliers to pull out bits of the rag. Sometimes I’d just come up with 4 threads at a time, but I also pulled out a corner piece (the rag was doubled up) and an edge seam. Worked about 15 minutes doing this. The GD hummed but wouldn’t turn. I gave up and resigned myself to calling the plumber.

This morning I googled and found you guys. The Allen wrench worked. Turned it several times each way — you could feel the resistance — and finally it turned freely.

Laura July 9, 2007, 7:40 pm

I can’t get my GD to drain all of the water. It runs and the water won’t drain out. I think something is clogged. What should I try? The grinding turns…but the water is not draining? Could it be the p-trap? HELP!!!!


Dennis July 18, 2007, 2:19 am

My aged Kenmore 400 Disposer (built when Sears was – Roebuck) gave me the hum but dead treatment. I was ready to replace it but… found this site. The broomstick ( big screwdriver in my case ) did the trick with a bit of heave-ho.
Note for the unwary – both of the two orbital whacker blades must rotate freely, and the whole assembly should rotate (motor axis).

In my case a plastic bread bag tie had become wedged under a blade. Removed that and tested while running water.


Lost Soldiers wife... July 18, 2007, 7:31 am

I am sooo upset. My husband left 3 days ago for Iraq..and under the sink had been wet.. and we could find NOTHING wrong.. so off he went.I ran the dishwasher today and it started to leak again. So I took everything out.. looked around and still saw nothing. I left everything out and cabinets open to dry out. Well I had to do some dishes by hand… and it was draining slow, so I turned the disposal on and I felt like someone had shot my leg. The thing blew 4 holes in the side of the disposal, all over my kitchen, myself and the cabinets. Im alone, have no idea what to do. I dont want a plummer bill. How do I know which one to get?? any suggestions? My neighbor can install it for me??

Donna July 25, 2007, 4:57 pm

Thank you, thank you…..My GD mysteriously (4 males in the house) got jammed while I was away for a few days. When I got home, cleaned up the kitchen and turned it on all I got was a hummmmmm! I said a few choice words, asked everyone if they had any ideas what was jammed (of course no one touched it while I was away) and then proceeded to take it apart. I found nothing that was lodged or stuck. I thought for sure I was going to have to replace it, but I looked at this site, put it back together, tried the broom thing (it didn’t work), so I figured what the heck, try the tool thing. The tool wasn’t attached, so I had no idea what size….I kept trying though and found the 1/2 inch did the trick. It loosened it right up, then I used the broom and WOW, it worked!!!!! It looked and sounded like pieces of glass (imagine that) was stuck in it.

Thanks soooooooooooo much!

Karen July 27, 2007, 2:06 am

Help! GD just stopped working no humming noise or anything. I checked the circut, hit the reset button, stuck the broom handle in to make sure both blades and bottom part are moving freely (they are), plunged it with the other side plugged, poured baking soda, vinegar, and boiling water in it all at once, it is a whirlaway 191 and I don’t see any place to put a hex key. I think I have tried it all. I still get nothing. A few days ago this happened and I told my husband about it when he got home from work. He went over and flipped the switch and it came right on and worked for a few days and now it’s broke again. Either the GD fairies are mad at me or the whole thing is just going out. I don’t know. Can anyone help me? Is it just broken? I can’t live without my GD so someone please, please, please send some advice my way.

Karen July 27, 2007, 4:14 am

Okay, I am a dork. It finally occured to me that this was probably something electrical and then I realized the only thing I hadn’t done was check to make sure the thing was plugged in. Of course it wasn’t, at least not all the way, it had been bumped. Amazingly after plugging it in all the way it is working just fine.

Jim Braun July 27, 2007, 9:59 pm

Amazing the broom stick works. Must be the leverage you get. Thanks

Adrienne July 29, 2007, 3:07 pm

After waiting forever for friends and family to remember to send me a good handyman contact, I decided to take matters into my own hands and search the internet for answers to my problem. My Badger 5 Insinkerator hummed for a second and from then on…no action whatsoever. I tried the broom handle (well, plunger handle) trick plus the red button and she’s working like a charm now. Thanks! So easy even a girl can fix it ๐Ÿ˜‰

Dennis July 30, 2007, 2:12 am

Hard to explain the problem with my GD. The GD seems to work properly. It sucks down the water and shreds the food, but when it is turned off, water fills back up into the sink, but the food is gone!. When it is working without water running, you can see water spraying from underneath the spray guard. After plunging and completely emptying the system (where you not hear or see water while running), the water builds up and you can hear it slowly fill up. And it is water that is still, not even a slow drain. I hope I’m explaining this thoroughly enough. But, I don’t think the pipes are clogged because where does all the water go??? It has to be a problem with the GD itself. Any help?????

Laura August 1, 2007, 10:13 pm

Uggh gesh I am a DORK. Spehgehtti is definately not a GD’s best friend. And dumb me put a lot and I mean a lot down there and now its clogged! The water won’t drain, the GD turns on and makes its humming sound. But how do I unclog it. Please don’t tell me I gotta take it apart,LOL

Chad August 5, 2007, 2:19 pm

Thanks for the thread! The hex tool fix worked for me!

Dave O August 5, 2007, 5:05 pm

Laura (and Dennis)

The drain line (pipe) that goes out from your disposal is clogged. You can try plunging it at the sink drain with a good old plunger. It’s easy if you have a single sink, but if you have a double sink you have to block the other drain completely to seal it. Not as easy as it sounds. 2 people each with a plunger miught work. One holds their plunger down tight while the other does the up and down work.

If that doesn’t work then you have to disconnect the drain line from the disposal and try clearing it with a clothes hanger. There is also a small cap at the bottom of the pipe elbow (the U-shaped pipe “trap”), remove this with a wrench might get access to the middle of the clog. Put a pan underneath and get ready for a mess.

When you think you’ve loosened it up enough, put everything back together and then see if it’s clear.

I’ve done this before several times…seems to happen alot when I’m visiting friends and relatives, somebody always tries to dump too much through the disposal!

GEORGE August 6, 2007, 12:21 am

have a badger 5 that is leaking from the bottom, but as of today, nobody has been able to help on here. If someone knows the answer please post

Brian August 12, 2007, 9:04 pm

The 4-inch Hex did the trick thanks for the advice.

Johnny August 13, 2007, 6:49 pm

I’ve unjammed my insinkerator and it works, yet every time it’s turned off I have to use the hex to restart. I’ve been doing this for weeks. It hums when turned on, but have to use hex every single time for it to spin. It’s not clogged and easily starts with the tool. Becoming a real pain to have to manually get it running on a daily basis. Can anyone remedy this for me. Thanks,

Mike August 13, 2007, 11:48 pm

I have to say I am amazed… and you saved me some bucks too! I’ve been fixing and rewiring just about every appliance around the house for 30 years. Generally when there is NOT EVEN A HUM and the reset doesn’t work, and there is definitely power to the wall socket, then the GD needs replaced. Well I have this Whirlaway 591 (apparently very similar to the Whirlaway 291). After checking all the above, (no hum and plate with teeth turned freely) I was about to replace it, so came online to see which of my local hardware stores carried a direct replacement. I happened by shear coincidence on this site and read about the manual rotating of the bottom teeth plate 10 TIMES on this unit. Well I figured it would only take a minute and certainly couldn’t hurt. So got out my longest screw driver, stuck it down there. Always the skeptic I turned it once in each direction first and tried the power and it still didn’t work. So then I turned 10 times clockwise, and then 10 times counter clockwise, no real resistance in either direction, nothing apparently jammed, but dutifully did it anyway, just to say I’d exhausted all options. Then I half-heartedly flipped the wall switch one last time in defiance and nearly dropped the screw driver down the drain when I jumped back as it roared to life once again. It’s a mystery even to me how or why it works, but it only takes a minute to try vs. $100 for a replacement and an hour and a half to go out and buy and replace!
Thanks! Make sure this thread lives on forever!

nick August 13, 2007, 11:57 pm

I have a GD with a twist turn on. It seems to be stuck in the on position. I have had to shut the fuse off, but need to use other appliances in the kitchen. Saw a couple of people with this problem, but no solutions.

Any help would be appriciated

Mike August 13, 2007, 11:58 pm

Just to give something back to this thread in appreciation… To those who mentioned that they have a GD that ‘won’t turn off’. Make sure you have it plugged into the correct wall socket. Many under-sink electic sockets are wired so that only one socket of the two is turned on and off by the disposal wall switch and the other is constantly on in order to plug in a nearby dishwasher or other appliance. I know it’s a no-brainer for some, but for the non-technically inclined, if you accidently plug it back into the wrong one by accident after fixing another problem, you’re not going to get it to stop without unplugging it and moving it to the other socket.

Mitch K August 14, 2007, 2:50 am

My GD started backing up water into the sink. When I run it it puts the water into the other side of the sink. When I stop the GD the water balances out in both sinks. I used Liquid Plumer and a lot of hot water and a plunger. Nothing worked.

What is wrong? What can I do next?

Shannon August 16, 2007, 2:23 am

Thank you in advance for not being TOO judgemental for this stupidity…

My boyfriend who lives an inconvenient distance from my home, installed a new Badger 10s GD in my kitchen. He forgot to remove the little dishwasher drain plug plastic thingy that is supposed to be removed PRIOR to installation.

So after someone jokingly asked if he remembered this vital little step, he called to tell me that this was going to have to be punched out in order for me to use my d/w.

With 2 kids around, I HAD to have my dishwasher in good order, so I took it upon myself to knock out the little drain plug and save him the drive during the work week.

OOPS! The plug fell into the unit and I couldn’t get it out. Naturally I prayed for the best and connected the hoses back to where they should go. But now that everything is attached back together, I hear a hideous noise like I dropped a spoon into the GD but find nothing in the unit when I stick my hand into the drain and feel around!

Somebody…help! My boyfriend said the little plug was removed BELOW the level of the blades and should have just washed away.

Anyone? And thank you so much for your advice! ๐Ÿ™‚

Max August 20, 2007, 3:29 am

I’ve got a Badger 5 Plus that, like other posters have said, is leaking from the bottom. It works but seems to be letting water seep right through it and out two screws in the bottom.

I, too, would be interested in hearing what people did to resolve this.

Darren August 20, 2007, 5:45 am

I’ve also got problem with my Badger 5 Plus leaking from the lower body of the disposal. The leaking started after it got jammed and I unjammed it with a broomstick and the allen wrench ideas suggested elsewhere in this post. I did some other searching on the web and it looks like it might be just worth replacing the entire disposal than having a plumber try to diagnose the problem.

darren August 21, 2007, 2:51 am

Update on my Badger 5 Plus leak. I called the manufacturer today and they recommend replacing the entire disposal. Mine is 7 years old although I’ve only lived in the house a month so didnt get much use from it.

When I look down the drain I see nothing but rust and heavy corrosion. I suspect that may have something to do with the water seeping into the unit and back out of it.

Max August 21, 2007, 3:53 am

This is a follow-up to my disposal that was leaking (but working). It was a Badger 5 Plus. I called the 1-800-558-5700 number and pretty much got the same information as I could deduce myself: an internal seal had been compromised.

As such, it was best to unplug the unit immediately and replace it.

The moral of the story is: if it is leaking directly through the disposal, you need a new one (because you probably don’t have the time to pull the old one out, take it apart, order parts, etc. with a kitchen sink down while waiting.)

The two additional pieces of information they gave me were a PDF with an exploded assembly view and a contact number where I could order parts.

I went out and replaced the disposal this evening. Only two trips to the hardware store: one to get the parts I thought I needed and one to get the additional plumbing pieces because the old plastic pipes wouldn’t fit on this newer unit (without leaking.) Different design.

Now that the crisis in the kitchen is solved, I have half a mind to take the old one apart and fix it. Much to my wife’s chagrin, maybe I’ll build a portable backyard sink with this fixed garbage disposal.


Gerry August 22, 2007, 2:35 pm

Thanks to Max for posting answers for problems with “leaking GD”. I saw several posts about this problem with no answers until this Max came along. I am having the same problem just now. My GD just started leaking and I don’t know how it started. I don’t use it a whole lot and that is whats bugging me. I have a 6yr old, 1/2 hp InSinkErator. One thing I know is I use the sink where the GD is for my main washing/drain and usually use hot water. This must have helped on the quick deterioration of the seal/gasket. Thanks for this cool site!

Yonit August 27, 2007, 7:28 am

Thanks! Badger 5 hummed, spit water at me, but would not drain with wrench, broom, turning blades manually. Finally, used a big plunger–and voila! Stinky mess, but unclogged.

oscar the grouch September 5, 2007, 2:55 am

Same problem posted by a few others: Insinkerator 17 Batch Feed model that won’t turn off. If I feel around down there i can tell there’s a lot of build-up (hard water?) along the top of the disposal where the switch probably is. I don’t know how the switch is designed (and can’t tell from above) so I don’t know where to focus my vinegar blast. Any suggestions would be welcomed!

I’m getting ready to buy one of those electric switches that operate with a RF clicker (like you use on X-mas lights). That way i can hook that up under the sink where the GD plugs in and leave the battery operated clicker up top where i can turn it off and on by hand. not as elegant as the batch feed switch, but better than buying a new disposal, i guess!

can anybody help the batch feed guys?!

Batch Feed Lover! (again) September 5, 2007, 3:46 am

Okay, I was having the same problem as most of the other batch feed posters here: DISPOSAL TURNS ON BUT THEN WON’T TURN OFF!

Did a little google research and found this cool site, which has a diagram of what a batch fed garbage disposal looks like on the inside:

Clicked on the parts locator and there’s a repair kit for batch feed switches for $50 that comes with instructions on how to install:

Armed with the knowledge that I can always throw down $50 for a new switch and (more importantly) instructions I decided to figure out where the stuck switch is in my disposal (insinkerator 17 batch feed). I felt around a bit (with the disposal unplugged) and noticed that at the top in the front there was something that felt like a switch. There’s a plastic flange where the lid sits (this is the type with a mechanical switch (not magnetic) and if you look down inside the hole you’ll notice two plastic tabs at the front and back of the hole. The larger tab (at the front on my disposal) is the one where the switch is hidden.

In my case there was 6 years worth of mineral (or whatever) build-up below and all around the switch. I was able to pry some 1/8″ thick layers of brown (very smelly) mineral buildup off of the area below the switch (using a dull knive) and used my fingernail to clear away as much from around the switch itself as I could.

Finally I cupped my hand under the switch (to create a water-tight seal around it) and poured vinegar liberally over my hand (which forced it toward the switch). That loosened up the mineral deposits around the switch some more and after a bit of scrubbing with a toothbrush I was back in business!!!!

Good luck to everybody else with the same problem, I hope you can fix yours as quickly (and easily) as I saved mine!

scott September 11, 2007, 7:09 pm

My garbage disposal drain pipe just pushes into the hole. There is nothing preventing the pipe from pulling out, and it leakes from hole when we use that side of the sink. What can I do to fix this problem. I am sure it is simple and I should end up looking like an idiot.


Cassius September 12, 2007, 2:40 am

Thanks you guys. You save me from wife hell!!! LSU ROCKS!!!!

'brina September 24, 2007, 12:22 am

I have a garbage disposal that suddenly quit working. One day it worked, the next day: No. It made no noise. I checked the reset button. It was out. I pushed it in, turned on my disposal and the reset button pushed out again. This was several times. It wouldn’t hold the power or whatever. It smelled like the beginning of it burning up, so I stopped. I’m single woman trying to do this myself. What could be the reason for this?

Shauna September 30, 2007, 12:47 am

Thanks (Yonit) for the reminder of the good old plunger.

Was already in the practice of using all the other tricks (wooden handle, reset button, etc.) for past garbage disposal problems and was stumped. This time, it was a job for the good old plunger.

Great site! Thanks again.

Michael Bernal October 16, 2007, 12:37 am

I have a whirlaway 191 and the reset button along with manually loosening up the blades with a wooden handle did trick. Could not find allen wrench location.

Juan October 16, 2007, 11:27 pm

This advice was perfect and entirely on the mark. Specifically, I used a thin-wooden spoon handle on the inside of my Insinkerator and it worked — it dislodged whatever was stuck and the machine began humming again.

Joel Allen October 19, 2007, 3:36 am


I got a new garbage disposal and had to replace some pipes because they had a crack in them. Now, when I put coffee grounds in it, when I turn on the disposal, the grounds gurgle up the other sink drain on the other side. It never did this before. Any ideas?


Bob October 21, 2007, 5:48 pm

I had the freely rotating blades and a merry hum but not action and used the Allen key. One turn was enough. I heard something hard rattling down the garbage. I just hope it wasn’t my wife’s ring.

kim October 24, 2007, 10:44 pm

Thanks so much, I was going to call a plumber but the broom worked……….

NSedwick October 27, 2007, 3:27 pm

I have a strange, but maybe easily answered, question. I recently unclogged my GD by using a plunger. After doing this, I noticed a fair amount of leakage under the kitchen sink. Now, several days after the event, there area is completely dry. I have run water in both sides of the sink, have run the GD with & without food scraps, have run the dishwasher…& no more leak! What would have caused the problem in the first place? Is there some kind of overflow valve??

MHolbert October 30, 2007, 3:52 am

I just wanted to say thank you to everyone for their advice. A friend of mine said she broke our GD during a party (while peeling potatoes of course) and we were at a loss as to what to do. The motor would run, the blades were clear and moving, and there would be a major whirpool in the sink with all sorts of fun sludge coming up to say hello. I tried like crazy to plunge it and got no results, we even tried liquid plumber that guaranteed to “destroy the clog”. When I started reading I saw the recomendation about plugging the opposite side of the sink and 5 plunges later everything is running clear. THANK YOU to everyone… I know many have said it before but it’s a great feeling not to have to call in the pros for help.

DMoore November 1, 2007, 3:37 pm

My GD turns freely with the wrench and water flows freely down the drain, but I only get a humming sound from the GD and it doesn’t turn. I’ve pushed the reset button and still nothing happens. I REALLY don’t want to call a plumber. Any suggestions?

Jordan November 6, 2007, 5:35 am

My sinkerator GD seems to be clogged. The disposal itself seems to be working fine, it sucks down the water but after I turn it off the water is bubbling back up into the sink. The water will not drain out. I tried drain cleaner, a plunger, hot water, cold water. Any other suggestions?


Gurmeet November 8, 2007, 6:05 pm


My friend had the same problem with his disposal. I helped him fix it. Take apart the trap from underneath the sink. It is a u shape pipe. Make sure you have a bucket. The water will drain out. You will need to hose out the trap. Then re-connect the pipes. After that you should be good to go.

Make sure you have your jeans on though. You’ll get wet and messy if you do not.

Jeff November 11, 2007, 3:31 am

I can’t get my garbage disposal back in. I had to remove to replace faucet and now the rubber coupling it is supposed to go inside of before locking it in place keeps rolling up under. Can’t get the thing in for anything. I have a floor jack that I am using to gently guide into position, lubed the rubber coupling – still won’t go!!! HELP!!!!!! November 15, 2007, 3:52 am

question and answer!

gd working good blades moving turned on and off…just clogged with bubbles….tried plunger no go captain…had to unscrew pvc pipe from gd to pea trap….full of sweet potato peelings…lord have mercy….she drains like a champ now….

59er over and out,,,,,



Heather November 20, 2007, 3:00 am

This is for those who have a clogged disposal. Mine was clogged and draining into the other sink. I put the sink plug in the side with the garbage disposal and then in the opposite sink used a plunger. It took 5 or 6 tries but finally came unclogged and sucked all the water back down. I clogged it by putting too many egg shells at once down the drain. Yes you can use egg shells it will actually sharpen the blades but just don’t put too many at one time. Also learned not to put a lot of pasta in at one time. That also clogged my drain-Big Time! I do know NOT to put potato peels down the disposal it will clog the disposal every time. Also no onion skins. Hope this helps.

Ron Spectre November 25, 2007, 5:16 pm

This forum seems odd… I see everyone asking questions and no one answering posts… Yet, a lot of people are coming back and thanking people for suggestions… Are responses not posted??? Apparently this is the way it is… I see people ask a question, and with no response HERE, go find the solution on their own and then post what they FOUND. This is not the forum providing answers. It is just people desperately looking for answers, getting none, finding them on their own, and then having the courtesy to come back and say what they found. It is THEY you own, not this silly forum. The forum is not an answer forum. Just by LUCK it turns out to be for some folks.

I saw the same question time and time again and in this entire forum, NO answers… I wont even bother posting my question.


Ryan November 26, 2007, 4:44 am

Reading that last comment made me really bored.

gene November 26, 2007, 5:18 pm

Wow! Thanks for the tip on the allen wrench! All is working fine. Great help everyone! Gene

Nsim November 29, 2007, 10:07 pm

Thanks it really works,,,the broom method…infact rotate it with any thing which gives a leverage

Allen December 2, 2007, 9:08 am

Hey guys..don’t mean to sound mean..but I hear about the broomstick..where are you guys putting the broom stick. I could stick it into the insinkerator, but I don’t see leverage to move anything. Is there a hole I should be looking for and stick it into that hole for leverage? I do see a small hole where the food probably goes into, but no way can I fit a broomhandle in it. My insinkerator is making a humming sound. Also, I have a whirlaway 191 and don’t see anywhere on the bottom for an allen wrench.

Any help is appreciated..anyone have pictures of the fix?

John December 2, 2007, 7:35 pm

Hi Garbage Disposal Repair Pals—

I have the Sears Model 175 GD. My problem was– “hums, no spin.”

Based on advice offered in this column, I located an allen wrench set and inserted the 1/4 inch hex into the hole in the center of the bottom of the disposal.

(Oh, by the way, I did unplug the unit before messing around with the repair. I’m the cautious sort.)

I turned the wrench left, one complete turn, and right, one complete turn. Turning it wasn’t hard but it wasn’t like a free spin either.

When I plugged it in and turned it on– it worked like a charm. I ran lots of warm sudsy water and then lots of cold water through it to clean any reside and allow the metals to expand and contract.

It’s working great, and, by the way, it’s as old as the hills.

I’m off to look for a microwave repair site. The fan on my Whirlpool Model RM770PXA runs continually with the door closed, even when I’m not microwaving.

Anyway…thanks so much to everyone who has provided advice and guidance on this site. This is just great!!

Mary December 11, 2007, 10:14 pm

Insinkerator stopped working, would get hum but the blades didn’t turn. Water was also draining slow.

Found out one of the blades was jammed so I took the handle of a wooden spoon and after a few minutes managed to loosen it. Turned it on – worked for a second then stopped and went back to humming.

I found the allen wrench that came with the unit and manually turned the blades via the hex hole on the bottom of the unit a few times in each direction until I got smooth movement. Tried it again and again it worked for a second and then hummed.

So I dug around to see if anything was getting jammed in there (didn’t see anything the first time I un-jammed the blade) and found out there was a plastic measuring spoon in there! Black no less – blended right in. Took that out – turned the blades with the wrench a few more times and now it works!

Thanks for this post and the abundance of great advice – it was a life and money saver for sure!

jl December 13, 2007, 2:12 am

Awesome post — I had hum, blades moved freely, but NOT WORKING!

The flywheel (the round thing that the blades are attached to) was stuck. Be patient and REALLY use the end of a broom handle to push to dislodge the flywheel. I pushed so hard that the sink seemed to be detaching from the GD but eventually it worked.

Tip: Make sure that the blade moved positions (from 3 and 9 oclock to 5 and 7 oclock, for example). That’s how you know the flywheel is unstuck!

Hope this helps!

Teresa December 13, 2007, 6:38 pm

Ok I have a very old I think 20+ disposal. Swith turns on (there is a light that comes on) and sometimes it hums. Absolutely no movement. It will hum briefly when turned on then I hear a click as the reset button pops out and the hum stops. I have reset the button tons of times, tried the allen wrench in the bottom and it will just wiggle about 1/2 inch to left or right but doesn’t really seem to do anything and when using a broom handle, nothing turns just the whole disposal system practically comes undone from the sink. Am I doing something wrong or do I just need a new disposal?

Kev December 16, 2007, 8:14 am

My Badger 5 Insinkerator disposal spins freely using hex wrench but does not turn when power is on – it just hums. If I manually spin it up to speed with a long wooden spoon it starts working. Once the power is turned off, it will not work again unless manually spun to start it going.

Kev December 16, 2007, 8:26 am

Hoe did Mary from 12-11-2007 find a jammed blade? Where exactly do you look? I don’t see any blades in mine. And how and where did jl from 12-12-2007 find a flywheel? I don’t see any of this when I look into the sink. I have the badger 5 Insinkerator.

Donna December 22, 2007, 7:15 pm

Help! My GD works fine, blades turn, etc., but the water won’t drain. I have tried a plunger, but it isn’t working. The water is not backing up into the other sink but it is backing up into the dishwasher — which makes the plugging the other end trick hard — how do I plug a dishwasher? I’m about to try taking out the pipes — kind of scary.

Any advice appreciated.

Christmas is coming and I need my kitchen back.


T December 26, 2007, 11:10 pm

My GD got stuck a few weeks ago. I kept putting off the problem since it is very seldom used anyway. Well, a clog appeared and the water would take up to an hour to drain completely. Yuck! The broomhandle worked! I just moved it around in there, and sure enough the GD turned back on. Thank you!

Jim December 27, 2007, 12:32 am

I bought a house 3 years ago and it came with a Badger 5 Insinkerator garbage disposal. Recently it started leaking water from what appears to be the bottom of the entire unit. It only leaks water when the disposal is running. I have no “handyman” skills but I have a great toolbox with lots of tools. I am determined to fix this myself.

Can anyone please give me some advice? Can the leaking be fixed or should I just replace the disposal?

Is it difficult to replace a garbage disposal?


Pops December 28, 2007, 12:22 am

First of all, I find it pretty hilarious how long this blog entry has been kept alive. I’ll try to do my part…

We had a Badger 5, at least 20 years old. The symptoms were a humming sound but the motor wouldn’t turn. I tried the Allen wrench in the bottom, and it turned very easily. In fact, it was possible to start it with a coordinated effort – I would spin the motor with the Allen wrench, and my wife would hit the on/off switch. The problem with that is it tends to remove fingers, as the Allen wrench quickly gets up to speed, and with 1/2 horsepower behind it you don’t really want to be anywhere near it. I definitely DO NOT RECOMMEND THIS PROCEDURE.

Go ahead and turn the motor with an Allen wrench, but ONLY WITH THE POWER TURNED OFF! (I thought of attaching a pulley on the bottom and giving my wife a pull-starter rope like the old-fashioned lawn mowers, but she wasn’t really very enthusiastic about that.)

Anyway, it was obvious that the motor-starting mechanism wasn’t working – I’m not sure what it has, but an induction motor needs a kick to start it turning. Usually it’s a capacitor and/or some secondary windings, yadda yadda. I bought a replacement Badger 5, assuming the critical plumbing dimensions would be the same, and put it under the Christmas tree. I figured the unit was way too old to try to repair.

I waited until after Christmas to do the replacement, knowing it would require at least a few trips to the hardware store. Sure enough, it did! When I tried to remove the old unit, the “bottle” broke at the neck. It was apparently ready to go. I’m glad it didn’t break off while it was in operation.

I hadn’t originally planned to remove the mounting collar in the sink, but it sort of came out when I had to hammer the disposal mounting ring pretty hard to get it to come off. Fortunately, it’s a stainless steel sink, so at least that didn’t break. So the first trip to the hardware store was to get some plumber’s putty to install the new collar.

The critical plumbing dimensions weren’t the same, but I was able to use the tailpipe from the old unit for the needed horizontal throw. Unfortunately, the person who had originally installed it had left out the gasket between the P trap and the drain extension, apparently to reduce the required vertical throw of the tailpipe so the P trap would mate with it. I couldn’t get it to stop leaking without a gasket, and with a gasket it wouldn’t quite attach properly to the tailpipe. That was two trips to the hardware store – once for the gasket and once for a tailpipe extension.

It’s now up and running wonderfully, with no leaks. But it took about five hours…

james December 29, 2007, 3:16 am

Just like everyone else, found this via google looking to fix my garbage disposal. I have the hum no turn problem. I tried the allen wrench method first but the motor was tight and not free spinning. I saw someone suggested turning it a number of times in each direction. Since it was pretty tight, I used my cordless drill and a 1/4 inch hex bit. ran the drill about 15-20 secs in each direction, flipped the switch and presto! working GD again.

Thanks for the drill idea, that worked for me!

karen January 6, 2008, 1:50 am

I’ve read through this entire thread and I see the same question, but no solution so I’m hoping this one will find the right person.

I did the allen wrench and reset button and restarted the GD, but now it makes an ungodly loud noise and the plate almost seems like you could lift it right out.

Is there someway to tighten that to get it back to normal? Will turning the hex counter clockwise tighten it?

Please advise. Thanks.

Karen January 8, 2008, 6:55 am

We have a Badger 5 disposal. I put potatoe peelings in and turn it on. The Motor is turning, but the water doesn’t want to drain out. Please Help! Then the pip came off underneath when turning the disposal on. Of course water went every where.

Megan January 9, 2008, 1:48 am

Thanx guys, I had to read through this whole page trying to figure out what to do w/the broom once I stuck the handle in. I couldn’t find any detailed instructions so I stuck the handle in and moved it around back and forth a bit. I couldn’t feel anything happen, but I had my brother on the phone laughing at me and he said, “Well, you stuck the broom in, take it out and try turning it on” Believe it or not the damn thing worked!! It was like magic. ~Amazing~

Chris from Da Bay Area January 11, 2008, 9:39 pm

And the heavens opened up, a voice said, “Let there be light”, or in this case โ€œDISPOSAL.โ€

Hit the red reset button on the bottom of the GD and it started right up. But since it was on a wall switch and I switched the dishwasher outlet with the GD, I couldn’t figure why the GD wasn’t turning off. A few trips to the breaker and some under the breath curse words, I realized I should switch the plugs back in the original position. Works like a champ now!

Thanks guy for this forum…

Scott too January 13, 2008, 1:50 am

Just want to add my thanks for this useful bit o’ blogosphere

The allen wrench and reset button did the trick – happy grinding!

h sofia January 13, 2008, 8:25 am

Problem: after (probably way too many) potato peels were run through the disposal at the same time, disposal clogged and backed up second, adjacent sink.

Next morning: second sink was no longer clogged, and GD sink had drained somewhat, but didn’t seem to be swallowing water.

Symptom: when GD switch turned on, the water in GD sink gurgled and swirled, but did not drain.

Solution: I tried it all, after reading the notes here. I applied duct tape to that little 3 inch nub thing next to the faucet (it squirted water and potato gunk when I tried to plunge the GD sink).

I added water to the GD sink, and then plunged it.

That seemed to do the trick. Just as a note, before I did that final step of plunging the GD sink, I had also:

-plunged the adjacent sink
-reset the button countless times
-reset the breaker
-inserted the 1/4 allen wrench (from my allen wrench kit) into the underside of the GD (in the kitchen cabinet, near the reset button, there is a hole right in the center of the bottom of the unit) and spun it around easily both clockwise and counter clockwise – while disposal was OFF
-stuck a screwdriver and plunger handle into the disposal unit itself (while OFF) and confirmed blades could move freely

It looks like I had the same problem as Scarlett (Feb 06) and Fumed Out (Sept 06). I have an In-sink-erator.

h sofia January 13, 2008, 8:30 am

Oh, and by the way – thank you to everyone for your tips. They really did help!

nick January 19, 2008, 10:43 pm

I hit the reset button and now it run constantly. I have to unplug it from the wall in order for it to stop running. what do i do?

Cathy January 21, 2008, 3:06 pm

My husband tried all of the above: broom stick, hex wrench, screw driver, and plunging. He finally took the pipes apart from the “P” trap to the tee where the pipe from the GD comes. At the end of that 12 inch piece of pipe there was about 2 inches of food that was preventing the GD from emptying into the septic line. He stuck a table knife driver into the messy food and presto!! the line cleared. Thankfully he had a 4 quart pan under where the pipe ended to catch the nearly 2 quarts of water that was in the GD.

Doug January 21, 2008, 5:51 pm

I’ll bet that there are a lot of plumbing shops that are po’d at who ever came up with the broom stick trick!!! We tried to grind up a juice glass in our disposal and just before I was going to try to skip a plumber and pull the unit out myself, I found this web-site and saw the comments about the broom stick trick and now I’m in seventh heaven. It worked great….thankyou

Paul January 28, 2008, 12:07 am

First-you’ve gotta be dumber than a box of mud to allow a disposer to just sit there and hum! When and if it jams, turn it off..NOW!!! This is the kind of stupidity that burns out the start windings and destroys the starting capacitor…which explains why some of the above posters are in the situation they’re in…turntable is free to rotate, yet it does nothing or just hums after overload protector is reset.
Second-everytime a disposer motor gets so hot it trips it’s overload, it has come close to burning out. The insulation on the motor windings have already been seriously overheated and have started to break down. Tripping the protector is a serious event-think flooring your car while you hold the car in place with the brakes, until it violently overheats and the engine dies! Yes, it MAY restart in two hours, but then again it may not. Like the airbags on your car; you don’t test them to see if they work!
Third-use common sense…trying to reset the overload protector before being you are certain the jam is completely cleared (turntable is free to rotate a full revolution) is just as stupid. The little red button cannot magically clear the object that is wedged in the disposer.
Finally-read and understand the owner’s manual, and be careful to keep thing like coins, paper clips, pop tops, etc from falling in to the disposal.

Signed, a retired employee of In Sink Erator!

Pamela January 28, 2008, 1:49 am

You made my day….my disposal quit running earlier this evening and I immediately panicked. My husband is deployed and it is one of those days were everything has broke and I am left in tears. After finding this website I tried the allen wrench and my disposer started working again. It immediately froze back up so once again I turned the allen wrench and before turning it back on I slipped my hand inside the disposer to feel for any foreign objects. I found the tab off of a soda pop can (not surprised…since I have 3 boys). I removed the tab and my disposer is running beautifully now. It will be a good nights sleep after all…..THANKS!!!!

RS January 28, 2008, 4:02 am

I have a whirlaway GD that wasn’t working and was already thinking of getting it replaced. After reading this blog, I tried the screwdriver in the two holes of the GD spinning floor and rotated it counter clockwise. It took a while, but it worked!!!! Thanks everyone!.

mk January 28, 2008, 5:28 am

i have the holey part (the handle) of a metal 1/2 teaspoon measuring spoon stuck in the GD & it won’t come out (i let the GD run & didn’t know the spoon was in there). is there any way i can get it out without hurting the GD? if i do wreck the GD, how can i repair it, or is it a plumber’s job? also, would my home buyer’s warranty cover for repairing or replacing the GD in this case? please help – my husband is so upset w/ me!

Yen February 1, 2008, 9:57 pm

I have a Whirlpool disposal GC1000…it was not working so I pushed the reset button….now the reset button is pushed in and there is nothing to push it out. I had to disconnect the disposal from the outlet because it would not stop running. Any advice? Whirlpool wants to charge me $79.00 for a service call…a new disposal is $69.00

Scott February 5, 2008, 3:03 pm

My garbage disposal hums when turned on and occasionally moves about a half inch. I used the wrench on the flywheel and it moves freely. I also pushed the reset button. Has anyone had this problem before?

Ian February 11, 2008, 1:52 pm

THANKS! Somehow, just using the Allen key did not work well, but with the BROOM STICK method, it worked almost immediately!

monique February 12, 2008, 10:16 pm

i have a bagger5 and there is a little key stocked in, tryed the hex key and broomstick, both don’t work so i’m trying to disconnect the unit, but whatever i try it is not disconnecting.
any one suggestion please

Kat February 17, 2008, 4:03 am

My garbage disposal (not sure which model) was not making a humming sound at all, but I tried the hex tool anyway. I turned it around a little and pressed reset and got a slight hum, but it still wasn’t working. I called upon the help of someone with much more muscle power, and we repeated the process. Worked like a charm! Thanks for the tip.

Alan February 18, 2008, 6:24 am

The most common problem with my GD is that a penny gets stuck between the outside wall of the unit and the rotating bottom piece. Turning the bottom piece with the hex key doesn’t help if it can’t dislodge the penny. My trick is to use a set of needlenose pliers to grab the penny, then a larger pair of slipnotch pliers to grab the handles of the needlenose and pull the penny out. Take our as much food as you can and shine a flashlight down there to see if you can spot a penny or something else small and flat enough to get wedged in there.

shannon February 19, 2008, 3:53 am

Hi, I am hoping someone can help. I am installing my a new dishwasher myself. As a safety precaution, I unplugged my disposal. Now when I plug it back in, it just RUNS and runs and runs unless I unplugged it again. I tried the little red button, but I don’t have the same jam all the other blogs refer too.

Any suggestions? (no, the outlet switch is not “on”)

mazemann February 21, 2008, 2:39 am

For all of those with the “humming” GD – I had this problem with my insinkerator less than 6 mo old! I first followed the manufacturer’s website instructions about the hex/allen wrench and reset button to no avail. Most all the comments on this topic also cover the the allen/hex wrench method but few mention that you may need to “work it” 10-20 times around in EACH direction. I first used the wrench a spun it 1-2 times in each direction and it seemed to mover freely. I can’t urge you enough – keep turning it even though it doesn’t seem to be the problem. Sure enough, I worked it for a few minutes – flipped the switch – voila… Not sure this’ll apply in all situations, but it worked for me. Thanks

mike J February 24, 2008, 6:42 pm

The 1/4 hex thing works, and like the last person said, keep working the thing back and forth for a while to ensure that it is free!

Good luck!

Erica February 25, 2008, 9:25 pm

I was stupid enough to try and dispose of a dead houseplant my roommate had abandoned. Some of those fibrous stem parts got lodged in the blades and I had the humming-but-not-turning issue.

Ours is a Kenmore disposal, maybe a year old.

After many anguished minutes of ripping tiny stem pieces out of the disposal compartment, and turning the blades and spinning parts with my hand a few times, and after a few false starts where the disposal would spin and then go back to humming, it finally began working again. Hallelujah!

The great thing is, it seems to run smoother now. Turning the blades by hand and removing the stuck plant-bits appears to have cleaned it out a little.

Thanks for this great little guide! I was in a bad place for about twenty minutes there, and thanks to this I got it all figured out.

Jami March 2, 2008, 5:08 pm

This site rocks!

I had the similar problem with my Insikerator GD, all humming and nothing else. Hit the reset button, the blades still weren’t spinning. Thankfully I have an allen wrench set, and using the allen wrench worked it around several times in both directions and that worked.

I must say that you really should try working the wrench around several times until you can feel it loosen up. That did the trick for me!

Also, just in case anyone else was troubled like I was, the spot where to insert allen wrench goes is located at the bottom of the GD, in the center, near the reset button.

Thanks to everyone who has posted problems & solutions!

Leah March 2, 2008, 11:55 pm

Took the advice, stuck the end of a hammer (all my brooms/mops are metal) into the sink, moved it around a little and wah la! FIXED!

Thank you for the instructions that took literally 5 minutes to fix and I was able to go about my day!

fozzy March 4, 2008, 1:48 am

My apartment has a old abused GD that sticks about once a month. I have become tired of calling maintenance, which always seems to be able to fix it. I generally used the broom stick method but this last bout was unsuccessful.

Using the alen wrench method and got it moving again but only for a split second and then back to the humming.

Wrench seemed to move fairly easily w/o much resistance in both directions.

In my tool box I had a straight 1/4 socket adapter (about 1 inch long) that also fit into the GD socket. I hooked it up to a Milwaukee 3/4hp hammer drill and ran it fwd and reverse for about 30 seconds each direction. I definitely had some sort of metal in there that pulverized.

GD is working better than ever now.

Dan March 8, 2008, 6:23 pm

Well, I couldn’t figure out where the wrench went, so I finally went, and got a stake from one of my trees in the yard, and used it in the disposal. I was having a hard time seeing in the drain, so I just moved the stick around a few times, tried, it, and it worked! I tested it out w/ some small chunks of lemon to make sure it was working, and also that it got the nasty smell away. Thanks to everyone on here!

jargon March 22, 2008, 10:41 pm

Thanks, Chris

The broom handle tip worked for me. We have a Badger 1 that failed us 2 weeks ago, and it’s fixed now!


Tim March 23, 2008, 8:12 pm

I just installed the sinkerator 9 a few weeks ago, now when I turn it on it sounds like it’s going to take of, an awful clanking noise like something is down in the disposable made of metal getting beat to death, but nothing is in there, has anyone had this problem?

DAZ April 5, 2008, 1:41 am

Just had a Whirlaway that would run but was clogged. I decided to try a toilet plunger and it actually worked.

hollie April 5, 2008, 8:10 pm

Thank goodness for this site. Jammed up Insinkarator. Used the plunger (both ends), hit he reset button and presto, worked….culprit…..shrimp shells.

Deepa Smith April 6, 2008, 3:59 am

We have a Whirlaway 191 – this site helped a lot. We had a similar problem , the unit would hum, the breaker would shut it down. Used the back of a plunger and turned the base counterclockwise (in case you are wondering the whole base on which you have the two small blades, moves). It takes some effort, as someone suggested use one of the small blade (which is mounted on the based and moves freely) as an anchor and push counterclockwise. In about 10 attempts the whole base started moving.

Thanks a lot for all your help
Deepa Smith

Amy Gould April 10, 2008, 5:09 pm

Thanks for the post about the broom handle. I have a Whirlaway Pro and it was doing the same thing. If you flipped the switch it would just hum. Checked the fuse and looked all over for a reset switch. Decided it couldn’t hurt to try the broom handle trick and presto! It worked perfectly again. Soooo glad I didn’t call a plumber for that one!

Beth April 12, 2008, 11:25 pm

Broom handle tip worked great! A piece of plastic fell into the disposal and got jammed under a blade. We were about to give up when we found this site…Thanks!!!!

Jeff April 19, 2008, 2:50 am

Fixed my daughter’s Whirlaway 291 by scraping around the edges of the inside of the drain above the twirly thing. Similar to as sugguested above. Was a jammed piece of plastic, the thing that ties the plastic bread bag up. (kind of thick, GC can’t handle it). Probably could not have done this without this site. Thank you!

Janet April 22, 2008, 2:06 am

Another leaking Pro333-9 insinkerator…. whether its running or not. Seems to be from the underside, where the cable goes into the unit.

Any suggestions?

Sweetmo April 24, 2008, 11:18 am

A plastic drink straw from a kid’s juice box was the culprit for my Badger GD. Mine was humming and the reset switch kept clicking off. I found the straw and was able to turn the blades like many others in the thread, but it still didn’t work. Like some, I was nervous about the whole broom stick trick, so I took another tip in the thread and used a long metal stick my wife had for skewers/shish-ka-bobs (sp?) and scraped around the edges inside of the GD. It took a couple of attempts, but I threw some shredded carrots in there, and GONE!

Good site for us non-handy folks. I love the Web.

Linda April 26, 2008, 2:29 pm

THANK YOU – THANK YOU and THANK YOU! I decided to clean out the fridge – and BAM – I turn on the Disposal – nothing. I kept flipping the switch – thinking it was going bad – still nothing. I thought I was going to have to call someone – but the next morning – I woke up – and it was getting rank! I googled asking what could be wrong and found this site. FIRST – I didn’t even know there was a reset button! I pushed it in – turned it on – and it “hummed” – so that told me it was not the switch. But – it was just humming – and I knew there was nothing down there that could have “jammed” the blades – but I figured – what the “hey” and pulled out the broom! IT WORKS!!! I am so excited – I actually fixed it myself and it didn’t cost me a penny! Thank you again!

Kylie Martin May 5, 2008, 3:21 am

Thank you! We tried the reset button and it didn’t work and so I googled whirlaway reset and your website came up. We did the broomstick method and tried the reset again and BINGO! Its running again. My husband is in Iraq so I am very proud to have fixed this issue on my own without spending money on a plumber.

Doug May 7, 2008, 2:02 pm

Our garbage disposal is making a very loud noise all the sudden, but the blades turn fine. It sounds like something is stripping inside the motor, like the gears aren’t catching or something.
We also have what looks like black machine oil starting to slowly drip out of the bottom and a slight burning smell if we run it for more than 10 or 15 seconds.
We have no allen wrench bolt on the bottom, and reset switch doesn’t come into play since we have power and function.
Any thoughts on this problem?

Kat May 7, 2008, 10:04 pm

Thank you so much!! I had 4 guys working on my disposal and it never worked! I tried moving the blades, but apparently had to press harder, and used the stick of the plunger I’ve been using to clear the drain to turn them less than 1 minute ago! Now, after over 1 month of no working disposal . . . POOF it works!! Thank you so much!

LL May 13, 2008, 1:31 pm

My GD spins, but the blades won’t move. They are rusted. I tried WD-40 – contractor’s recommendation, but still isn’t enough for me to loosen them. Any ideas on how I can get rid of the rust?

Catherine May 18, 2008, 12:34 am

Well, after a long read through all the posts on this site, it seems I actually have a unique problem. The GD at my rented house does the hum, but no blade movement. I can manually spin the blades using the end of a wooden spoon, and my allen locks into the hole in the bottom but will not budge. I tried resetting the fuse, as well, to no avail. I was surprised when I went to press the restart button… it’s not there! It was probably there at some point as there is an empty hole but it looks like someone either pressed it all the way in or it has broken and fallen out.

Does anyone have any suggestions? I really want to avoid paying for the repairman…


Joseph May 23, 2008, 1:22 pm


Thanks very much for the information…. The disposal is grinding again.


Eric May 24, 2008, 5:01 pm

Similar problem to those described above. Batch Feed GD, Insinkerator 17.

The stopper inconsistently catches, so when removed it wont’ turn off and the GD runs freely.

Is this fixable or does it have to be replaced? Agree with poster above. Bad design.


Dr May 24, 2008, 7:38 pm

There is also an ‘overload’ switch on the bottom of the disposal; could be the problem.

Lee May 31, 2008, 4:21 am

This Allen Key that everybody talks about the top of the thread is actually a socket wrench. I spent way too long trying to figure out where the hell i could stick an Allen Key. Anyway, once I got the right tool, this was a miracle fix. Thanks!!! This thread ROCKS – Asian Style!

DH June 6, 2008, 4:08 am

My GD was not making a sound so I hit the reset button (learned that from here) and it would just hum and get hot and cutoff so I would have to hit the reset button again. I tried the broom handle, that didn’t work, Then I tried a screwdriver, that didn’t work so I stuck my hand in there and I manually moved the stuck blade, it was tough but I got it to move. After digging in and moving the blades a few times it jerked, and jerked and then it finally started with the measuring spoon hadle in it. I removed it and cleaned our sink because it had been backed up for weeks while we were deciding what to do about it. It was backed up for weeks but looking at this site and some of your answers saved me money and made me look like a handyman. Thanks A lot. The internet is for more than just porn after all, its for DIY tips and Porn. LOL

jb June 11, 2008, 9:14 pm

my gd was stuck for days////i tried cleaning it with hand but the blades were not turning only i can hear a hum…finally i removed it a cleaned and put it side ways and started…thank god its working now….thanks for the ppl in forum for posting many ways for cleaning the gd…thank u

Paula Kate June 12, 2008, 2:24 am

Kitchen aid 11 years old, hums and I can turn the thing with the Allen wrench but the blades won’t turn…Help!!!!!

sam June 15, 2008, 4:18 pm

my disposal would make noise but wouldn’t turn. found objects jammed. removed but still wouldn’t turn. i used a allen key, at the bottom, and worked it back and forth. freed up the second i moved it backwards. now works.

thank google for finding this sight.

LaLa June 16, 2008, 4:24 am

Great advice!!I pushed the reset button and used the screwdriver to turn the blades and I’m back in operation.thnk God for the internet.I was going to call a plumber before I was advised to google my problem.

Shilpa June 18, 2008, 1:27 am

I have a Whirlaway 291. It stopped working yesterday and hummed when I flipped the switch. Resetting the red switch at the bottom of the disposal did nothing. Following the advice of others in this forum, I used a flat head screwdriver to scrape around the periphery of the disposal – where the flat surface meets the drain. It took 3 seconds and the surface started moving again. I didn’t need to use any force either. Thanks to everyone on this forum!!!!

Lesley June 19, 2008, 7:58 pm

Fabulous! Same problem here…cilantro and onions were the culprits clogging the gears in my disposal from working. First no motor movement, then no sound at all. I was pleasantly surprised when the pressing the reset button in conjunction with circling the broom handle inside the disposal worked like a charm! (Before I reviewed this site I did not even know that you could replace the rubber guard in the drain!) Everything works well now, but I will not be putting cilantro stems or celery down the disposal anymore.

Thanks for the site and the advice!

urycki June 21, 2008, 6:55 pm

Thanks for the forum – Insinkerator – click but no grind – Hit the reset switch and works like a charm!

Jennifer and Kristin June 25, 2008, 1:28 am

By the way, we are not lesbians, this is my neighbor.

We tried the broomstick and it worked.

We were so happy that it worked and screamed with joy!

Thank you!

Jay D June 29, 2008, 3:42 am

In-sink-erator 17 pro 17 won’t shut off. unplugged it- replugged still,spinning anf won’t shut off at all. No jams seen. Thoughts?

Emily July 1, 2008, 9:21 am

This tip was excellent.

“Work the hex tool back and forth in both directions. This may break something like a bone free.”

I had found the reset button prior and noticed I was getting power. I just found a hex tool in my toolbox and put it into a screwdriver tool. The place to put the hex in was center bottom of the unit.

This fixed my problem and was very simple.

Stan July 7, 2008, 2:29 am


Well the old insinkerator 444 started leaking and I hadn’t
looked at it in a number of years. Apparently the three
screws that lock the metal collar to the sink opening had
all worked themselves out and were sitting underneath the
unit. So I looked at the GD and the collar and the metal
piece from the GD neck had rusted solid. I tried using
some WD40 and whacking it ith a hammer to get the collar and
locking pice from the neck loose. No luck. Any suggestions
on how to break it free without breaking the sink which is
Corian. There must be some trick I haven’t thought of.


Jodi July 10, 2008, 7:43 pm

“Work the hex tool back and forth in both directions. This may break something like a bone free.” Thank you!!

I thought I had done this enough, but my GD was still just humming. I could turn the hex took in circles, so I thought it was unjammed. Frustrated, I went back and worked that hex tool until I thought my arms would fall off. But it worked! About 3 minutes into it, I felt it spin very easily and it’s worked ever since!

So if all else fails, take it out on the hex tool, it may just work!

Lee July 13, 2008, 12:47 am

The broom stick trick really works if you move it around in a circular motion back and fourth. Thanks to all those who suggested it.

Shankar July 15, 2008, 4:26 am

The cleaning of the periphery of the disposal thru a flat head screw driver did the trick for me. Turned out that a dime got stuck between the disposal and the drain and that caused the problem! Thanks for the advice.

jepoy July 15, 2008, 5:37 am

I have a whirlaway 284 and tried screwdriver, broomstick, etc. but the plate won’t budge. I can’t move it at all. Any advise? Am I missing something? Thanks.

jepoy July 15, 2008, 5:46 am

I have a whirlaway 284. Tried screwdriver, broomstick and the plate won’t budge. Am I missing something? Thanks.

Julia July 22, 2008, 1:56 am

Thanks for your great site! Our Badger was humming, but nothing else. We found this site and tried the broom stick (after the reset did nothing). It worked but we heard a grinding sound. We felt nothing in the bottom, but after using a flashlight, we saw a metal tab from the top of a soda can wedged under a blade. Voila! It works like new again. Thanks so much for sharing what worked for all of you.

Murali August 3, 2008, 8:16 pm

I ran into the same problem today. Disposal just hums but no action. Broom stic/mop stick did the trick for me. All I had to do was give a little push to make it rotate freely(took couple of attempts, and I tried to rotate clock wise). Looks like the initial torque is very low on these motors. we have Whirlaway model #191.

robert August 4, 2008, 3:54 am

For all of you that turn on your GD and you hear a noise, but no spin. I had a small screw lodged in the side of my GD. If you look on the side you may find something lodged preventing it from spinning. It took me a while, but I was able to push it down the GD. Good luck.

Samuel August 4, 2008, 12:46 pm

My garbage disposal is driping from underneath.
how do I fix it?

Tabatha August 7, 2008, 11:13 pm

Phew! I finally fixed my garbage disposal!!! My husband wouldn’t help me because he said he’s tired of me jamming it up! ๐Ÿ™ He told me you better figure out a way to fix it! Sheesh!!
GB has not been running for 4 days!!!! Dishes are everywhere! I Googled “garbage disposal won’t work” and found this site!! Awesome! I read for about 10 mins & went & tried the “broom handle” method with a wooden spoon to no avail…Came back in & read for another 10 minutes…Went back & tried with the end of the plunger!! Works like a charm!! I wasn’t able to find anything when I put my hand down there to get out whatever was keeping it from moving, but it is working perfectly now!
I’m off to do the dishes!!
Good board! I will Google anything to keep from paying someone else to do things for me!
By the way! My husband will have to eat his words…he didn’t think I would be able to fix it on my own! Ha!

Thanks for all the help!

Frank August 10, 2008, 6:44 pm


For those of you with a clogged GD.

I saw a few people with the same problem I had. The disposal seemed to work fine, but nothing would go down. The other side wasn’t clogged, so it was within the disposal itself.

At first I tried to use a plunger with no success and it was only after reading through this a bunch that I saw a helpful post.

You can plunger the disposal, but you need to block the return pipe that leads up to the right part of the sink. Mine was a rubber hose, so I just used some claps and then plungered away….fixed!

Hope this helps someone.

susan August 12, 2008, 3:18 pm

ok, I read almost all of the posts but still didn’t find the answer to the problem that I’m having. The disposal works great, once it’s plugged in. However, when I flip the switch to turn it off, it does not respond and continued to run. Could it be the switch itself that is faulty?

Lyndsay August 13, 2008, 10:03 pm

Haha! This website is awesome! I officially feel like the smartest person alive because I could fix my own garbage disposal! Thank you a million everyone!

Justin August 15, 2008, 12:23 am

Broomstick worked for me!!!!!

Brian Holloway August 17, 2008, 12:31 pm

smoking garbage disposal? what now! It’s football season and I can’t watch the games in peace until I get this handled. If you know what I mean. Thanks.

raggedyanne August 22, 2008, 3:15 am

My Insinkerator works just fine, but it started making a loud rubbery-roaring noise last week. It seems to get louder each time I use it. Is this it? Has it just had it?

Melanie August 30, 2008, 5:29 pm


The GD has been stuck before, got it unstuck and running without a problem when we first moved in. I knew about the reset button from an old unit that used to trip off all the time.


The broomstick trick is MONEY! In my POCKET!

This page ROCKS!! Thanks y’all!! ๐Ÿ™‚

Rene August 31, 2008, 3:36 am

Oh my gosh, I was ready to go out and shop to get a new disposal…but thought I would first try the broom trick.
I can’t believe it worked!!! I had to try a couple of time to feel the blades turn a little and hit the reset button and BAM….it worked!!!
Just a girl who wanted to see if this worked and it did!!!
Thanks for saving me time, money and feeling like I can do anything as I repair things in my home!!!

Crystal September 4, 2008, 10:41 pm

Mine was spinning water out into my sink. Tried the broom stick, turning the blades, the reset button. Nothing worked.

I had to take off the pipe between the two sinks. That is where the clog was. Everything is working fine now.

Warning- twist slowly when taking the pipe apart, water comes out fast..

Mary September 5, 2008, 11:02 pm

For all those with clogged but spinning GDs… I turned mine on poured about a 1/2 cup of baking soda in the center followed by a cup of vinegar. Let it sit and bubble for a few minutes then turned it on again…working normal again. Good luck!

Missy September 10, 2008, 3:34 pm

Thank you so much!! I was ready to go out and buy a new garbage disposal, and this page just saved me!!

Thank you so much – everyone!

Brian September 14, 2008, 1:29 am

Ok–had the humming/whirring problem–used the allen wrench a few times, hit reset, etc. Still just humming, and I almost gave up. Finally, I used the allen wrench for like 50 spins each way, and then very forcefully whipped the disposal clockwise from the top with a hard broomstick handle about 15 turns–now it finally works!
ps what was with that guy talking about his abs and jeans? this is not an erotic forum! ๐Ÿ™‚

Susan September 15, 2008, 12:49 am


The bottom of my disposal does not look like the ones I see in pics. Electric lines run into bottom and no place to use the allen wrench which I DO have. It seems to be encased in a black hard plastic cover. I used the reset. I reset the breaker and then reset. I tried the broom. I tried the vinegar and soda. Now I have a sink of icky water, food which now smells like vinegar :(. Its humming and something rotates because water swirls when I turn it on. Anyone else with a good suggestion? And yes, I put potatoe peels down it earlier today :(:( Didn’t know not to….


Susan September 15, 2008, 1:19 am

Believe it or not,its now working!! See advice below I just read:

Is your sink a double one? If it is plug the side without the disposal,turn the water on,and run your the disposal,this has worked for me.

After all the trouble! Thats all it took :):)

Thanks for having this post and thread. I now know about every possible way to fix my disposal if something ever happens again!

Happy to have saved some $$$.

NIKKY September 21, 2008, 9:35 pm


Kim September 22, 2008, 12:26 am

What do you do if a fork gets stuck in the garbage disposal?
I have one the slipped down the sides and is stuck we have tried pulling it out and can not get it.

Kelli September 27, 2008, 8:50 pm

Broom stick worked, I couldn’t find the hex area. Great site. Thank you.

Jim September 29, 2008, 5:55 pm

My garbage disposal is making a crazy noise, and I noticed that one of the “blades” is spinning loose while the other one is stationary.

Is this fixable without having to replace the unit?


Edward October 5, 2008, 8:16 am

Thanks for the tips. The allen wrench, 1/4 size worked perfect to turn it from the bottom. After a couple of turns, it worked great! Thanks, you saved me from calling a plumber!

Gilda October 8, 2008, 12:08 am

Wow! I Googled “clogged garbage disposal” and this site came up 20 min ago. After months of trying to fix my disposal, I went down and used and old mop handle and it is working just fine. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Dan October 12, 2008, 5:07 pm

Excellent! My Badger 1 garbage disposal was humming but not turning when I tried running it this morning. Thanks to Google and this website I found out about using a 1/4″ hex key at the bottom of the unit to free it up. Worked like a charm!

Joe October 13, 2008, 11:15 pm

Wow…the broom handle solution does work. I actually used a plunger handle because it was a little easier to maneuver. But I got it to turn the bottom of the disposal enough to dislodge what was jamming it…a small measuring spoon that must have slipped down the drain. It’s working fine now! This forum was a big help.

Elaine October 18, 2008, 3:37 am

I have a Whirlaway – and the info on this site helped me fix it –thank you. I had popcorn kernels in it, and apparently, one or more had prevented one of the two silver blades from moving. First, I got the floor of the disposal to move a bit (it also was stuck) by clearing the edges with a screwdriver (even though I couldn’t really see anything). I could see that one of the silver blades wouldn’t move, but I had been trying to force it to no avail (with a heavy plastic knife). I turned the GD on and it hummed and then tripped the GFCI. I found the reset button and hit that. I then tried the silver blade jam with a long screwdriver and forced it free. –Tried the disposal and it works! Yay! Thanks, again.

John October 18, 2008, 11:24 pm

Regarding the stuck fork…I had the same problem just today. Small fork stuck in the side. I first used the hex tool to turn the GD mechanism around a few times and try to free it up–but that didn’t work. Ultimately i managed to get a hold of the end with a wrench and just yank it out with a good hard pull. It came out! After resetting the red button, the unit worked again…

JL October 19, 2008, 2:58 pm

I’ve got a 2 yr old Insinkerator 80s, that has a stuck grinding tooth. The bottom plate spins fine (had no problem rotating chamber with an allen wrench). The unit won’t work (power hums and will trip the red button) if I leave on. I’ve tried wiggling, knocking, and prying the stuck grinder tooth, but it seems stuck pretty good.
Is there a trick to unsticking the grinder tooth?

Carl October 26, 2008, 11:29 pm

the broom handle worked.. hee hee thanks for the tip

Scott November 2, 2008, 9:11 pm

Allen wrench plus the reset button worked for me – I have the Insinkerator Badger 5. If anyone is wondering – the allen wrench size should be 6mm.

Dman November 7, 2008, 12:10 am

OK here’s one for ya. A small knife blade (cheese knife) broke loose from the handle and got lodged under one of the GD blades. It’s really wedged in there and flat against the bottom. Any ideas? I’ve tried just about everything short of calling a plumber or getting a new GD. The disposal is only 6 months old. : (
I just can’t pull it out.

james November 14, 2008, 4:38 pm

Have a leak at the connection but noticed a small hole near the exit drain in the metal casing… is this a vent hole by design? When the disposal is running, water sprays out this hole…???

Brandon November 15, 2008, 2:27 am

That’s the second time my wife put her little measuring spoons into the garbage disposal… the broom works.

If any amount of water is spraying down into your cabinets, it is not by design. Metal drain pipes can corrode and fail.

Jesse November 18, 2008, 12:19 am

OK, new and different issue.

3/4hp Kenmore. Model #60559

Spins up just fine, and now won’t stop. I suspect the rotary switch in the basin end is jammed, but I dont know how to un-jam it.

Any thoughts?


brakewood November 20, 2008, 5:05 am

The stopper on my insinkerator disposal is stuck. It’s supposed to rotate left or right to make the disposal work, but it won’t move. I can’t get it out. Is there a lock? How do I get it out?

AF November 24, 2008, 6:42 am

Thanks! My GD works again with your tips. It took me all of five minutes to get it working. I tried the reset button..didn’t work..So I tried the broom method( only I used a long-handled spoon) and it worked!!wow! husband is going to be impressed tomorrow. ๐Ÿ™‚

Mommyof2 November 29, 2008, 6:49 am

You guys are great!! Broom idea worked like a charm!

Richard December 4, 2008, 12:46 am

Great page. Broom freed the movement, and it is working again.

Mark December 4, 2008, 3:29 am

I love the internet!! Wooden spoon handle did the trick!

Dave December 14, 2008, 3:08 pm

I had a problem with my ISE 17-53 (In-Sink Erator). Installed in 1979. It would not dispose of food in it.

1. The motor worked, so no need for the reset button.
2. The grinder plate (with the metal blades) inside the drain spun freely, with and with a broom stick, so nothing was stuck.
3. I ran the erator and looked down in it with a flashlight to see if the plate was spinning with the motor. It was moving freely by itself, the motor was not turning the plate. The connection between the plate and the motor must have had a problem.

To troubleshoot and fix, I did the following:
1. turned off the circuit breaker so no power went to the unit. I tried turning on the erator and it did not turn on so I knew it was safe to work on.
2. I disconnected the drain pipe and put a container under it to catch any water.
3. I turned the connector plate under the sink that connects the erator to the sink, this was a little tough. I used a large screw driver and a mallet (dead blow hammer) to bang on the end of the screw driver to spin the connector. I was not holding the unit so it crashed on the floor – no problem, its a touch unit.
4. I disconnected the power wires (2).

Now I could take it out from under the sink and work on it in a more comfortable position. I took the unit apart to get at the internal grinding plate.

5. I removed the decorative collar around the outside of the unit.
6. I loosened the wires between the top and bottom of the unit – the wires that turn the unit on and off.
7. I spun off the top of the unit to get inside the ginding area. This was VERY HARD. I ended up prying up the tabs because it would not spin, then after 2 or the 3 tabs were bent out of the way, it spun.
8. on the grinding plate in the middle was a rubber gromet (rubber or plastic circular piece that covered the nut). I removed the gromet with a neddle nose pilers, it just pulled out with a little bit of muscle.
9. I removed the nut from the bolt holding the grinding plate to the motor.
10. I put a new washer on the bolt to give the nut something to push down against the plate. (I didn’t have the right size washer so I took a 1/4 inch washer and drilled a bigger hole so it would fit over the bolt, you could probably get the right size at a local home improvement or hardware store.) I think it originally had a washer and it wore apart as the nut loosened over the years.
11. I put the nut back on, used a socket wrench to ratchet the nut back on while I held the bottom hex (square) nut in place on the bottom of the unit. I tightened it so the plate will move directly with the motor, very tight.
12. I put everything back together and installed it back under the sink.
13. Turned on the power and tried it, and it worked!!!

It makes a louder noise now, and the pipes need to be tightened (slow drip), but it works and saved me the price of a new unit ($300+) and the price of a plumber ($50/hr at 2-4 hours). so total saved around $500.

So far it works. I hope this helps.


Terri December 21, 2008, 1:43 am

We had a common problem, the disposal, only 5 yrs old, would hum but nothing happened, and the sink was half full of gunky water. We used the hex wrench, everything seemed to move freely. So, we took apart the pipes leading to and from the GD, and there were tons of potato peels (which we had for dinner) in the pipes. Once we cleaned out the pipes, everything worked well again.

Gary December 21, 2008, 10:04 pm

Had a similar problem to those reported above. Wife was making potato pancakes & put a number of shavings down the disposal (Badger 1 1/3 HP). At one point the water would not drain (single sink). The water essentially just cycled around (interesting to look at, but that was where the fun ended). I cleaned it out by hand & there appeared to be no blockage. I followed the advice from Dave O (posted 08.05.2007) and used a plunger – it cleared things out beautifully…

SPA December 27, 2008, 2:46 am

The internet is GREAT. We have a Whirlaway 191 installed during the construction of our new house which is just about 7 years old. Today is the day after Christmas ’08 and I’m thinking what did my beautiful, smart and very loving wife of 26 years, put into the garbage disposal.
At this point I do not know nor do I care. What I can say is that the informtion from this site saved me some heartache, headache and some money. Thanks for the info. Oh I forgot. The Big Broom Stick did the trick. Happy New Year and God Bless America.

Cheryl December 29, 2008, 11:18 am

Why does my garbage disposal spit food out of the drain in the 2nd sink when I first turn it on? It spews chewed food all over my kitchen. How do I make it stop?

John December 30, 2008, 1:39 am

Thanks so much, I found my wrench and sure enough after a few turns my Insinkeator now works perfect again. And to think I almost replaced it.

Anthony Hunter December 31, 2008, 4:05 pm

My reset button was pushed to hard for whatever reason and now it’s out of it’s place. Is it a way to open the disposal unit to sit it back in it’s place?

Calvin January 11, 2009, 4:54 pm

Thanks a bunch for this helpful posting! My garbage disposal was working, but then just started humming. I found the allen wrench fitting on the bottom of the disposal, freed up the blades, and sure enough the thing started working again! I guess the previous tenant thought the garbage disposal was a good way to get rid of beer bottle tops. Thanks a bunch!

Pat January 14, 2009, 3:48 am

We have a 6 1/2 year old house with a Whirlaway GD. After Thanksgiving, when we went to use the unit & we got a hum and the lights went dim, but no action. We went to the local store and bought an In-Sinkerator and had the plumber come in to install it. He told us the unit was too big. Lowe’s and HDepot had only units too large for our under sink space. I came on the net to find Whirlaways and happened on this web site. When my hubby got home, I told him about the site and about the broom stick trick. Reluctantly, he tried it figuring that the worst thing is, it wouldn’t work. He’s the world’s greatest pessimist. Well, after about 45 seconds with the broom handle, he felt something give. We took the handle out and VOILA !!!! our unit was back ! Today when I took the in-Sinkerator back and got a total refund, our account got credited $288. Let’s hear it for the broom and this web site !!!

Lisa January 25, 2009, 6:31 pm

Thanks, Daily Ping! You saved me a call to a plumber! I hadn’t even thought about using a plunger on the clog. (I tried to grind up rutabaga rinds; duh, I won’t do that again). LOL! I tried Drano first to no avail, although I think it did help disintegrate the rinds. Also, FYI, be sure to cover the overflow spout on the sink–on my first “plunge,” water squirted out of the spout all over me. STINKY!!! Thanks again, Daily Ping! Lisa

gary January 26, 2009, 5:17 am

help….water is running from the bottom of my GD when im running water ……do i have a hole in the unit


Charles February 1, 2009, 6:24 pm

I have a 19 year old GD, and it would not turn after trying the allen wrench twist, the reset of the button, and the reset of the circuit breaker. It would turn freely after doing the allen wrench thing, but it would only hum, and then would stop humming(probably turning off to protect the motor). So I thought I was going to have to buy a new one. But I tried your broomstick method(actually in my case just an old 1 x 1 x 24 inch piece of wood, and stuck it in there and turned it around from max 10 seconds. I flipped the switch again, and voila, it’s purring like a brand new machine. Thank you for all of your suggestions. I found you in Google under “garbage disposal clogged”.

Adam February 4, 2009, 2:07 am

THANKS SO MUCH!!!! I tried a broomstick and couldn’t get leverage, so used a big wrench and it seems to have done the trick (fingers crossed). Thanks again!

Scott February 4, 2009, 9:38 pm

You can go to for everything about GD mechanics.

For those with manually moving flywheels, but humming motors, my guess is that the motor is burned out.

The impellers – little spinning teeth – should be free moving, not fixed.

Kelly February 4, 2009, 10:52 pm

The BROOMSTICK wins again!!! Thanks all

Morris February 9, 2009, 3:54 am

I used both sticks and Ellen Wrench, but the flywheel of my GD refused to turn. I already turn the whole GD body by my wrench, so I don’t want to try again. Maybe the best way in my case is to get each part off …………

sardavni February 22, 2009, 7:38 pm

We have a Whirlaway 291 using for about 10 yesrs.
Our GD “coughed up” some two mystery metal parts the other day. One looks like an “L” shaped bracket, 1/2 ” by 1″ with an oval hole, and a pin that sort of fits the hole on the bracket (has no threading).

We have no idea what caused these parts to come loose, and aren’t sure if it’s safe to even operate the GD without these two parts. I was too curious not to see what happens when it’s turned on, so I tried it. It makes the usual healthy sounds of an operational GD, but I didn’t have anything in the disposal that needed grinding. In other words, I am not sure if it still grinds, or if just makes the same sound as it did before.

Does anyone know the importance of these two metal parts, and if it’s something I can and should put back? Any help would be appreciated! (Otherwise, this puppy’s gotta come out, and a new one has to go in.)

Pam March 2, 2009, 9:32 pm

Hi – I found this site looking for a reason why my ISE Badger-1 was not working. The sink began to fill up with brownish dirty water when I turned the disposal on. I tried the broom trick – I stuck a broom handle down the sink after turning on the disposal – the blades were turning. Then I took a plunger and plunged it. It started backing up in my other sink. But it worked! I turned the disposal on and everything went down. No plumbing bills! Try a plunger. Also, I think it was caused by potato peelings!

Bad Bob March 9, 2009, 8:19 pm

I have been using the broom handle trick for years to unstick the blades in the GD and it works.

To her credit, my wife rarely gets the GD stuck on the same item twice after I inform her what was clogging it up. She does, however, delight in finding NEW items to clog the disposal up with.

We have had the Badger 1, In Sink Erator 1/3 horsepower GD for the past 16 years…..never needed anything but the broom handle trick for all those years….do NOT turn the power switch on when trying the broom handle trick.

Two weeks ago, however, the broom handle trick did not work to get the GD operating again…..I was experiencing the same symptoms as many, many, other folks as above……when turned on, the motor hums but the blades do not move. When using the broom handle, the blades and floor of the GD spin freely. Using a 1/4″ allen wrench on the underneath of the GD only verified that nothing was apparently blocking the free movement of the blades or the rotating floor of the GD.

I started reading this site from oldest posts to newest posts and came upon Sarah’s post dated 2/4/06.

I had only been turning the allen wrench (inserted into the appropriate hole in the very middle of the underside of the GD) for 3 or 4 full turns in the counter clockwise direction and then 3 or 4 full turns in the clockwise direction. Couldn’t hurt to try Sarah’s suggestion of using at least 10 full turns in each direction.

That did it !! Finally got it working after a week of absolute grief……but wait, after I turned it off and then on again, the same old humming and no spinning.

I was getting discouraged, but figured Sarah was on to something. I took an old 1/4″ allen wrench and cut the “L” portion off so that I could chuck the straight piece into an electric drill. Then I gave it lots of revolutions (about 10 seconds) in each direction. I used the drill several 10 second intervals one way then switched to several 10 second intervals the opposite direction.

That fixed it for good…..I do not know what the problem was, but some time on the cut off allen wrench and electric drill did the job for good. It has now been 8 full days of use with absolutely no problems at all.

Wish I knew what it was all about, but try it. It seems to work.

Jenny April 7, 2009, 6:43 am

Awesome advice. Water was backed up and just getting a hum. Plunged the sink first to clear the backlog and then discovered the wrenchette which I must have had in the toolbox for 5 years but never knew what it was for. It needed quite a few good turns, then it did start but sounded like there was something down there still, so a few more turns with the wrench and then it was good as new!!
Wrench is now back in the kitchen should I ever need it again. Can’t wait for the other half to get back tonight so I can proudly say I fixed it by MYSELF!!

SB April 11, 2009, 1:56 am

Watched this video that also helped in understanding where the blades are located in our GD.
The GD was humming but tried the broom trick, and finally got a hex key and by placing it in the opening under the GD turned the blades. After doing that, it works like a charm. So glad we fixed it and didn’t have to spend money hiring someone to fix it…. whew!!!

Anne Sorbie May 6, 2009, 2:09 am

i have an insinkerator pro 333 which has been gradually getting stinkier as time goes by. today a plumber confirmed the unit is contaminated with mold and sludge. he / we steeped it in bleach but the problem has not gone away. he didn’t take the unit completely apart and i’m wondering if it can be taken apart. he poured the bleach in and let it sit.

prior to his visit i used lemons, lemon juice, bleach, and liquid plumber at different times. none have solved the problem.

the unit is only 2 years old. the badger model i had before this one (in another home) never gave me a moment’s trouble.


Ethan May 13, 2009, 5:46 am


My wife is away and I had a problem with our In Sink Erator Garbage Disposal. It got clogged somehow. Maybe my elderly dad or my brother’s girlfriend stuck some flower stems trimmed off flowers for my mom down the sink. Not exactly sure. Anyhow, came home tonight and discovered sink full of dirty greenish water. The motor worked fine but nothing would drain. Worked for a long time trying to unclog it, without success. Knew I needed to create full suction by covering drain on adjacent regular sink but still had air flowing through the periscope-like vent that pokes up at the back of the sink. Finally had a good idea. We have 3 kids, so I went and got…


No joke — it worked! Second time with the plunger while my “balloon cap” was over the vent and the clog drained away. If you don’t have kids, in a pinch, you might be able to use a “kid prevention device” AKA: condom. Or some duct tape. But tape might leave some residue on the vent. Anyhow, hope this helps someone, someday!

Eric May 29, 2009, 12:40 am

Nice. I spent a few hours on this thing since I have never had one and then I finally gave up and searched for help…up popped you guys.
I found a hex wrench and got to work and within minutes it was spinning perfectly.


Sarah May 29, 2009, 10:36 pm

My Whirlaway 291 is very noisy and vibrates so much that it rattles the whole sink/cabinet unit and has even shaken loose plumbing joints. Can you suggest what’s wrong and how I can fix it? By the way, the same unit gave up the ghost a couple of years ago – till I tried your broom handle trick and it’s been working perfectly since then … till now!

Thanks for any advice you can offer.

Sarah May 30, 2009, 10:56 pm

My 5 year old Whirlaway 291 disposal unit is very noisy and vibrates so much it shakes the plumbing joints loose and rattles the sink and cabinet when in operation. Any suggestions as to why and what I can do about it?

BTW, a couple of years ago it stopped working but I fixed it with the broom handle trick and it’s been fine since – till now!

I thought I’d posted this query yesterday but obviously didn’t press the right buttons so here’s hoping it gets to you OK this time …


Denis June 1, 2009, 12:50 am

I have a Model 591 Whirlaway continuous feed garbage disposer.

My problem is that it recently started leaking from the very bottom of the unit. This appears to be the area where the electrical wires go into the unit. There was a nut that was lose so I tightened it but it still leaks.

I’m wondering if there is a seal or something that can be replaced. I’d hate to have to buy a new one and hire a plumber!

Thanks in advance for any help.

John June 1, 2009, 3:07 am

Great advice. Thanks for the help!

Shane June 11, 2009, 2:36 pm

This site was helpful for my GD problem. Problem GD was not moving just making a humming noise. I disconnected power, used the Allen Wrench to mannually move the rotors and then hit the reset button. GD came back onright away. Thanks

Guillermo June 14, 2009, 9:36 pm

I love the broom stick! This has gotta be one of the longest, most visited threads!

Long live the GD garbage disposal!

momma d June 16, 2009, 9:44 pm

Wow! Thanks so much everybody. I thought my GD was a gonner and I don’t have the money to replace it. Using the broom handle (I actually used a plunger handle) worked to loosen one of the blades that was jammed. I turned it on only to hear the humming but still no turning of the blades. I read on about using an allen wrench on the bottom of the unit. It worked and up and running! This is a great site (for us do it yourselfers) and I truly appreciate the help. Thanks Again.

Kim June 20, 2009, 2:24 am

Thanks so much for all the good advice! I hardly ever use my garbage disposal and have been pretty gentle and cautious about putting things down it when I do. It was practically brand new when I got my place, but for some reason the blades stopped spining and the unit, which is a Sinkguard model, just started humming and that’s all. I tried hitting the reset button as suggested several times, flipping the fuse and poking around inside the unit with a screwdriver. Same old humming.

I didn’t know what the heck a hex key or Allen wrench was that you guys were referring to so I was avoiding that method and was about to give up. Finally I took a close look at the hole in the very middle of the underside of the unit with a flashlight and realized that the end of my “L” wrench was in fact shaped like a “Hexagon.” I probably should have Googled a picture of an Allen wrench to know that it was one in the same. Anyhow, I used the thickest one from my set, popped it in the hole under the unit and it fit perfectly. I worked it for a couple of full turns in one direction (I could feel a little resistance at first) and then a few full turns in the opposite direction, then I started doing half rotations in each direction about 4 times until there was practically no resistance when turning. I then ran some water down the disposal, gave the red reset button one more push, flipped the power switch and BINGO it started working like a champ!

Thanks so much.

kem June 21, 2009, 4:03 pm

Thanks sooo much for this site!!!!! My garbage disposal stopped working and i used a ols metla cane my mother had left behind to getting it going again, yay!!!!!!!

Aleta June 21, 2009, 4:10 pm

Even though my blades were spinning freely with the hand test the motor would run and nothing would happen. The broomstick trick didn’t make sense at first,i was just blindly jamming it around in there. When that didn’t work I read through the whole blog. I ended up going in with a flashlight and a screw driver and finally got out tiny shards from a tea cup my cat had broken into the sink! Now it’s working perfectly again. Thank you!!!!

scotty June 25, 2009, 2:28 am

Zack! THANK YOU! I was getting ready to take the thing apart and saw your post. landlord n/a and no tool but had allen wrench to fit. I cannot thank you enough for your wisdom and I sincerely hope that you see this post! One day, I would like to buy you a beverage and thank you in person. Feel free to email for a coupon! THANKS AGAIN!!!!!!!!!

ted m June 27, 2009, 12:34 pm

shot glasses are the DEVIL. actually.. my drunk friends are worse. i have 2 shot glasses (well..whats LEFT of them) in the GD. broken glass is rough. but i used a combo of the tricks discussed in this thread with an added twist (cuz im funky like dat). i filled the sink w water so that the little glass shards would be suspended rather than fall immediately back to the blades (potentially re-jamming). this definitely helped dislodge everything. and helped whisk everything away, since there was such heavy flow.

thanks everyone. i feel so accomplished. lol

Eric "Hex Nut" Goldstein July 5, 2009, 10:09 pm

All good feedback. I at first didn’t have any reaction or response from the switch on/off. then read on, and found/hit the RESET. Heard the BUZZ…but nothing spinning. Then read on…the HEX NUT. but didnt have the toolset, so borrowed from a neighbor. went down and twisted left about 10 times, and heard/felt it get stuck, then the other way, till i had a smooth turning action. I extracted the culprit – a garlic press attachment, and wha-lah. a working disposal. Thanks everyone for this forum and your contribution.

Susan July 8, 2009, 12:25 am

THANK YOU!! We have a 291 Whirlaway that hummed, but nothing else. Couldn’t find a reset button, blades turned. We finally found the note about the flathead screwdriver and VOILA! Thanks guys!!

imtiaz July 12, 2009, 6:46 pm

thanks for the tips

it worked great


Mr Hands July 13, 2009, 1:12 am

Thanks for this post!

I did the broomstick thing too (well, a long wooden spatula) technique.

My GD would make a sound that there was power to the device, but no spinning. Tried the reset, didn’t work right away. Spun the blade w/the spatula, then it started working.

However, the GD is now much LOUDER than it had been in the past but it is functioning properly. Any ideas?

juan July 14, 2009, 3:05 pm

just moved in with my aunt and uncle. they bought this house two years ago and their badger 1 is connected to the dishwasher. they say it keeps backing up into the sink when dishwasher is in use. it even backs up when badger is not in use and disconnected. is it the badger or the plumbing it self?

Roberto July 23, 2009, 8:31 pm

I just fixed my in sink erator badger 1 using similar ideas to the ones mentioned here.Instead of using an allen wrench I used a ratchet wrench,two extensions to allow me to reach in and a socket that will fit the nut on the center of my sink erator-going through the top of the sink. I just moved it sideawys and once I connected it again the humming change to a swirl meaning no more problems.

Paul August 8, 2009, 5:12 pm

I had a problem where my disposal was only making a humming sound. After messing with it for a bit, the humming sound went away and I got no sound at all. I read here about the reset button, and after clicking it, I got the humming sound back. I then read about the Allen key trick. I got my 1/4 inch Allen key, stuck it in the bottom turned the blades two full turns, and now my disposal is working!!!!!

Thank you so much for the information. It saved my 80 bucks on a new disposal!


Erin August 10, 2009, 11:52 pm

What a great post! I decided to give it one last try with the hex and it worked. I never worked it back and forth before. Always just went in one direction.

Now I’m off to return the new disposal I bought. You saved me $139!!!!!!!!!!!!

Quentin Johnston August 17, 2009, 12:10 am

Ok, I tried all the usual tricks.

> Allen Key gets the blades spinning–check.
> pressed the red reset button–check.
> nothing at all in the mechanism–check.

But is STILL hums and will not work!

Is it simply shot?


Jimbo August 18, 2009, 1:52 pm

Just saying thanks for the good advice. I had the same problem as everybody else; no sound, blades not spinning, etc.

Pressed the reset button and used a huge screwdriver to get the blades spinning, problem fixed.

Free is just my price.

Cap'n Spitty September 11, 2009, 3:28 am

I’ve got a really old InSinkErator unit that jams up all the time but I’m too cheap to get a new one! What usually does the trick for me is a socket, extension, and a socket wrench. There’s a large bolt directly in the middle below the drain. I put the socket of there and give it a few turns back and forth, then remove it and flip the switch. Usually works for me!

cleaning lady September 22, 2009, 7:54 pm

okay so my gd motor is running when i turn it on, but the baldes are not moving. i can spin them with my fingers but no action when i turn it on. nothing is clogged or in the way of the blades. what do i do?

angie September 24, 2009, 7:04 pm

Ok took of GD and I see the stuck penny, I cant budge it with the wrench, tried pliers, tried hammer and screwdriver chisel action that isnt budging it…help

Lily September 28, 2009, 12:37 am

Thank you so much! The reset button was all that was needed. I’m a widow with no extra money for plumbers and was totally distraught that the thing wouldn’t turn on. Thank you guys, thank you google, the information highway rocks!

jill October 13, 2009, 7:48 pm

i was cleaning a small fish bowl in the other side of my sink and somehow a small pebble flew over into the side with the disposal. i know this because the next time i tried to run the GD, it would only hum. after peering down into there awhile, i see the pebble in one of the side holes, but cannot dislodge it….i tried desperately with a knife, but it’s really in there–just big enough to be stuck. would the broom-handle trick work to either grind it or dislodge it manually? or do we need to remove the unit to dig it out? i just don’t want to make this problem worse. my husband is not gonna be happy…

Tara October 16, 2009, 5:05 pm

Hi Everyone,

this forum ROCKS- and I seemed to be having the same problems as everyone else- the allan key in the bottom of the GD seemed to work and unstick the blades, but I had one question:

Is the allan key supposed to move freely in a full 360 degrees? I have one spot where the allan key is quite stiff to turn, and then the other 280 degrees it is smooth and moves without strain. is this normal? or is there a possibility the plate is bent, or something is still stuck under it?

I am wondering if I can make my GD work better if I get a drill allan key extension and force turn it with that. if this seems normal though, I will probably not waste my time.

Thanks for all the help on this forum.

Pinky November 17, 2009, 2:55 am

My disposal is stuck……I tried the broom but it still doesn’t work. My GD does not have a hole in the bottom for an allen wrench..what should I do? The blades move. If I reset the red buttom and turn on the disposal it hums for ~ 10 seconds then then button pops out again…GD not working.

Any suggestions?

Russ November 25, 2009, 1:15 am

The big stick works great for the disposals without the allen wrench port.

CCC November 27, 2009, 5:48 pm

I’m at my parents house for turkey day and all sorts of stuff ended up in the disposal (Insinkerator Model 17) without us realizing it. We thought we had gotten the spoon, plastic, and turkey bones out (who knows how all that got down there) but it still made a humming noise but no blade action even when I pressed the reset button. So I came upon your blog and saw that the broom handle technique was wildly popular so I thought what the heck let’s give it a try. Amazingly enough, the broom trick worked great! Many thanks.

Charlena November 30, 2009, 3:50 pm

I can’t believe it…. I’ve searched all morning for an allen wrench that would fit in my hole. My husband is home and I didn’t want him to think I was crazy by trying the broom handle suggestion. Guess what???? I should have tried it earlier because within 2 – 3 seconds, my garbage disposal was working! Now I’m rerunning my dishwasher hoping that the water that was backed up because of the disposal will drain. Keeping my fingers crossed.

Thank you for this forum! I wish I had listened to it earlier- could have saved me 2 hours!!!!

Mindy November 30, 2009, 5:15 pm

Maybe this will help some of you. I called in-sink-erator support because I would get the blades to turn freely by using an allen wrench in the hole at the bottom of the unit. But when I turned it on, it would go for a few seconds, but sounded BAD. I would turn it off, then back on again and it would only hum. The support person I spoke with told me that once I got to turn the blades freely with the wrench, to NOT turn it on again right away. Instead, I should get a flashlight and look into the hole for what was lodged and pull it out. Sure enough, I found what looks like a tiny piece of rock or broken pottery wedged between the blade and the wall of the unit. I tried several things to try and dislodge it. I got it out with a knife. Unit runs fine now. Hip Hip Hooray!!

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John December 16, 2009, 12:16 am

Blades turn freely with allen wrench from below and with a stick from above but the disposal only hums… ideas?

I’ve pressed the red reset button with no results.

Help! jw.hendy [at] gmail [dot] com


shannon December 21, 2009, 7:21 pm

I have a badger 5 and the water is going right thru it, leaking out of the bottom. Any suggestions?

Murray December 21, 2009, 11:33 pm

Had the same problem here, where the blades spin freely and the hum when turned on. Used the allen wrench and everything started working the way it should. Thanks folks!

Mindy December 23, 2009, 9:01 pm

To Shannon–When my badger leaked, I was told there was no fix for it. I replaced it–was 8 and a half years old.

Jason & Rachel December 27, 2009, 9:55 pm

We have a Badger 1. We’ve had it for 5 years. It stopped working. Makes a humming sound, but no spinning. My hubby pulled it out, took it apart. nothing jammed in there anywhere. when we turn it on i hums, it needs a kick start to spin though. I tried the broom handle thing, got it going and then put some ice down there. But when I turned it off, waited and turned it back on it just did the same thing. Any suggestions??

Jason and Rachel

Sam Mack January 2, 2010, 8:52 pm

I have an older Kenmore garbage disposal which appears to have free blade movement and not jammed. However, when I turn it on, the disposal will only hum and the motor will not run. Do disposals have a start capacitor which could have died? What do you recommend?

Thanks … Sam

Brett January 3, 2010, 2:15 pm

Same thing – Humming only. GD is only 2 months old. Good power to it, no breaker tripped and reset didnt need to be reset. Thought maybe somehting I could not see was catching it up. Tried broom, allen wrench etc.

Only after reading a few posts did some one mention keep spinning allen wrench for a while in either direction – it works.

Back up and running – a little patience that’s all.

Albert January 7, 2010, 12:16 am

Pretty useful forum here! 1/3 hp Badger GD with the Hum of Doom. No joy with reset button, various other manipulations. Got this forum by Googling in regular question form. Tried the Allen wrench, voila. Thanks all!

broomstick ftw January 8, 2010, 3:51 am

Yup, broomstick ftw. Love the internets.

Neill January 16, 2010, 6:04 pm

Add another “Win” for the Reset-button/broomstick solution. My Whirlaway GD did not have a hex key at the bottom of the GD to turn. Broomstick however worked well. Just used it to work the screen back and forth, after-which I turned on the GD an it ran quietly. Thanks for having this Post. Was on my way out to purchasing a new GD but decided to check for Internet info before. Glad I did.

Rudra January 18, 2010, 3:29 pm

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I am from Turkmenistan and also now teach English, please tell me right I wrote the following sentence: “Norco, the inland empire has accessible areas for thinking it a old environment that these inhibitors be hit deal to hypocrites that can provide them with the affordable interest to write mopes.”

Regards ๐Ÿ˜‰ Rudra.

Becky January 27, 2010, 5:44 pm

My garbage disposal does the humming thing so I assume something is jammed. I’ve tried using the allen wrench but I can’t get it to move either direction no matter how hard I try. What does this mean? What should I do? Thanks!

Karen February 11, 2010, 3:31 am

Like everyone else, used a stick down the drain and like magic my Whirlaway was no longer stuck. Thank you all for the information…what a money saver!!

Ralph February 12, 2010, 8:01 pm

Trying to replace a badger 1 and cannot get it loose from the sink. Been trying to turn the tabs, they are bending from the force. Sprayed some penetrating lub on the collar, stii will not budge. Any ideas on how to get it off besides buying a new sink? Thanks

Lincoln February 26, 2010, 1:37 am

My wife was cleaning dishes one day and decided to turn the ol’ GD on a washcloth. The GD lost the battle. I came home to a humming motor that eventually clicked off, causing me to push the reset button to get it to run. As suggested, I found an allen wrench to fit my unit and gave it the “caca”, breaking it loose and getting my GD back to working condition. Thanks Guys!!!!!

Stephanie March 4, 2010, 12:38 am

I still can’t believe it… the broom handle trick worked! Well, I didn’t have a broomstick, so I used a plunger… worked just as well. XD Thanks, everyone! Saved me and FH a call to the landlord, lol.

lg March 12, 2010, 2:59 pm

well I tried the broom stick, pushed the reset button and it worked. One thing please wear safety glasses because what ever was jammed in mine flew across the kitchen. Thanks guys!!!!


Don March 21, 2010, 5:26 pm


I spent time getting an estimate for a new disposal and was looking into replacing it myself…..then I saw the broom idea to unclog =th edispo…and guess what — I used a rigid appprox 3 ft long piece of leftover piece of ….quarter round base trim and working clockwise it loosened the dispo….AND NOW WORKS like a charm..

Thanks folks!


Andrea March 24, 2010, 3:24 pm

Thanks! Tried to find reset button and the allen wrench hole, but couldn’t find either on my unit. So I tried the broomstick, totally thinking it wouldn’t work. And it DID!! Thanks!! One thing is to tighten the fixtures underneath too, mine came loose and got water leaking out. But A OK now.

JES April 11, 2010, 4:51 pm

Have an Insinkerator Badger 5.

Symptom: hummed but did not grind, then stopped humming. (The “stopped humming” part came when the reset button/circuit breaker on the bottom popped.) Could feel manually that the blades seemed to turn freely.

Read all suggestions above — thanks so much to everyone. Skipped the broomstick method and went straight to the Allen wrench solution. (Side tip: only had a metric set here — no 1/4″ size available. The 6mm size fit just fine.)

The “feel” of the thing, using the Allen wrench, wasn’t totally jammed up, but there was resistance. I couldn’t give it more than one full turn in either direction because the power cable was in the way, but I could do a full turn clockwise, then a full turn counter-clockwise, etc., back and forth until the resistance stopped and it turned freely.

Reset the button… Ran water… Flipped power switch… Problem solved!

I guess maybe there’s more than one set of blades: the ones visible/”touchable” at the mouth of the unit in the sink, and another at some point deeper in the unit. So even if the ones in the sink turn freely, something can still get jammed at the backup point — which is where the Allen wrench comes in (and where the broom handle may not help).

Oh, someone also mentioned they’d put potato peelings down the disposal. I hate it when someone in our house does that. Read somewhere that a clog of potatoes and peelings can jam a disposal at least as badly as a solid object — it forms like a plug of solid carbohydrates — like rebuilding a potato from the raw ingredients. So if you do this, be sure to rinse for a LOOOOOONG time after the grinding itself is done, to prevent a plug like this from forming anywhere inside the line.

But what the heck. I Am Not A Plumber.

Stephanie April 23, 2010, 5:09 pm

My GD stopped working last night. It was humming but not spinning and chopping up the food. After spending a few minutes on this website I got the courage to tackle the problem myself w/o calling in the very expensive pros.
1st I had to scopp out all the gross stuff at the bottom. Then I tried the plunger handle (I can’t find my tool thingy to stick in the hole at the bottom of the GD). That didn’t work. So I grabbed a flashlight, shined it down the GD. And spied a penny wedged in real tight against the edge of the GD. It was in so tight that poor President Lincoln’s face had been almost completely rubbed off. I used a long screwdriver to pop it out. Now my GD is working perfectly!!!!
I’m sooo glad I found this website, and all the helpful tips.
Thank you to EVERYONE who has posted here!

Ry April 29, 2010, 1:55 am

Thanks for the tip on the hex nut at the bottom. It took a bit of working back and forth to clear the jam. Thanks

Maalika May 6, 2010, 4:17 am

Hi – the 1/4″ allen head screw driver!! I heard a hum but no movement.. I used the wrench and move it around ( i am a small woman, and it took time) but it coughed up a small screw driver and voila.. it works!! Thanks for this amazing blog ๐Ÿ™‚

Jan May 17, 2010, 1:07 am

Hey, thank you everyone. I remembered ours had the allen wrench.. we stuck it through the small hole in the middle of the disposal at the outside bottom, turned it and tah da and it freed up the works!

Kate May 23, 2010, 10:07 am

I’m desperate. I looked through many of the posts here but didn’t have time to read through all. I couldn’t find my exact problem. My gd hums, and my sink drains but the blades will not turn. I can move one blade by hand and the other one will not budge no matter what I do. I’ve used two bottles of drano, the allen wrench, the button on the bottom, and I BROKE my broom handle, a wooden spoon, and my metal swiffer handle trying to get the blade to move. It sill won’t. I’ve also tried pliers, fished around with my hands, and looked with a flashlight. There is nothing down there that I can see or feel. I can’t afford to pay for repairs, and my kitchen stinks. Any other suggestions?

Amanda May 25, 2010, 11:13 am

thanx guys broom handle worked a treat. Discovered a small bone under the blade. Must make sure the kids don’t put bones down disposal.

Jay Dale June 12, 2010, 3:55 pm

thanks. i norally just call plumber, but tried the broom handle and it worked. My wife had apparently tried to dispose of a spoon and a egg timer and a kids medicine thingy.

Kris June 13, 2010, 9:31 pm

We had power but the blades were not moving, we used the allen wrench, now it works perfectly. Thank you, for the free advice

yashwanth June 22, 2010, 7:43 pm

am having a problem with this machine, when the switch is ON
i hear no sound even when the reset button is ON..
plz need some help

Neil July 10, 2010, 4:42 am

This is a helpful series, thank you. My problem and solution were a bit different. I have installed and solve GB problems before using the broom handle method and, more recently using the hex handle tool. My reset button has also helped me out more than once.
This time though, broken glass had gotten into the works and although a lot of it got ground up and flushed, some managed to get under the blades and lock them in place.
If the blades aren’t free to move, no grinding takes place.
I found that using a screwdriver and a hammer to knock the blades free worked, although it took quite a few blows. The biggest problem was that the mechanism turned, so the screwdriver had to be placed in just the right spot to apply force to the side of each blade.
I also found that a thin screwdriver placed in one of the holes in the bottom plate was a good way to keep that plate from turning while freeing the blades.
It’s all working fine now and I feel the satisfaction in knowing that I fixed it myself (with a little help from my friends).

Steven Fort July 15, 2010, 5:10 pm

Has anyone had an issue with the rubber in the mouth of the disposal swelling and rotting? I am trying to help my mother who has one of these disposals. PRO333-s

DIANE July 20, 2010, 4:41 pm

Help! I have a Kenmoore 6010 and its stuck. Have tried moving the blades with our hand and the allen key but they are stuck. The allen key is not turning.. I do hear a click and little hum when I throw the switch. Please help

lance July 20, 2010, 6:44 pm

My GD makes a real loud sound like something bad is grinding in there. I turn it off and stick my hand down it, but can’t feel anything. This went on for a while, the machine started to hum, then is went dead. I pushed reset button and did the broom handle thing, and now am back a square one – a real loud grinding noise…. Any suggestions?

Cindy July 31, 2010, 9:03 am

Thank you so much!
I saw this on Google, and the broomstick trick worked a treat!

Josh August 14, 2010, 8:03 pm

Thanks for all the tips. Badger 1/3 horsepower disposal was dead. Found the reset button underneath, but then it would only hum when turned on. Took an allen wrench to the small hole in the underside center and after a seconds of back and forth something broke free. Now it works perfectly–thanks again!

Dan August 14, 2010, 11:59 pm

Found this forum and tried the allen key trick and…it worked!!! I thought my disposal was clogged but it wasn’t, the blades were just caught up in a piece of plastic from a stupid measuring spoon and I accidentally whacked in there a couple of weeks back. I thought I got all the pieces out but I didn’t. Works like new again and no more clog. Thanks a ton!

James August 17, 2010, 10:00 am

to lance
sounds like there may be something still inside, try the alen wrench if that doesnt work, you might try disconnecting the drain pipe from the unit to clean under neath, make sure the unit is off first, running the water while using the alen wrench is also recommended to help force out whatever if is

Faith August 21, 2010, 12:14 am

Thanks so much! The broom handle and reset button really worked! God bless you!!!!

PH August 26, 2010, 8:22 pm

Tried all of the suggestions, was still getting the humming sound with no blade movement. Read one post that said they left it running and walked away for a few minutes. I tried that. After about a minute, the grinding started up and I was back in business!

Juan September 4, 2010, 8:46 pm

Hi all,
This forum has been very helpful. I have tried all the solutions and although none of them worked I learned a lot!

My problem is that I have humming GD (Badger 5) that will not turn unless I “help” it with a screwdriver. If I turn it off and quickly on again it does start. I am assuming it has a starting issue. Does anyone have any clue how to solve this.
I’m also a bit confused about y’all reaching into you GDs, because mine has a lid that spins and the blades are attached to that. When the stuff is ground up enough it seems to pass through very small holes in this “lid”.
Thanks so much!

LH September 16, 2010, 2:50 am

This helped so much! I have an insinkerator. I didn’t go buy a special wrench. I just found the correct size allen wrench in my took kit and used it. Don’t get discouraged if it doesn’t easily turn. I had to work the wrench back and forth but eventually I solved the problem. Glad to know a 28 year old female doesn’t have to call a plumber.

cecilia September 28, 2010, 4:07 pm

Think I a couple fragments of brocolli made their way into my GD. I went to run it and water came up both sides. I tried plunging vigorously for a while – – nothing. Put vinegar and baking soda in both sides and boiling water and then plunged. Still nothing. The motor makes noise and when I put my hand in the disposal everything seems to turn okay and can’t feel anything. Already set the reset button. Going to try the Allen wrench thing tonight, if I can find where to insert it. Does it sound like my clog is in the pipes or in the GD body? Would draino be an option too?

SS October 3, 2010, 9:04 pm

BTW, no need to buy the $7 special “wrenchette” (love that!) to turn the GD. It’s just a 1/4″ Allen wrench. Home Depot sells it as part of a kit of Allen wrenches, with the whole kit costing $4

Fred October 10, 2010, 12:59 am

Whoever pointed out the allen wrench fix first on this forum – you are awesome. I was about to go out and pick up a new disposal, thinking there goes the evening. Hopped on the internet, found this website…all is well. GD works again. I’m sending positive thank you Karma vibes your way. ๐Ÿ™‚ thanks for saving my weekend.

w October 15, 2010, 7:19 pm

I used the broom handle/(big screw driver)trick.
It worked. Saved me $300, for a replacement GD.
Thank you. ๐Ÿ™‚

Billy October 16, 2010, 5:32 pm

Well I’ll be Damned! The “broom stick” (toilet plunger stick in my case) did the trick! I thought you were all crazy! I knew that I had dropped a nail down the GD and just couldn’t get it out. Thanks for the super tip!

Greg October 24, 2010, 4:43 am

the blades in my Badger Insinerator were turning freely, but my GD was humming. The reset bottom didn’t help. I left the GD on too long and it started to have a bad smell like maybe I had burned up the coils, and then the it didn’t make any noise any more at all. I was just about to give up, but after waiting a while, I turned it on and the humming noise came back. I used a large hex wrench(allen wrench) to turn the motor through the whole in the bottom of the GD. When I turned it back on, it worked! I was ecstatic. This blog has really helped and I thank everyone for their input. Thanks Again Everyone! Greg

Justin October 30, 2010, 2:00 pm

Just another advocate of the broom handle method. Thanks for the great tip and for saving me money!

sem December 7, 2010, 4:38 am

broom handle worked for me as well, thanks all

NK December 28, 2010, 4:11 pm

Awesome article. Saved me a ton of money. I used the allen wrench it started to work.

Luis December 30, 2010, 1:42 am

The broomstick trick worked.

Bob Who January 14, 2011, 12:20 pm

Kenmore 6010 would only hum…. No Allen wrench, so broomstick trick worked perfectly. This is how to make the Internet pay for itself by making you the plumber….. and no sloppy butt crack peeking through sagging pants!

don January 17, 2011, 9:38 pm

gd from home depot not that all badger 5 started leaking from a hold in case. I guess it about 5 yrs old


John January 18, 2011, 10:34 pm

I have tried everything….broomstick, Allen wrench, drill with Allen bit, and beating the broomstick end with a hammer. Spins freely and even ran water while spinning with drill both directions. Still just a hum…

Lisa February 2, 2011, 8:18 pm

Mine was doing the same humming and no blades – the reset button and allen wrench did not work. After reading the advice on here, I banged the disposal a few times with my rolling pin and VIOLA! it works!! (ps: that is the first useful thing I have ever done with a rolling pin)

Bruno February 18, 2011, 9:21 pm

I have Kenmore 6010 and my story is similar to many others on this forum. The flywheel turns fine and I used Allen wrench (hex key) and the stick method. The flywheel DOES NOT seem to be stuck at all. But it hums when I turn on the power. When I give the flywheel a few turns with the stick through the sinkhole it starts spinning, but when it stops and I turn the power back on, it won’t spin and the same hum is back. Any help?

Frank February 22, 2011, 11:50 am

Should I buy the el-cheapo Badger, or pay $200 or so for the Evolution unit with stainless steel? I have yet to find proof that every critical part is indeed stainless steel. I saw where Waste-King has a rust-proof chamber and stainless steel parts, but then you see it has a galvanized grind ring, making the stainless steel useless in my eyes.

Judy February 24, 2011, 12:34 am

I have a Insink Badger 1 and I have a water leak at a screw end at the bottom of the disposal. Can we fix this or do I have to replace the whole disposal or do I have to call a plumber which neither one I can afford? Right before we found this leak, my daughter put potatoe peelings in it and it jammed up. I did the reset button and did the hex thing but noting happened. Took the plumbing apart and cleared the bockage. Don’t know if this was the cause for the leak. Is there an o ring or something at the bottom which now needs placing? We did see tiny black particles in the potatoe\water backup. Please advise we need help.

Daniel February 28, 2011, 8:20 pm

Thanks for the info. The advice about substituting with 1/4 inch Allen wrench worked like a charm. I thought I was going to need another tool

Bruno March 9, 2011, 10:23 pm

I have Kenmore 6010 and my story is similar to many others on this forum. The flywheel turns fine and I used Allen wrench (hex key) and the stick method. The flywheel DOES NOT seem to be stuck at all. But it hums when I turn on the power. When I give the flywheel a few turns with the stick through the sinkhole it starts spinning, but when it stops and I turn the power back on, it wonโ€™t spin and the same hum is back. Any help?

JT March 19, 2011, 12:00 pm

Great advice. Did the trick and saved me a plumber’s bill. With GD off, cranked back and forth with allen key. At first no movement with allen key then after 5 minutes of forceful back and forth it started freeing up. Then once I could make a couple of full rotations with the allen key I looked in the sink drain and viola, shiny dime sitting there at the bottom. Thanks much!!!

Steven D March 21, 2011, 12:00 pm

Thanks so much for the tip about the broom. It worked like magic and I had the disposal running again within seconds.

Crystal March 24, 2011, 11:22 pm

My gd is not even turning on. I flipped the breaker and checked the plug to see if it works. I tried the allen wrench and it wont budge. Can anyone help, please?

Carla S April 4, 2011, 5:23 pm

Listen. I hate it when my appliances quit working. I take it very personally. I consider it a mocking taunt from the gawds of mechanical things, because I chose a wonderful husband who doesn’t happen to be a handy fixit kind of guy. So when the Sinkerator 444 seemingly gave up the ghost last night, right in the middle of my feeding the damn thing, I was beside myself. Admittedly our interdependent lives – mine and the machine’s – have not been very satisfactory at the best of times. For months its been clanking and banging away while in operation for no apparent reason. And this is billed as being a particularly quiet machine.

Anyway I switched the machine off and on again but still nothing happened other than a Zen-like tone.


Motors should not sound like that.

Raced to the intertoobs. Found the appliance manual online.

No joy there. Who knew this veggie muncher came with its own special “self service wrenchette”? (Manual page 11). One thing I do know is that I don’t have this item. The machine is < five years old. As if I keep 'self service wrenchettes' lying around! (What a good idea to tape such essentials to appliances as mentioned by an earlier poster.)

Back to the toobs and found the fab resource of this site and learn that said "wrenchette" is just a plain old allen key. Found an assortment of them in the junk drawer. (Anybody who's ever built Ikea furniture has Allen keys up the kazoo.) However, none seemed exactly fit exactly – or at least none of them seemed to turn anything more than a little bit. I started worrying that I might be stripping the edges inside the unit with my efforts. Given that I was tightly wedged under the sink lying face-up below the garburator at the time, I couldn't tell if there was any movement inside the canister. Could have called out for hubby to take a look from the top but I knew he was extremely busy watching Wheel of Fortune in the next room and besides, I had one arm pinned behind the garburator for support, the other hand holding a ring of allen keys, and a large flashlight wedged in in my mouth to better see the underside of the machine, so shouting for help probably sounded more like a half strangled moan drowned out by the television. Anyway, he'd already spent an hour or so online checking out the prices for new food disposal units so he'd already made up his mind on the matter. I could easily imagine him thinking, 'If wifey wants to spend a half hour flailing away under the sink trying to fix the unfixable then that's her choice, but she is missing a very good episode of Wheel of Fortune.'

So I disengaged myself from under the sink and plunged into the extremely yukky business of checking out the inside bowl of the machine, clearing out all the mushed, unmushed and barely mushed globs that had accumulated. (Ohmigawd. Are those gooey black potato peelings from three days ago??) Then I felt around the outside edges of the bowl where there are little slits that I presumed must be drain holes. One of these seemed to have a little bit of protruding metal. I thought it might be a switch of some sort and so I was wary of fiddling with it just in case the above mentioned mischievous gawds would spring the unit into sudden action, and I might end up with a hand that looked like 3 day old potato peelings. Nevertheless, I poked at this unidentified thing for awhile but it didn't seem to wiggle. Shone the flashlight in there but nothing else seemed amiss. Tried to loop a paperclip through the little metal thingy to give it a tug. Nada. Found a heavy handled screwdriver with a narrow blade to try and check out each of the drainholes. No apparent problem. Turned the screwdriver upside down to apply some pressure against the bottom inside of the unit as per the broom handle advice. Got the base turning a bit but against significant resistance.

Tried the power switch again.


Back under the sink to try again with the Allen wrench(es).

Power up.


Topsides again with needle nosed pliers. Decide since hubby has already concluded that the machine is broken, if I now break it by attacking that little metal thingy, then that should only equal zero consequence. But there isn't room in there for pliers and hand, so resorted to a kitchen knife. Seemed to joggle the thing a bit.


Time to get serious. I hauled back the rubber flaps to get a better look. Wedged the screwdriver behind the protrusion and leaned into it full force.

Boing! Something sprang loose.

Reached in. Groped around. Found a loose piece of something solid. Hauled it out and couldn't believe what I was holding. A tiny little metal hook of the sort one might use to attach wire to the back of a picture frame! Well rusted. Well mangled. Certainly not a standard part of the Sinkerator 444. I have absolutely no idea how this could possibly have found its way into the machine, but I realized then that it may have been clanking around inside for ages, maybe even months, before it finally wedged itself in a drain hole.

Could it be? Did I fix it?

Removed all knives, paperclips, screwdrivers and other such sophisticated plumbers tools from the immediate area.

Turned on the tap and, with anxious anticipation, hit the power on switch again.

Why that baby sprang into action with with a hugely satisfying whir, sounding and acting just exactly how it's supposed to perform.

And all that in time for me to catch the last of 'Jeopardy'.

Plus I saved us, say 500 bux for replacement costs plus plumber's charges, cash much better used, in my opinion, at the mall lady's wear sale.

So the lesson to take from this stumbling walk to victory – well, uncomfortable hunch to victory – is to confirm that there should be nothing, absolutely nothing protruding from any of the little slots around the outside base at the bottom of the canister. If there is anything sticking out there, it is preventing the base from spinning around. Try to pry it out somehow before spending time on the other excellent suggestions on this page. I have no doubt that the Allen key / broom handle approach is perfect for any malleable vegetable matter, but a 3/4 hp motor is no match for a metal object. Also, I think if the obstruction turns out to be a piece of glass or hard plastic, one might have a fighting chance of (very carefully) extracting it without macerating it further and thereby, probably, truly hooping the works.

Oh, look at the time. I'm off to the mall.

Sounds of 'Jeopardy' now coming from the living room, but I'm back under the sink trying the allen key method again. Still uncertain results. Pushed the red button although it hadn't been protruding and I don't think pushing it made any difference.

Moment of truth. Switch on the machine. Ohmmmmmmmmm.


Carla S April 4, 2011, 5:31 pm


Well, it should be no surprise, given my poor relationship with the gawds of things mechanical, that I hit ‘send’ without noticing that my post included three paragraphs I thought I’d deleted. It was supposed to end with my heading out to the mall. My fixit was and remains triumphant.

Now I truly am out of here.

Bruno April 7, 2011, 2:21 am

Could someone answer my question above?

Paul April 13, 2011, 4:10 pm

Just wanted to say, I did the “disposal key trick” and the “broom trick” afterward, and then turned on the disposal and BAM — worked like a champ all over again! Fixed both my grandma’s and my disposal in the same day! She was so excited, wrote me a check! I will never forget this article and how helpful it was to stumble across it, I’ve told a lot of my friends this story and they are blown away I used the internet to help me! Thanks so much!

Bruno April 19, 2011, 8:47 am

Any suggestions for my problem above?

Cynthia April 21, 2011, 4:18 pm

This site is fantastic! I had no idea that it could be unjammed with a 1/4 inch allen wrench. I had to work it around for a few minutes but everything is working nicely. Thank you!

Cynthia April 21, 2011, 4:20 pm

Bruno, mine was doing the same thing. When I used the allen wrench, it didn’t fix right away. I would move it back and forth for about 30 secs, then turn it on and it would move a little then hum again. I kept doing this until it came on and stayed on. I think that you should give the allen wrench a little more time.

Bruno April 24, 2011, 8:43 pm

My problem is I can get it going with an Allen wrench and/or a stick, but once it comes to a stop completely, and I turn on the switch, it starts humming again, until I repeat the process (Allen wrench and/or a stick) all over again!

Amy April 28, 2011, 12:10 am

No sound, checked the breaker. Googled “where is the reset button on garbage disposer” and this thread came up. Pressed reset button with the switch on…. and sound….yay…but no movement. After trying to locate missing allen wrench and trying everything under the moon, including online shopping for a new one, decided I had nothing to lose and got out the broom as indicated in said thread…..a few minutes later, crisis averted!! Never in a million years did I think that a broom handle would really work…Single Woman says: THANK YOU!!

Bruno April 30, 2011, 9:55 pm

Any ideas for my problem above?

Bruno May 4, 2011, 9:25 pm

Finally, my GD stopped to work completely! No hum. No noise. Nothing! The electricity is good (checked!). The red reset button at the bottom is always in (checked!). But the GD is completely dead. At least it used to hum. Anyway, time to replace it?

Kathleen May 12, 2011, 5:12 pm

Broomstick saved the day… I didn’t believe it but thought it was worth a shot. Spoon that was stuck, stuck, stuck just popped out. Thank you!

Bruno May 25, 2011, 1:27 am

Sometimes there are no cures if the disposer is old enough. It has a life expectancy and simply could give up soul! I guess a replacement beats the hassle of excessive trouble shooting, dismantling the unit, etc. Components would be all old and susceptible to failure again. Before a total failure, I tried everything except the driller bit suggested somewhere in this thread.

Theresa May 26, 2011, 1:00 am

Would the broom stick work for a gd disabled b/c of a wedged dish cloth? We’re supposed to have dinner guests w/in 24 hours and need the sink/gd to not leak. Well, here goes….nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Theresa May 26, 2011, 1:28 am

Well, I ventured…and I gained. I tried a wooden spoon (it broke). I tried the broom handle and got a wee bit of movement and then no more. I poured in a 1/2 cup of bleach. I finally used a kitchen knife and worked the piece of dish rag and voila! it worked. The gd runs like a champ. The only problem we have to deal with now is re-connecting the hose to the dishwasher but that can wait until after the dinner party.

Smart Like My Dad May 28, 2011, 10:09 pm

So did you know that if you use your dishwasher but NOT so much your disposal (if you don’t cook much), and the drain is not completely free-flowing, that the food particles come back up into the disposal when you wash the dishes? Part of maintaining your sink/dishwasher/disposal system is to be sure this doesn’t happen by keeping the drain flowing freely. Use drain cleaner when needed (i.e., liquid plumber)and put a good amount of ice down the disposal to clean it out. It’s not a bad idea to pour boiling water down the sink to get the gunk out either. And don’t go putting crazy stuff down the sink!

I seriously love good online advice like the comments on Ping. Took me several false starts, I didn’t have a wrench, but on the Badger 5, a screwdriver works, tho it is heck to turn. Also, be aware that the reset button won’t always work immediately. All it takes is pushing it, and it should stay in; if it doesn’t, leave it and come back later and it will reset. Turning the bottom with a wrench or screwdriver loosens up the works, and if it’s reset (and the breaker hasn’t tripped to the kitchen circuit) it will eventually work.

Robert May 28, 2011, 11:20 pm

Okay So I have an Insinkerator ISE 77. It was working fine before I left on a two month trip. Today I get home and I flip the switch. It hums as if the gears are stuck. So I took the unit out to work on it and tried to move the gears using the 1/4 hex. At first it was really hard to get it to move. Then it broke free a little. When I turned the unit it back on it did a 1/4 turn then hummed and in about 5 seconds started to SMOKE…

So I then again went to try to use the hex.. Back and fourth back and fourth.. STill no luck. If I try to move it while it runs it gets stuck in a couple of places..

ANY IDEAS.. I figured I could try and tear ddown the entire thing but I have no idea how????

Bruno June 1, 2011, 4:41 pm

Robert, how old is your unit?

Lee June 6, 2011, 5:00 pm

Hooray, hooray! After reading about a broom handle to manually move the blades, I decided on a wooden spoon, since it is not as long and therefore not so awkward to get down the disposal! The wooden spoon worked and I saved myself a plumber fee.

Harold June 7, 2011, 10:50 pm

GD hums when switch activated, blades are free to turn, in fact I turn unit on and give ades a push and unit runs but when I shut it off I can’t get it started again unless I give it a push. Lot of people have talked about this problem but I have not seen a solution. Bad motor? Replace unit?

Bruno June 11, 2011, 12:44 pm

@ Harold

I had the exact problem as yours. It was very frustrating until one day it completely stopped dead with no humming at all. Complete silence. I believe the parts are old and one or some of them simply failed. The solution in this case would be a replacement. I tested the connections, reset button, etc. So this seems to be a bad motor or a single/multiple component failure.

Rosemary June 15, 2011, 8:30 am

Reset button found and now it works like a charm. Thanks for the tip

Craig June 30, 2011, 3:23 pm

my garbage is not working. i turn it on and nothing works. i hit the reset button and it humms for a few seconds and then goes back off. is it shot and need to be replaced or is it a simple fix?

Whitney July 4, 2011, 8:26 am

Broom handle worked for us! Our disposal had been working yesterday and this morning it simply hummed and wouldn’t turn. Once I got the blades moving easily with the broom handle, the pig got its appetite back. Thanks for the tips! I’m glad it was that simple.

Karen July 13, 2011, 12:10 pm

Broom handle – wahoo! In answer to previous questions: if your little blades turn, that’s good, but the actual BASE of the disposal also needs to turn. My disposal turned on, gave a quiet hum, and turned itself off. I pressed the reset button, but when the disposal was turned on the same thing happened again. I used a broom handle counter-clockwise (I just anchored the broom handle tip against one of the little blades) until the base turned pretty freely, and voila! Fixed.

Jennifer July 25, 2011, 2:54 pm

Here is a trick I use for keeping that Allen wrench WITH the disposal.

I put a piece of Velcro on the pipe and the softer piece on the wrench. Now I just Velcro it up there and it’s just were I need it when the GD jams.

At the moment my GD is just humming and I know all about the hex wrench but I hadn’t tried the broom handle yet. I see that a large wooden spoon may work. Isn’t funny… my “broom” is plastic and would probably break! Who has wooden brooms anymore!

Funniest part of this whole thread? People referring to their disposals as “GD” for short… I’ve used GD alright. but it’s more like “That GD disposal!!!”

Now, maybe my sister will fly over and I can borrow her broom…

Lorri August 1, 2011, 7:19 pm

Mine was humming too. I reset and turned with the hex. I got a few turns out of the blades (using the hex) and it jammed again. Had to really use some leverage, but it finally turned and now it’s working. Thanks for the encouraging words. I was ready to go out and buy a new one…mine’s 11 yrs. old so I figured it’s about time. “BUT NOT TODAY,” she says as she proudly walks away.

Nolen August 5, 2011, 11:27 am

The whole bottom half, where the huge coils of wire are, have disconnected away from a couple of the plastic clips and sliding down. I tried and pushed it back up, hit reset button, and the allen key turned freely (no jam)….but it just hums and not turn.

Help please

dre August 15, 2011, 12:02 am

handle to anything strong resembling a broom handle worked for me, just turn clockwise, let water drain, hand test for free movement, unplug power to disposal for a couple seconds (i waited ten but no idea if that was necessary) plug it back in, and it worked for me.

Captain Fixit August 20, 2011, 6:38 pm

My garbage disposal was humming, blades turning, but water was backing up. Pulled out the ‘ol toilet plunger and let her have it. Works like a charm now!!

Ryan Finley August 23, 2011, 12:02 pm

Thanks so much for the broom handle trick, it worked for me! I couldn’t see anywhere I could stick a hex wrench.

have no idea August 27, 2011, 8:53 am

garbage dispoal smokes when i turn it on need advice should i just buy another one and instal it or can i repair it?

Raymond August 29, 2011, 11:56 am

My 15 year old jenn-air garbage disposal has a continuous feed magnetic switch. Recently the “magnetic drain plug” had to be in place for hours before it would come on. Now it doesn’t come on at all. Is there anyway to overide it?

AJukie September 12, 2011, 6:10 pm

GD jams up…free it with allen wrench……works a couple days then jams up again, free it with allen wrench, works again for a couple days ….cycle repeats itself. Is the anyway to keep the GD “oiled” to stop it from jamming, or is it just hard water deposits calcifying causing the rotors from turning?

Tim September 14, 2011, 12:32 pm

I have tried the broom handle, top blades spin fine. The hex wrench, bottom spins fine. I tried the plunger as well. We still just get a humm when we turn the switch. Is it time to perform DIY surgery on the patient? If so how does the procedure go for open disposal surgery to locate the problem?

Christine September 25, 2011, 10:32 pm

Thanks Everyone!!!! My GD hummed but no movement. I tried to get it to turn and nothing. Then I looked down in to it with a flashlight and found a pop can tab stuck on the bottom preventing it from moving. Those GD kids!!! Thanks saved me a big bill!!!

Kirsten September 27, 2011, 9:43 pm

I have an Insinkerator Badger 1 (1/3 Hp) and would like to upgrade to the Evolution series or maybe even a Waste King. How can I find out what will direct replace so I don’t have to change piping connections? Thanks!

Richard Buell October 3, 2011, 10:42 am

I’ve read almost all of this board.Water/drainage problems are NOT the disposal.Broom sticks and allen wrenches, not turning off etc. consume this board,and they repeat soooo much it’s a real waste of time. THE post I don’t see and answer too are the humming problems with both rotary hammers( ie. Blades…they cut nothing, just hammer the food against the drainage holes in bottom side of the disposal)spinning AND the mounting plate spinning.I’ll try the 10 rotation allen turning and have a problem putting an allen wrench in the hole and turning the power on, seems real dangerous to me? If, the motor shaft is the same as the “allen hole connection” guess what will happen when you turn the power on w/the wrench in the hole??? If there is a clutch type set up for this allen set up I can see there might not be a safety issue.I’m still going to research this problem. ONE post eluded to the fact that these motors may have start up windings and if true would explain the symptom of “jump starting” the disposal by starting the rotation and powering on while still rotating. If this motor is a “capacitor” start motor the capacitor my be shot? I can’t see the plate spinning if the motor is siezed.If any of the motor windings are shorted the breaker should trip.If any of the motor windings are open I can see this being a possible problem.It’s only my first day following this problem but I WILL post the resolution If and when I find out the answer.When I get back to my new apt. I’ll take down the model info and look into it more.I’ll keep you w/the humming advised.

Susan October 3, 2011, 2:05 pm

For those who say the blades of thier GD are spinning but all they get is a hum. The same happened to me. My husband told me to feel around the edge of the plate that the blades sit on and the wall of the GD (his hand is too big to get into the disposal). There it was – a knife blade to a small broken appetizer knife was wedged upright between the plate under the blades and the wall of the GD. I took my biggest screw driver and pushed on both thin sides of the blade until it finally came loose where I could pull it out with my fingers. The GD immediately came back to life when I turned it on. So my suggestion is to check not only that the blades spin, and if they do, then feel around the wall of the GD for an item to see if it is stuck between the wall and the plate that the blades sit on.

Sally October 4, 2011, 11:16 pm

Thanks so very much to the original responder who wrote about the wrench and to subsequent ones that addressed the plunger when the sinks would not drain! Don’t know much money I just saved but I’m certain it would’ve been in the hundreds! Much appreciation to you for a well-learned lesson.

biggun October 31, 2011, 11:21 am

I’ve had the same problem with power but inconsistent turning/not turning. No jam as I have been able to spin the flywheel with allen wrench fine. I suspected something was possibly underneath the flywheel and could “feel” a slight resistance when I would turn the flywheel from the allen wrench. So, having given up with finding a solution short of buying a new unit (out of warranty), I decide I had nothing to lose but take the unit apart. The top part of my unit (in sink erator 444) is called the enclosure assembly and at the base of the inside of the unit there appears to be some remnant of what was probably some foam/rubber seal or gasket that has since disentegrated leaving a black, gummy residue that has gotten on other parts of the working internal components as well. I’m pretty sure this is what is ltterals gumming the flywheel up which would explain it running one minute fine and jammed another. The wheel starts to rotate sometimes till it is obviously slowed to a stop. I’ve tried to talk to the company about buying a replacement gasket but apparently they won’t sell that part. I’ve only had it six years and its a 3/4 hp unit. I’d say stay away from In Sink Erator as that is evidently a good unit taken out by what is poor design with a cheap gasket.

Teresa November 5, 2011, 12:20 pm


August 13, 2007, 11:58 pm

Just to give something back to this thread in appreciationโ€ฆ To those who mentioned that they have a GD that โ€˜wonโ€™t turn offโ€™. Make sure you have it plugged into the correct wall socket. Many under-sink electic sockets are wired so that only one socket of the two is turned on and off by the disposal wall switch and the other is constantly on in order to plug in a nearby dishwasher or other appliance. I know itโ€™s a no-brainer for some, but for the non-technically inclined, if you accidently plug it back into the wrong one by accident after fixing another problem, youโ€™re not going to get it to stop without unplugging it and moving it to the other socket.

Alejandro December 4, 2011, 4:14 pm

We have been living in our home for 6 and half years since it was built. My GD has been used a lttile because there is a sink stopper. Today it didn’t work when the switch had been turned on. After reading the tips on this thread, I pressed the reset button and turned a 1/4″ Allen wrench back and forth several times at its bottom. The GD works again! Thanks for your useful advice.

Nancy December 9, 2011, 4:47 pm

I have an Emerson E505 3/4 horse garbage disposal that hums. I tried all the tricks nothing works. Everything turns freely top and bottom. Nothing is jamed( truned the unit counterclockwise many many times; checked the wires, reset button,breaker,even used the broom handle. Nothing but hums. I need a new one RIGHT?

Kathleen December 11, 2011, 1:52 pm

My InSinkErator is clogged with a little rubber thing that I think came from the inside of the lid to my son’s sippy cup. I tried to get it out, but it is twisted and wedged in there very tight. The blades won’t move at all so I have been trying to figure out how to loosen them or take them out. Any suggestions?

J December 12, 2011, 5:50 pm

Broomhandle trick worked today for my Badger 5. thanks!

Maureen December 14, 2011, 12:59 pm

IT WORKS! We have a 15 year old insinkerator and I had the same trouble as those above, I turned on the disposal and heard a humming, nothing was turning. I tried the “broom handle” (a wooden spoon in my case— and you probably dont get enough torque with a small spoon…)and even put my hand down inside, and I could tell they were turning manually quite freely, but it still would not work. I had tried the monkey wrench on the bottom of the GD, but it wouldnt move, so I was afraid I’d break it if I turned any further…after considering that I had “nothing else to lose”, I pushed it with alot of force, and bingo! It freed up!! I kept turning it around, both directions, because it still was “sticking”, finally it was loose (…I found that it should turn quite freely) so, then when I turned the switch on, it finally worked!! There was nothing “inside” that came out…it was just the mechanism itself sticking.

Jeff January 7, 2012, 9:33 pm

Insinkerator 17…allen wrench location in front near the small wiring?

Alec January 20, 2012, 11:24 pm

Over 7 years later, and this thread still is helping people. Thank you all! The broom method worked for me, and saved me some $$! Kudos to all.

Mandrita January 23, 2012, 2:03 pm

Our garbage disposal stopped working after some pieces of broken cup went in. I had already removed the peices I could see, but guess there were more in it. I used the reset and it didn’t help. Then I used an allen wrench and turned it from the bottom. Now the wrench is stuck there and I can not get it out. I tried to pull it with all my might, used forces on it, but it just won’t come off. Funny thing is it went in very smooth, not that it had to forced in, so can’t imagine how it got stuck.
Any ideas?

Richard January 28, 2012, 10:01 pm

My I sinker actor stopped spinning and I just got a buzz. After finding the blog I hav now cured the problem by putting my hand into the unit (diconnected the power of course!) and getting it spinning again. Some steel had got in there and jammed the unit!
Thanks to Zac from way back in 2004. I owe ya one!

Nancy January 29, 2012, 1:00 am

Wahoo! My In-Sink-erator GD stopped working this morning and it was on my mind all day that I’d have to find a plumber and possibly have to pony up bucks for a new GD. A few minutes ago, I googled the problem, found your thread and went to work. I felt a little foolish sticking a broom handle down the sink, but it definitely freed up the blades and now the GD is working normally. Thanks!!!!!

Bob February 5, 2012, 7:02 pm

Garbage disposal problem: I’ve tried all the fixes mentioned in the posts:
broom handle, red reset button, hex wrench, putting ice cubes down the GB and others. I get the hum. The blades won’t turn on their own, and seem to be stuck so hard, I doubt if I can dislodge them; Turning with the hex wrench is almost impossible. My Insinkerator unit is over 25 years old. Is it now dead
(I think not since it hums) or at least at the end of its life? I don’t want to try and remove the unit, since I hear the shops who repair these things will only say it’s time to replace them. Is there anything I can do before I shell out a few hundred bucks for a new unit?

Sean February 12, 2012, 2:03 pm

Beating a dead horse? In-Sink_erator just humms. Stopped working most of the time. A majority of the time now, it will just humm. However, sometimes it will funtion normally. Wooden handle will get it started. What could be causing it not to get that initial spin? Motor going bad? Once it starts, it will keep turning. Thanks!

Loretta February 18, 2012, 1:32 pm

Thank You!!!! I used the handle of a wooden hammer. My husband will be so surprized when I tell him I fixed the disposal. Thanks again.

Aaron February 20, 2012, 6:35 pm

Holy Crap. There are almost a decades worth of posts on this thread, yet you people keep asking the same damn questions, over and over again.

Does no one moderate this website. Close this thread already. This is actually really funny.

“My disposal is jammed”
(Here is how to unjam it)
“My disposal is jammed”
(Here is how to unjam it)
“My disposal is jammed”
(Here is how to unjam it)
“My disposal is jammed”
(Here is how to unjam it)
“My disposal is jammed”
(Here is how to unjam it)
“My disposal is jammed”
(Here is how to unjam it)
“My disposal is jammed”
(Here is how to unjam it)
“My disposal is jammed”
(Here is how to unjam it)

You all are a bunch of goofballs. You have to post your question and make people answer it instead of taking the extra 60 seconds to find the same issue and answer that’s already posted.


Shawn February 23, 2012, 1:34 pm

Wow! Thanks guys for your comments on troubleshooting garbage disposal problems. When I was younger(and before becoming a homeowner)I remember seeing pictures and hearing about sticking a broom handle down a garbage disposal to fix it. Never knew the concept of how and why. After reading excerpts on this website I just performed the manuever and it works. Thanks again on saving me $$!!!

Mary Helen March 18, 2012, 8:52 pm

So i did the broom handle thing and it worked… im glad after all the years this thread is still available.

Heather May 6, 2012, 10:50 am

All these comments saved me from replacing my GD! I had the same problems as many…hum sound, no blades spin, then nothing/no sound. Hit reset (this I did know!) and then only humming again. Felt inside for debris and there was nothing. Used the allen wrench on the bottom and presto! It worked! Thanks everyone! ๐Ÿ™‚

Lisa June 22, 2012, 2:51 pm

I have a different problem with my garbage disposal. I have a small leak that appears to be coming out of the bottom of the disposal where a screw is holding the bottom plate/electrical in place inside of unit. Does this mean the disposal is shot and time to replace?

Rosemary June 28, 2012, 3:01 pm

My garbage disposal makes no noise when I flip the switch. When i push the reset button it hums for a few seconds. I tried the allen wrench and the broom handle.Any other suggestions before I buy a new one ?

rachel July 12, 2012, 4:48 pm

AWESOME! Broom handle worked right away, thanks guys!

Kavy July 17, 2012, 8:22 pm

I read through most of the 2006 comments and found one that worked on these symptoms (ICE brand):
– No blade action
– Switch on creates a hum, but nothing else
– Blades spin freely
– No logical place for an allen wrench to fit in
I realized that the blades always spin freely. The disposal works by spinning the platform. I used a screwdriver to hunt around for a small hole and used that leverage to spin the platform a 1/4 turn. That worked. Thanks all for your help.

Ben W. August 11, 2012, 3:15 pm

I have a 9 year old insinkerator.It jammed for the first time last night and started smoking pretty bad.I understand how to unjam it,but i need to know if a disposer which has become hot enough to smoke is still usable?

Chris L August 12, 2012, 7:11 pm

Ok so glad I found this site. Our Badger I, which is in a 30 yr old house (however I don’t know how old it is) would not do anything when we flipped the switch. We tried the wrench, pressed the reset button but nothing – until we tried the broom. My husband turned the blades a few times with the broom stick and left the switch on. After about 5 minutes it came on! Saved us $100, which is what we would’ve been charged for someone to come out.

Christa E. August 14, 2012, 8:06 pm

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!!! My GD would hum and the blades would freely turn manually, however the GD wouldn’t work. I read someone’s advice about taking a screwdriver and cleaning the crevice around the circumference of the GD (outside of the blades) and it works again!!! Thank you so much!

Karen M. September 10, 2012, 9:43 am

Broom stick trick worked like a charm! Took about 30 seconds and we are back up and running. Thanks a million.

Ray September 19, 2012, 11:42 am

I installed a new garbage Disposal, I turned it on & it worded fine then turned it off, later I turned it on again & it would not turn on so I pushed the restart button & it started, turned it off then tried to restart it but it would not work, rest button again, still does not start. could it be the wiring ? Question #2 = what if blk wire is hooked 2 white wire, will this cause it not to run & will crossing the white with blk wire cause unit 2 burn out? ( this is not my problem, wires r hooked up right, as far as I can tell )

Phyllis September 26, 2012, 6:20 pm

Our In-Sink Erator GD is now working thanks to all who have given such
wonderful and consistant explanations. Am a 76 year-old with a husband
with a disability (Parkinson’s) and took care of it all by myself! Knew
I could handle these inconveniences and proved it!!!!! Thank you ! ! !

SH November 25, 2012, 7:36 pm

Using allen wrench helped to fix my Premier food waste disposer 40352 which became non-responsive. I also used the reset button. Thanks all for sharing your experience.

Darcy July 4, 2013, 11:19 am

I just installed a new insinkerator- Badger 5 and it is making a horrible grinding noise like the blades are hitting eachother… I’ve checked and checked but can’t find anything in the drain, or anything I would / could have done wrong in installation.

Alex December 23, 2013, 9:37 pm

Thank you so much to all who contributed! I was having the humming, blades appeared loose, wrench moved around on the underside but wouldn’t start. I tried everything listed on this site, and finally in desperation just thought I’d try running a screwdriver around edge of floor and throw in the old plunger handle a few turns for good measure…and sure enough, there was a piece of black plastic in there that came loose when it started spinning. THANKS SO MUCH!!

Pat August 26, 2015, 3:24 pm

My insinkerator was locked up and I used the tool that came with it to unlock it. Instead of back and forth, I went round and round unfortunately. Now is is really loud. What can I do? Thank you!

Matt October 19, 2015, 7:26 pm

I’m not sure if anyone reads this anymore but I’m looking for an opinion. Although all of the info on this thread has helped many people, I’m in a different situation and I wanted to see if anyone has ever experienced a similar situation. My Insinkerator is humming but nothing is happening. I tried turning it free with the tool that came but no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t get the disposal to move at all. I took apart the disposal as much as possible and spent about 3 hours clearing food out in hopes I would find what is jamming the blades and nothing… I called customer support and they said that if there is a motor malfunction, the motor would locked up and the disposal would spinning which would explain why I cannot manually turn the disposal. That being said my largest issue is the unit is still under warranty but the company insinkerator outsourced to fix all warranty issues has awful reviews so I’m afraid they will try to still say it is a jam. I guess my question is has anyone else heard of this? I’d like to trust the customer service rep from insinkerator but it seems like no one on the Internet has heard of this happening before… any help would be great, thanks.

Julie August 22, 2016, 2:34 am

Hi There,
we just had an issue where our disposal was making a humming sound but the blades were turning. After manually cleaning it out and making sure that there wasntt any additional shit stuck in the draw, it still wasn’t working. After reading this forum we attempted the broom stick or big branch LOL trick. I know that a lot of people don’t advise on doing this, but my husband did it and it worked instantly!! it was a little sketchy but it immediately got the blades turning and the disposal is working like a charm. saved us a call to the plumber and extra money spent having someone come and do the same thing for us….
Thanks for the trick and for the money saved!!!

Bryce October 6, 2016, 7:16 pm

When I spin mine with the wrench it goes and if I have the power on it works.
But when I shut it down and try to restart it then it just hums what is the problem

Bryan Batulis February 7, 2017, 6:02 pm

I have a 10 year old insink orator 80’s. It keeps getting stuck and I use the hex wrench to get it going again. This has been going on for over a year. This time when I freed it up, I flipped the switch and it worked but made a noise like a piece of metal was in it. Turned out to be the flat cap of a baby bottle to keep it from spilling when transporting it. Got it out and the GD doesn’t make any noise. I called for tech support and was advised that I need to use it about once a week and ice is good for cleaning. Couldn’t believe that I can use small bones and advocato to also clean it. just don’t put anything fiberous in it. I was told by a plumber not to put egg shells and to use ice. Well here goes.

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