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How to Unclog a Garbage Disposal

Learn how to unclog a garbage disposal in this Howcast plumbing repair video with expert Tim Flynn.


I'm Tim Flynn and I'm the owner of Winters Plumbing and Heating in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Winters Company offers plumbing, heating, cooling. If you need service today; we're the business to call. My website is I'll be talking to you today about plumbing. Clearing your disposal, so for this example we have one actually not wired not installed.I'm gonna show you a couple of things you need to know about your disposal. First and foremost, this is the part you cannot see because it's going to be upside down in your sink. It's very difficult to see, because this is the view you normally see if you look into your sink basin. Take a look at this right here, have you ever had the disposal, flip the switch and doesn't turn on at all? There is a tiny red reset button, right there. Now that reset button is the circuit breaker, so if you ever have a disposal, that you flip the switch and it does nothing, reset that first.So let me show you an example of what i mean about clearing a disposal block. First, is most people have this allen wrench, and the size usually comes in variable sizes,this one happens to be a quarter inch allen wrench. And what happens is, you take it and insert it at the bottom of the disposal, this can allow you to turn the disposal left and right. A little warning make sure the power is off to the disposal, if you have a switch make sure the switch is down and not up.What would happen if you had power on and inserted this, is that you spin it around, it's gonna kick on automatically and it's gonna take this thing for a ride with you on it. Next tool we have is an allen wrench that comes with most disposers, this brand actually send an allen wrench with it and it simply sits in the bottom and it spins around, again making sure it keeps the power off. If your disposal spins around like that perfectly, it doesn't, you don't feel anything it's gonna work just fine. The basin wrench is telescoping, it goes in and out. And the basin wrench would fit inside your disposal from the top of the sink, down and its a couple of places inside it can grab onto. What you gonna want to do is take it, and insert it on top and clear the obstruction by moving it around clockwise or counter clockwise. About ten years ago the company put out a series of books about how to clear disposal and I was always wondering how this would happen. But we used to go to a lot of kitchens and see a broken broom handle on one side of the kitchen. And so never insert a wooden dowel,broom handle into the top of the disposal, because what is gonna happen is that it's gonna take it, pry it, break it down, it doesn't work.

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