What to do when Garbage Disposal was Jammed by cherry pits?

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What to do when Garbage Disposal was Jammed by cherry pits?


MAX DISPOSER Disposals can grind up almost any food, but sometimes they meet their match in small, hard objects like cherry pits, nut shells and gravel. Usually, something gets stuck in the small gap between the impeller plate and the grinding ring. When a disposal jams, the impeller plate locks up and the motor hums or it shuts itself off. If you hear it humming, turn off the disposal's switch right away to prevent undo damage to the motor. If there is no humming, chances are the motor's overload breaker has tripped to prevent motor damage.


To fix a jammed disposal, turn off the switch so there's no power going to the disposal. As an added precaution, you can also shut off the breaker to the disposal's circuit in your home's breaker box, if desired. Alternatively, you can shine a flashlight into the disposal and fish out the obstruction with needlenose pliers (you'll have to grab blindly with the pliers because your hand will block your view).


If you can't find an obstruction, try to move the impeller plate manually: Locate the funny little wrench (sometimes called a wrenchette) that comes with most disposals and should be in a plastic sleeve under the sink or stuck to the side of the disposal. Stick the end of the wrench into the recessed nut in the bottom center of the disposal, then crank it back and forth to free the impeller. If you don't have a wrenchette, find an Allen wrench that fits the nut; 1/4-inch is typical.


Cranking disposal with a wrench.

A jammed disposal can often be freed by using a wrenchette or Allen wrench in the bottom fitting.

Locate the small motor reset button, usually on the bottom of the disposal unit, and press it in. Run the water, then turn on the disposal at the switch. Repeat the same process, as needed, until the disposal works again. If the disposal is still dead (no humming), try the reset button again. Also, check the circuit breaker and reset it if it has tripped. If that doesn't work, the motor may have burned out, which means it's time to replace the disposal.

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