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Old 09-12-2008, 07:26 PM   #1
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Anyone handy around garbage disposals?

I just moved into a new place. The disposal worked just fine at first. I threw some stuff down there and now all it does is make a whirring sound. I had put veggie scraps down there like I did a million times anywhere else. Some onions and celery, slowly of course with the water running.

Next day I get the whirring thing. I hit the reset button, nothing. I flipped the breaker, nothing. I filled the sink with water and plunged it as it drained, nothing.

I could get someone to come and check it out no problem but I would have to leave work as the real estate agency's maint. people work the same hours as me. I've been taking days off work as well as leaving at various times throughout the move so I really don't want to push it. (I'm one of those people that pretty much have to have an amputated limb to miss work.)

So, anyone have a suggestion?

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Old 09-12-2008, 07:34 PM   #2
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There is a little metal tool that you insert into a hole in the bottom of the disposer and work back and forth til you can turn it a complete revolution in both directions. Sometimes it's really stuck and it helps to pour boiling water with vinegar in it through the drain before trying the tool in the bottom.
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Old 09-12-2008, 07:36 PM   #3
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Since you are renting, you probably don't have the little tool. It's kind of like an Allen wrench. They are standard and cheap and available at any hardware store. It's a good thing to have around. HTH
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Old 09-12-2008, 08:30 PM   #4
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Whirring can be a couple things. Look into the disposer with a flashlight and turn it on. If it is spinning then there is another problem. If it is not spinning, Just like Fisher's mom says probably stuck. If you can't free it as she suggested then the motor is probably seized. That would be replacement time.

If it is spinning then the little arms, weights, or whatever you call them are stuck. On the spinning plate are two pieces of metal the push the garbage against the side of the disposer, which is rough. the side does the grinding. these arms are free to move and centrifical force makes them go to the outside of the spinning plate. If they are stuck, the fix involves reaching inside the disposer, which is better left to the landlord.

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Old 09-13-2008, 11:40 AM   #5
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From a plumbers daughter!

My father was a plumber for 20 plus years and a trick he taught me when the disposal got jammed was to take a wooden broom handle and stick it down into the disposal and hold it at an angle so it is pressing against the edge of the bottom and push against one of the notches firmly but gently until it rotates freely. you might want to feel with your hand carefuly at first to feel where the different components are inside.....its kind of hard to put into words....do not use the blades as leverage for the broom but between them. It really has worked for me since I was a girl (I always did all the cooking so it was usually me who had to do it...)

Hope this helps! It never has damaged anything and its a quick easy FREE trick requiring no plumber!!
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Old 09-13-2008, 11:43 AM   #6
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If the disposal is not hammed. That is, it spins when outurn on the power, fill the chamber with ice cubes and run them through. That often works to clear clogged foods.
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Old 09-13-2008, 11:47 AM   #7
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Did the broom handle thing. That's what it was. I started it up and it sounded like something was in there. I stuck my hand in and there was a big piece of hard white plastic. It had some word on it but I couldn't make it out. Thanks for the replies guys, problem solved!
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Old 09-13-2008, 11:51 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy M. View Post
If the disposal is not hammed. That is, it spins when outurn on the power, fill the chamber with ice cubes and run them through. That often works to clear clogged foods.
remind me never to ask for a frozen margarita at andy's...
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Old 09-13-2008, 12:17 PM   #9
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woohoo!


Bucky.......
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