If the disposal jams, turn off the power and look underneath the sink. There is a place in the center of the motor shaft, on the bottom of the unit, where you can use an allen wrench to manually turn the motor. Give the motor a few manual turns to get it unstuck. Remove the Allen wrench before you try to run the motor again. Also, press the reset button/ circuit breaker on the bottom of unit, if applicable.
Another common cause for a leaking garbage disposal is the disposal flange. A leak at the very most upper area of the garbage disposal could be the garbage disposal flange which goes through the sink. A garbage disposal flange should be sealed with Plumber’s putty and then tightened from underneath the sink. If this is not tight enough or if it has managed to come loose (which can happen) then the garbage disposal will have to be taken down so the flange can be resealed and then the garbage disposal can be rehung.
Has this ever happened to you? It’s the end of the day and you are dutifully washing your evening dishes. Your sink isn’t draining quickly, so you flip on the switch of your waste disposer expecting to hear the satisfying sound of your meal remnants being ground into a pulp. Instead – to your shock and dismay – the disposal only hums, or even worse, does nothing at all. Frustrating, right?
Use a wet-dry vacuum cleaner to remove any smaller shards of glass. Simply hold the opening of the hose over the top of the garbage disposal and allow the vacuum to run until you can't hear anything be sucked up anymore. If the sink isn't particularly wet, you can use a regular vacuum, covering the end of the extension tube with a nylon stocking secured with a rubber band.
Safety and vigilance are paramount with these disposals. If you have small children in your home, then you must be on your guard to ensure that they do not stick their hands or other small objects down the disposal. You must also be careful to ensure that you do not accidentally drop any foreign objects down the disposal. For example, if a spoon were to fall into the disposal, and the disposal was turned on, it could cause quite a bit of damage to the unit before you are able to fish it out.
Some jams you can free and get the motor to spin and sound like it is working, but the blades are stuck in one position and can’t spin freely to do their job properly. This is very common problem – the motor works so we think everything is working. Not the case! This can lead to stoppages, food trapped in the disposal and a bad smell. These blades can’t be repaired. The disposal needs to be replaced.
If your garbage disposal just won’t turn at all, then it’s very likely that the disposal has lost power. Your unit may have blown a circuit, or it could be unplugged. First, check the plug for your garbage disposal to ensure that it’s secure. Next, locate the reset button on the underside of the unit, and push it. If neither of these things fixes the problem, look inside your electrical panel for signs of a tripped circuit.