Serving NOLA 40+ Years

(504) 464-0145


Jammed garbage disposals are a very common plumbing occurrence. We want to share with you some of the things you can do to remedy this issue on your own. There are also prevention tips to stop jammed disposals in the first place. 

Signs of a jammed disposal: 

  1. A humming sound that does not grind or chop like it should
  2. The blades are much noisier than usual
  3. The disposal works then suddenly stops even though the switch is on


If your disposal is not turning on when you flip the switch, turn it back to the off position. Now, look for a red button at the bottom of your disposal and push it. If you hear clicking, you have successfully reset the internal breaker. If this doesn’t do the trick, you will have to check the breaker on your electrical panel and reset it from there. 

Jam or Clog

When your disposal is functional, but is clearly jammed with some kind of debris, shut it off right away. You can utilize household items to unjam the disposal. First, find something with a wooden handle, like a spatula or long spoon. Hold it upside down and insert the handle into the top of the disposal. Now move it around to break up and dislodge debris within the top chamber. If this does not solve the problem, you will need to get under the sink. Use a 1/4” or 5/16” Allen wrench for this technique. Insert the Allen wrench into the bottom of the disposal and move it around vigorously. This should free up any clogs that are underneath the blades. 

No matter which technique you use, we always recommend that you never put your hand inside a garbage disposal for safety reasons. 

Prevention Tips

  1. Run the disposal every few days
  2. Avoid disposing food, peels and shells through the disposal
  3. Do not use chemicals to clear clogs
  4. Clean your disposal every couple of weeks

When all else fails, or you simply don’t feel comfortable attempting these fixes yourself, call the pros at Rooter Man. We can repair, replace and clear your garbage disposal fast. Call us at (504) 464-0145 or reach out to us online for more information.

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