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Something Stuck in Your Garbage Disposal? Keep Hands Out!

Garbage disposals are great kitchen appliances that make cleaning up after meals a breeze. They help reduce food waste and keep your kitchen smelling fresh. However, encountering a jam or something stuck in your garbage disposal can be a common issue. While it might be tempting to reach in and remove the obstruction with your hands, it’s essential to remember that garbage disposals have sharp blades and can pose risks. In this blog, we’ll explain why you should keep your hands out of the disposal and provide safer alternatives to resolve the problem.

Something Stuck in Your Garbage Disposal hands out

Safety First

The primary reason for not reaching into a garbage disposal is safety. Garbage disposals have sharp blades that can cause serious injuries if accidentally activated while your hands are inside. Even if the power is turned off, the disposal can still move, and you could cut yourself on the blades.


Risk of Electrical Shock

Garbage disposals are electrical appliances, and sticking your hand inside can also expose you to the risk of electrical shock if you come into contact with live wires or components.


Avoid Further Damage

Attempting to remove an obstruction with your hands can potentially damage the disposal further, especially if the object is hard or metallic. This could lead to costly repairs or replacement.


Safer Alternatives

Instead of using your hands to clear a jam or remove an obstruction from your garbage disposal, consider these safer alternatives:

  • Turn Off the Power: The first step is to turn off the power to the disposal. Locate the switch or circuit breaker that controls the disposal and switch it off to ensure it won’t accidentally start while you work on it.
  • Use Tongs or Pliers: If you can see the object causing the jam, use long-handled tongs or pliers to reach in and carefully extract it. Ensure the disposal is turned off before attempting this.
  • Reset the Disposal: Most garbage disposals have a reset button on the bottom. If your disposal is jammed, pressing the reset button can often resolve the issue.
  • Use an Allen Wrench: Many garbage disposals come with an Allen wrench or hex key that fits into a slot on the bottom of the disposal. Insert the wrench and turn it clockwise and counterclockwise to manually rotate the disposal blades and dislodge the obstruction.
  • Ice Cubes and Rock Salt: To clean and maintain your disposal, periodically grind ice cubes and rock salt. This can help remove debris and keep the blades sharp.
  • Call a Professional: If you can’t resolve the issue on your own or if the disposal continues to jam frequently, it’s best to call a professional plumber or appliance technician for inspection and repair.


Preventing Future Jams

To minimize the chances of something getting stuck in your garbage disposal in the future, avoid disposing of certain items like large bones, fruit pits, coffee grounds, and fibrous vegetables like celery. Always run cold water before and after using the disposal to help flush debris through, and cut larger food items into smaller pieces before sending them down the drain.


Garbage Disposal Repair from Michael Runk Plumbing and Heating

It’s crucial to prioritize safety when dealing with a jam or obstruction in your garbage disposal. Keep your hands out, turn off the power, and use safer alternatives to resolve the issue. It’s always best to turn to a plumbing expert like Michael Runk Plumbing and Heating for your garbage disposal repair needs. We are a Maryland Master Plumber with over 20 years of experience. Contact us now to schedule an appointment.

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