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Help! My Garbage Disposal Blades Aren’t Moving!

You just wrapped up an amazing dinner. Clean-up is almost finished and you can call it a day. You flip the switch to the garbage disposal and it makes a horrible noise and stops. What do you do?

Garbage Disposal Blades Frozen

Repair man examining underneath kitchen sink

If your garbage disposal is making a lot of noise or stops abruptly while running, its blades might have stuck for some reason. You should NEVER use jammed garbage disposal because it can burn out the motor. Instead, you should try to repair the appliance by using the hex wrench.

More often than not, the blades seem frozen when a hard material (like fruit pit) is stuck between the blades and the drain hole. In order to solve this problem, you will need to release the impeller blades by using the wrench.

How to Repair a Jammed Garbage Disposal?

  1. First and foremost, you need to make sure that the garbage disposal is turned off before you start repairing it. Ideally, you should turn off the circuit breaker as well. Similarly, the sink should be fully drained to avoid any kind of trouble.
  2. Find the hex-shaped hole at the bottom of the garbage disposal and insert the jam-buster wrench into it.
  3. Turn the wrench back and forth (a few times) to free the impellers. You can use some force as the specialized design of the wrench won’t damage your disposal unit. Keep using the wrench until it starts turning smoothly in both directions.
  4. Once you have completed this exercise, check the overload protector button. This small red button is also located at the bottom of the garbage disposal. If it is the tripped state (pressed down), press it gently to shift the disposal unit to the normal state.
  5. In order to ensure that the jam has been fixed, look into the garbage disposal. Use a flashlight for this purpose and NEVER place your hand inside the appliance. If you find any unwanted object in the disposal unit, remove it by using pliers.
  6. Turn on the garbage disposal and it should work fine. If the blades freeze again, repeat the process again until things become smooth.

Note: In extreme cases, you may have to uninstall the garbage disposal to clear the clog.  

Garbage Disposal Blades Broken

under sink view of garbage disposal

Can the blades of a garbage disposal break? Despite the fact that you may hear rattling noises from your disposal unit, its blades are NOT broken. Actually, the wear and tear of everyday use loosen these blades. Consequently, the grinding ability of your garbage disposal is hampered.

The good thing about these loose blades is that they are easy to repair. All you need to do is to unscrew the disposal unit and replace the blades.  

How to Repair the Loose Blades of a Garbage Disposal?

  1. Considering your safety, it is highly recommended to unplug the garbage disposal before starting. Although turning the machine off could do the trick, try to unplug it entirely, if possible.
  2. After that, use a pipe wrench to unscrew the disposal unit. You will begin by detaching the drain pipe and then the garbage disposal will be removed. It may not seem that way but garbage disposals are heavy. For this reason, you will need to be careful while unscrewing your disposal unit. Place a bucket beneath your sink to avoid the spillage of water.
  3. Now that the unit has been removed, you should unbolt the loose blades of your garbage disposal.
  4. Replace the old blades with the new ones and bolt them into the disposal unit. Stainless steel blades are the best possible replacements due to their quality and durability.

Garbage Disposal Blades Rusty

Rusted sheet of metal

Rust can have a seriously negative impact on the efficiency of your garbage disposal. For this reason, it is important to keep this appliance nice and clean. If you notice a lack of performance in your disposal unit, it could be due to its rusty blades. A suitable technique to remove this rust is described below.

How to Remove the Rust from your Garbage Disposal’s Blades?

  1. Mix 3 tablespoons of salt with 1 cup of lemon juice to make a rust-removing mixture.
  2. Pour this amazing solution down the garbage disposal and let it sit there for 12-24 hours. Don’t run any water in the sink during this duration.
  3. After that, wash the disposal unit with some cold water and drop some ice cubes into it.
  4. Turn on the garbage disposal to grind these ice cubes. In addition to the removal of rust, this will sharpen the blades.

What if the Problem Persists?

It is possible that the problem of ineffective working may persist after this procedure. In that case, a small clog could be responsible for the trouble. If that’s the case, you can use the following solution to clear your garbage disposal.

  1. Pour 1 cup of baking soda and 1 cup of white vinegar into the disposal unit. This amazing combination will start to foam which will remove the clog.
  2. After a few minutes, pour a pot of boiling water into the garbage disposal. This will scratch away any stubborn traces of grease and other materials.  

Are There Replacements for Garbage Disposal Blades?

Man holding 3 packages on counter

Yes, you can replace the blades of your garbage disposal. The blades of garbage disposal are attached on an impeller plate which spins to grind the food scraps. The wear and tear of daily usage can loosen these blades. When such a situation occurs, you have to unscrew the garbage disposal to replace the blades.

If you reach a point where you have to change the blades too often, purchasing new garbage disposal is the best option.

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