Gifford Teeple, owner of A Reliable Handyman, gives a step-by-step demonstration of how to unjam a garbage disposal.

Gifford Teeple is owner of A Reliable Handyman. To reach Gifford Teeple call (510) 200-0450.
Video: How to Unjam Your Garbage Disposal
Complete Video Transcription:

EL CERRITO – Host, Sarah Rutan: If your garbage disposal is jammed, you’ll be glad to know this is something you can likely fix yourself. Today we’re in El Cerrito with Diamond Certified Expert Contributor Gifford Teeple of A Reliable Handyman to learn more.

Diamond Certified Expert Contributor, Gifford Teeple: Hi. Sometimes you may encounter a small problem with your disposal, where it may be jammed, it may not be working. But it’s possible that you can fix it yourself, if it’s still humming when you turn the switch on. If you turn the switch on and you don’t hear any humming, then it’s dead, and you’ll have to get a new garbage disposal. But if it’s still humming, there are three things you can do very easily.

First, make sure the switch is off for the garbage disposal. Then go underneath, push the red reset button at the bottom of the garbage disposal, and then hit the switch, and turn it on from the top. See if that works. If that doesn’t work, it’s still probably jammed. It could be rusted shut.

So, then you use what’s called the “jam-buster” tool, which is a little hex wrench. And you put that in, in the very center of the bottom of the garbage disposal, and crank it around. That should break it free.

If you don’t have one of those wrenches, you can also use a broom handle. So, again, make sure the switch is off. You can also spray some WD-40 into the garbage disposal to help it loosen up. Then put the broom handle in and crank it around manually. That should break it free. Then take the broom handle out, turn the water on, and then press the switch to turn it on. That should do the trick.

Host, Sarah Rutan: To learn more from local, top rated companies, visit our Diamond Certified Expert Reports at

Gifford Teeple is a longtime veteran of the home repair industry and owner of A Reliable Handyman, a Diamond Certified company since 2005. He can be reached at (510) 200-0450 or by email.

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