hand scraping what's left on a used dish into a sink with disposal unit, homeowner survival skills
Photo: Courtesy of InSinkErator
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44. Free a Jammed Garbage Disposal

Your disposal came with a key designed for turning it via a hole in the underside when it gets stuck (the key is essentially a hex key wrench, which will work just as well). But that won't give you enough torque to clear a major jam, says Richard Trethewey. "Turn off the power at the breaker, remove the rubber splash guard, and insert two broomsticks into the drain opening at cross angles," he says. Give those a spin and you'll break the chicken bone or whatever's causing the jam. Then check that you didn't also loosen the disposal from the sink, and retighten if necessary.
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