Stuck Flywheel Garbage Disposal

If you turn on your garbage disposal and hear a humming sound, there are two reasons behind this problem. Either the bearing of the disposal is damaged or you are in a stuck flywheel situation. Garbage disposals make it easier to keep your kitchen organized and clean but when they are acting up, they can be annoying.

Malfunctions in garbage disposals normally happen over time because of the accumulation of food debris in the sink which then gets lodged in the flywheel. A DIY stuck flywheel troubleshooting can be done if you have the proper tools and know-how. Here are some tips to solve this stuck flywheel problem.

Tools Needed:

Pair of Pliers 
Allen Wrench 
1 x 2 Wood

Note: Do not test the garbage disposal for more than 10 seconds if it is not working properly and there is a humming sound.


Step 1: Ensure that the garbage disposal is turned off. Depending on the kind of unit you have, you can simply unplug the garbage disposal from under the sink or if the power is connected to your home electrical system, turn off the circuit breaker connected to your garbage disposal before troubleshooting.

Step 2: Look for the hex hole. Using your fingers, locate the hole normally at the bottom of the disposal under the sink. Get the hex wrench and move it back and forth until it completes one revolution.

Step 3: Remove the object that has obstructed the disposal using a set of pliers. You can also insert a broom handle of a piece of wood into the drain to spin the grinder manually and loosen the object. Be careful not to use your hand to dislodge the object because the teeth of the grinder are sharp and you might injure your fingers.

Step 4: Turn on the water to completely dislodge the loosened object or small objects that have caused the stuck flywheel.

Step 5: To check if the garbage disposal is free from obstruction, turn on the circuit breaker or plug in the power under the sink. Turn on the power switch if the problem has been fixed. Ensure that there is running water going into the drain to ensure obstruction will be removed.

Impeller Blade Issues

If the problem is in the impeller blades, you need to remove them by loosening its screw found in the middle. Next, you have to disconnect any hoses connected to the flywheel and blades. If small objects or excess food particles have been lodged, remove them carefully from the impeller blades.

Check the instruction manual that came with the garbage disposal unit. If the blades can be sharpened, it might help to do so to ensure food particles will not obstruct the disposal. If not, it might be necessary to replace the blades.

If you have done all the steps above and the garbage disposal is not yet functioning and there is no humming sound either when you turn it on, try to reset the unit by pressing on the red reset button.

Skip to content