Freeing Stuck Impellers

Your disposer uses two swiveling impellers to push food around inside the disposer. These impellers must turn freely for the disposer to work efficiently.

To check if the impellers move freely, look down into the disposer using a flashlight. (Before looking down the disposer, make sure the power to the disposer is turned off.) You should see two metal objects located on the "floor" of the disposer. They should be across from each other, half way between the walls of the disposer and the center of the rotating disk.

Use a spoon handle to push on each of these impellers. They should move around very easily.

If the impellers do not move easily, you should place some hard food items like bones or fruit pits into the disposer. Beef round steak bones work best, pork chop bones work pretty well too. Chicken bones don't work well at all. Three or four fruit pits or round steak bones should suffice. Because of their size and shape, pork chop bones should be used one at a time.

Place the hard material into the disposer, turn on the water, then turn on the disposer. Don't be afraid of the noise. Your disposer is a very durable appliance specifically designed to grind these types of items. The material will take a minute or two to grind. Leave the disposer and the water on until the loud grinding sounds go away.

Turn the disposer off, then look into the chamber with a flashlight.

Sometimes this procedure reveals a foreign object, like a coin or screw, stuck in the disposer. If you see something unexpected in the disposer, make sure the disposer is off and remove the object using tongs and pliers.

If the impellers are still not moving freely, you should repeat the process once or twice more.

If three attempts to free the impellers by grinding bones fails, your disposer may require service.

If the problem with your disposer is due to defects in materials or workmanship, InSinkErator will pay to have an authorized service center service the disposer in your home at no charge to you. If the impellers are stuck on a non-food, foreign object, you will be responsible for the cost of service.

Click here to determine if your disposer is covered by warranty.

Click here to locate the service center nearest you.