Garbage disposal unit does not work
June 7, 2014 1:07 PM   Subscribe

I have a Disposall (GFC 300P) brand garbage disposal installed under my sink and all of a sudden, it's no longer working. All it does now is hum. My Google searches showed only one DIY solution and that was to unplug it from the wall socket then put the correct size allen wrench (hex wrench) into the nut at the bottom of the unit and spin the nut clockwise until it moves on its own. However, the Disposall GFC 300P does not have that anywhere on the unit. Also, there is no access to the blades (to move with a wooden dowell, to free it up that way) from the top. Am I screwed or am I just not finding the access for the allen wrench? It seems to be a common enough brand/model of garbage disposal to find some sort of help online, but I can't find any.
posted by NoMich to Home & Garden (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Have you checked to see if something is jammed in it? My disposal was doing the same thing last week. I turned off the power at the breaker, removed the three screws holding the top half to the bottom, separated the halves and cleaned it out. In my case, it was a plastic clip from a bag of hamburger buns that was jamming the thing up.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 1:15 PM on June 7, 2014

There should be a reset button on the side of the disposer, somewhere along the bottom edge, probably on the opposite of the discharge elbow. It may have tripped. Push the button in until it clicks and remains depressed.

I manged to find the owner's manual for a GFC 300F online, and it definitely doesn't say anything about there being a hex socket on the bottom. I'm amazed. This is the first disposer I've run across that didn't have one. It should be centered on the bottom, underneath the unit. Weird.
posted by Thorzdad at 1:25 PM on June 7, 2014

Response by poster: Yes, it does have the reset button and I have already pushed that. The humming sound tells me that the unit is getting power, it's just not moving.
Do you have a link to the manual that you found? I'll peruse that to see if I can take it apart the way DirtyOldTown did with their disposal unit.
posted by NoMich at 1:31 PM on June 7, 2014

On my disposal (same manufacturer as yours, but different model) there is a plastic band clipped around the point where the two halves meet. Unclipping it and removing it exposed the three screws (all simple Phillips screws, though I did need a stubby screwdriver because of limited clearance) and well, bob's yer uncle.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 1:39 PM on June 7, 2014

Best answer: You stick a wooden spoon, small mop handle, etc down the top of the disposal and try and dislodge what it jamming it. you can feel the ridges of the blades that way try forcing the blade to go clockwise. It can be something like DirtyOldTown's plastic clip, a bottle cap. Or it might be old and there are parts that are rusting or old gunk that causes it to seize.

My disposal will freeze up like that if I don't use it for an extended amount of time. Luckily my model has a hex bolt on the bottom and I can use to force it and it is good to go. When I didn't have the allen wrench I would use a wooden spoon and try to dislodge it that way.
posted by birdherder at 1:39 PM on June 7, 2014 [5 favorites]

My apartment's super has a garbage disposal wrench she uses to un-stick the things.

There's almost certainly something stuck in there. If hitting the reset button doesn't fix the issue, you'll need to get it unstuck, and a tool that manually pushes it around once or twice should do the trick.
posted by colin_l at 2:01 PM on June 7, 2014

Best answer: Do you have a link to the manual that you found?
Go here. Click on the download button to the right of the little Print icon.
posted by Thorzdad at 2:06 PM on June 7, 2014

Response by poster: Alright! Got it unstuck. I did, indeed, have to stick a...uuuuhhh...stick at the top and move it around. However, I had to remove a nasty splash guard and get rid of a whooooooole lot built up funk first. Man, it was gross. There's not really blades like you would think there are, so I had use a nut in there as a push point for my wooden paint handle extender thing. Eventually, I was able to turn the whole unit clockwise a few times. Plugged the unit back in to the socket, hit the switch and watched it do its magic with the funk that I wasn't actually able to clean out. Thanks for all y'all's input!
posted by NoMich at 2:35 PM on June 7, 2014 [3 favorites]

Everytime my disposal does this, it ends up being a kids' spoon or something that just evaded me the first 10 times I stuck my hand down the disposal (yes, I turned it off first.) Glad you found the blocked objects.
posted by Happydaz at 11:38 PM on June 7, 2014

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