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 Garbage disposal impeller is stuck -- how to free it?
Author: Studly (MN)

My sink's garbage disposer has been loud and vibrating excessively for a while. I finally figured out what is causing it: One of the impellers that is supposed to move freely from side to side is stuck and doesn't move at all. This is causing an imbalance when the disposal runs, and that is causing the vibration.

I've tried freeing it with a screwdriver, the end of a wrench, tapping on those two previous tools with a hammer, broom stick, etc. It's hard to get any leverage because the bottom of the disposal wants to spin, but if I have someone hold that as best they can by putting another screw driver in there, I can get a few good taps on the impeller ... but it just won't loosen up.

Any ideas on how to get a stuck impellar free? Any tips would be appreciated. Thanks!

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 Re: Garbage disposal impeller is stuck -- how to free it?
Author: KCRoto (MO)

If the hammers on the grinding plate are stuck, is it because of rust on an old unit, or debris stuck on a stainless unit?

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 Re: Garbage disposal impeller is stuck -- how to free it?
Author: Studly (MN)

It's a GE unit, probably about 15 years old. By a stainless steel unit, do you mean the inside would be made of stainless steel? The bottom and walls look black inside of there but the impellers or hammers are silver, so they could be made of stainless steel.

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 Re: Garbage disposal impeller is stuck -- how to free it?
Author: Wheelchair (IL)

My only suggestion is be safe, not sorry when performing your own repairs on a garbage disposal. Have you considered removing the disposal and calling GE for a parts diagram. Be Safe.

Best Wishes

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 Re: Garbage disposal impeller is stuck -- how to free it?
Author: hj (AZ)

It makes no difference what they are made of, when they are "frozen" the disposer has exceeded its lifespan and should be replaced. Even if you COULD free them they would just stick again.

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 Re: Garbage disposal impeller is stuck -- how to free it?
Author: m & m (MD)

A disposer is one appliance that is not very conducive to repairing outside of freeing up the motor shaft via the hex hole on the underside.

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 Re: Garbage disposal impeller is stuck -- how to free it?
Author: KCRoto (MO)

If the plate that the hammers are attached to isn't a nice shiny silver that indicates stainless steel, attempting to repair it is futile. What tends to happen, is that corrosion forms on the surface of the plate, and pushes the hammer upward, torquing it in place. Even if you were able to break it free, it would corrode even quicker and cause the same problem again in very short order. I recommend getting a new unit, and make sure that the grinding chamber components are stainless steel. A feature that I also advocate for people that actually use their disposal frequently is automatic reverse. If something binds up, the motor switched direction and will dislodge whatever is stuck generally.

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 Re: Garbage disposal impeller is stuck -- how to free it?
Author: packy (MA)

one of the disposers i used to put in (i can't remember the brand) had a 'wham jam' button. you pushed it if you had a stuck machine. it cycled between forward and reverse rapidly to free the impellers.
haven't seen one in years..
kitchenaid maybe ?????

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 Thanks for the tips everyone. big grin
Author: Studly (MN)

Thanks for the tips everyone. Yeah, I think it's time to buy a new one.



Edited 1 times.

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 Re: Garbage disposal impeller is stuck -- how to free it?
Author: mr leak (CA)

I would only buy an InSinkerator disposal starting with a Badger 5 or better

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 Re: Garbage disposal impeller is stuck -- how to free it?
Author: bernabeu (SC)

Evolution Compact is my personal choice (by Insinkerator).

= = = = = = = = =

Retired U.A. Local 1 & 638
"Measure Twice & Cut Once"

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 Re: Garbage disposal impeller is stuck -- how to free it?
Author: hj (AZ)

But, what is the customer's choice?

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 Re: Garbage disposal impeller is stuck -- how to free it?
Author: bernabeu (SC)

After the customer becomes knowledgeable 50/50 bet is on Evolution Compact.


stainless steel grind chamber and 'impeller' plate

5 year in home warranty

quiet and smooth operation

under $225


my '444' (its' predecessor) is still going strong after 8 years

= = = = = = = = =

Retired U.A. Local 1 & 638
"Measure Twice & Cut Once"

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 Re: Garbage disposal impeller is stuck -- how to free it?
Author: dprintz (IL)

On our Insinkerator Evolution Compact one of the 2 impeller arms was "frozen" to the impeller plate at bottom of the Insinkerator. We broke the arm free thru use of:

• heavy dose of WD-40, overnite soaking
• use of the 1/4" hex tool in bottom to hold the impeller plate stationary (need 2nd person helper)
• use of wood dowel to tap the impeller arm until it rotated again.

Insinkerator Customer Service has a great write-up on a different solution if this method fails.

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