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How to Use a Wrenchette on a Garbage Disposal

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A wrenchette is a specialized tool that is usually included with the purchase of a garbage disposal. It is similar in appearance to a large Allen wrench that has a bent end. Sometimes the motor of the garbage disposal will temporarily freeze up and needs help to start turning again. You insert the wrenchette in the bottom of the garbage disposal unit and turn the motor to free it. You should be able to complete the job with little effort in just a few minutes.

Turn off the garbage disposal at the switch on the wall that supplies it with electrical current.

Locate the fitting underneath the garbage disposal unit into which you will need to insert the wrenchette. You will have to feel around with your hand since it is hard to get under the disposal and visually spot the fitting.

Insert the end of the wrenchette into the fitting on the underside of the garbage disposal. Ensure that the wrench is squarely inserted into the fitting.

Turn the wrenchette clockwise until the you feel the motor spinning freely. You may have to crank the wrenchette back and forth to free the motor. Turn on the switch for the disposal. If the motor will still not turn, turn off the switch and try freeing the motor again with the wrenchette. Turn on the switch. If the motor still will not turn, there may be a more serious problem, and you should consult a professional plumber.

Fix A Garbage Disposal

For some reason, garbage disposals are the subject of more misconceptions and misinformation than most other items in the house. To dispel just a few of the common myths about these ubiquitous appliances, garbage disposals don’t have sharp teeth or blades, and nothing inside the disposal is made sharper by grinding up ice cubes in it. Usually, something gets stuck in the small gap between the impeller plate and the grinding ring. If you hear it humming, turn off the disposal’s switch right away to prevent undo damage to the motor. To fix a jammed disposal, turn off the switch so there’s no power going to the disposal. Alternatively, you can shine a flashlight into the disposal and fish out the obstruction with needlenose pliers (you’ll have to grab blindly with the pliers because your hand will block your view). Locate the small motor reset button, usually on the bottom of the disposal unit, and press it in. Run the water, then turn on the disposal at the switch. Repeat the same process, as needed, until the disposal works again. Garbage disposals can leak in four different places, and each has its own fix: * Leaking at the top, where the disposal meets the bottom of the sink: Try tightening the long, skinny bolts (usually three) that separate the two metal rings at the top of the disposer, using a screwdriver. Tighten all of them the same amount (as much as possible) so the pressure is even all the way around. The only way to clean these areas is by hand, and the best tool to use is an old kitchen sponge you’re ready to get rid of. Make sure the disposal is off. ( And turn off the circuit breaker, if you’d like.)

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