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Garbage Disposal Allen Wrench Won’t Turn: Unjamming Fix

It is not uncommon for garbage disposals to get stuck. But they can be easily unjammed using an Allen wrench. But in rare cases, Allen wrench won’t turn. Here is what to do

If the garbage disposal Allen wrench won’t turn it means that the jam is too big, probably something solid is jamming the impellers. It is best to look into the disposal using a flashlight and remove this object with a pair of tongs.

If you are interested, check this alternative to an Allen wrench (Click here to see on Amazon). If the Allen wrench is stuck you may have to use this wrench or a broom handle to unjam your garbage disposal.

How to unjam a garbage disposal if Allen wrench won't turn


How to reset a garbage disposal with Allen wrench

Like those from InSinkErator, many garbage disposal models come with a hex hole on the bottom side. The purpose of this hex hole is to help unjam the garbage disposal if it is clogged. But not every disposal has this hex hole. The models made by companies like Waste King are not provided with such an option.

PS: In case you don’t have a disposal wrench, here is a good one: Lasco InSinkErator Wrench

If your garbage disposal, which has a hex hole, is jammed, here is how to unjam it with Allen wrench;

  1. Switch off the garbage disposal
  2. Insert the hex wrench into the hole and turn it to and fro until the blades are free to rotate. Once the blades start rotating in 360 degrees in both directions, remove the wrench.
  3. Push the reset button into its original position. If the garbage disposal was stuck, then its reset button might have popped out. It has to be pushed back to its original position for the disposal to run.
  4. Switch on the garbage disposal.
Unjamming a garbage disposal with Allen wrench

How to unjam a garbage disposal when Allen wrench doesn’t turn

A garbage disposal with a hex hole is easier to unjam with an Allen key. However, sometimes the clog can be so big the Allen wrench won’t turn. In that case, follow the below steps to unjam it;

  • Step 1: Switch off the garbage disposal and disconnect it from the power supply.
  • Step 2: Use a flashlight and look into the garbage disposal’s grinding chamber to locate any objects jamming the blades. Objects like hard bones, steel utensils, etc., can jam the disposal blades. If any of them are seen, remove them using a pair of tongs.
  • Step 3: Insert the hex wrench into the hex hole and move the blades. Now the main blocks are removed, the wrench must be able to rotate the blades. If the blades rotate freely, turn on the garbage disposal.
  • Step 4: If the Allen key doesn’t rotate, the jam in the disposal is not completely removed yet. Look again for any possible objects blocking the disposal impeller. If nothing can be found, use a garbage disposal wrench, or a broom handle and rotate the blades from above. This lets you exert more force on the blades, so this must unjam any blocks.
  • Step 5: Switch on the garbage disposal once the blades are free to rotate.

It is better to call a plumber if the above method doesn’t work.

A detailed guide: How to unjam a garbage disposal

how to fix a garbage disposal without an allen wrench

If your garbage disposal is jammed and you don’t have an Allen wrench, you can use a wooden spoon, a dowel or a broom handle to manually rotate the disposal blades.

  1. Turn off the power: Before attempting to unjam the disposal, turn off the power to the unit. You can either unplug it or turn off the circuit breaker that powers it.
  2. Use pliers or tongs: Look inside the disposal to see if you can identify the cause of the jam. If you can see the object causing the jam, use pliers or tongs to remove it. Be sure to use a tool with a long handle and don’t put your hand inside the disposal.
  3. Use a wooden spoon, dowel, or broom handle: If you can’t see the object causing the jam, use a wooden spoon, dowel, or broom handle to gently turn the blades back and forth until the jam is cleared. Insert the handle of the spoon or dowel into the disposal through the sink hole and use it to turn the blades manually.

allen wrench stuck in garbage disposal:Solution

When you buy a new garbage disposal, a hex wrench is included in it. The standard size of a garbage disposal hex wrench is 1/4 inches.

If you use an Allen wrench of a different size to unclog the garbage disposal, it can get stuck in the hex slot. Since the garbage disposal blades are free to move, and there is some play at disposal mounting, you won’t be able to easily unstuck it.

Here is how to unstuck the allen wrench from garbage disposal;

  1. Make sure that the garbage disposal is turned off. You should turn off the disposal before using the hex wrench, but making sure it is off is good.
  2. With the help of another person, insert the wooden handle of a broom or a plunger into the disposal through the sinkhole to hold the garbage disposal blades from moving.
  3. Hold at the end of the Allen wrench and pull and push it. Repeat this and ‘walk’ the wrench out of the hex slot. Gently hitting the end of the wrench upward with a hammer can help.

When following the above steps, do not use too much force. This can loosen the mounting of the disposal, which can cause leaks from the top.

Further reading:

Garbage disposal tools

My name is Thomas Anderson, author of DisposalQA. I have 15 years experience working as a plumber in CA, and this is where I answer common questions about garbage disposals.