Fixing a Broken Badger 5 Plus Insinkerator Garbage Disposal

Badger 5 plus garbage disposal broken help

My Badger 5 Plus garbage disposal seized up a few weeks ago after some mango peels made their way down into the drain. The disposal simply made this humming noise when it was on.  It sounded like the motor was going but the blades were not turning.

At first, I was ambivalent.  “Maybe it will fix itself” I thought.  But it didn’t.  And then the sink stopped draining.  So, I did the horror-movie thing and reached down into the bog of coffee grounds, lettuce and bloated cereal flakes to check if the blades were moving.

Apparently, you’re supposed to use a broom handle to do this, but that doesn’t get the same adrenaline rush of wondering if a freak accident will cause the fingers on your right hand to be appropriately diced up.

The blades did move  freely down there, so I sort of just shifted the food particles around and the water drained a little less slowly, but no less disgustingly from my sink.  And then mid-terms hit so I didn’t do anything about it for a few weeks.  I tried it again at one point and noticed that even the hum of the motor had gone away.  The problem with the disposal had progressed to the death of the machine.

This morning I emptied out some old rice milk, (who knew rice milk could congeal?) and headed to the grocery.  On my return, I found the rice milk peices still floating in my sink and decided enough was enough, it was time for action.

I put my serious game face on and googled until I found people with my same problem.  This guy Ryan at the Daily Ping had a post with a ton of responses that were similar to my situation.  I distilled a lot of posts down to the following steps to troubleshoot and fix the Badger 5 Garbage Disposal when it stops working for you:

  1. When you flip the switch, does it hum?
    1. If it doesn’t hum:
      1. Check is it plugged in?
      2. If it is plugged in, feel around on the bottom of the disposal for the reset button.  More info on that button here.
      3. Hit the button and test it again.  Humming now?
    2. If it hums:
      1. Are the blades moving freely?
        1. If not, use a broom handle or a long wooden spoon to try and spin the blades.
        2. You can also try sticking your hand down there, but you are risking your career as a hand model. (Turn off your circuit breaker for safety!)
      2. If they are spinning freely when you touch them, but they won’t engage when you turn the disposal on::
        1. Go to your local hardware store and buy a 1/4 inch sized Allen wrench also called a Hex key or Hex tool.  It is an L-shaped, six sided tool.  These usually come in a small set for about $4.
        2. Look under the disposal for a mysterious hole at the center.  Place the short end of the hex tool into this hole and rotate it around a few times, back and forth.  If you have a small bog of eternal stench in your sink like I did, and you’re lucky, you should see/hear the water immediatly drain.
        3. Remove the hex wrench and Try the switch again.  With luck, your disposal will be back to hacking up your food bits. Note: In the comments some folks have said it can take more vigorous repetition in some cases.  All I’m saying is you may have to show that drain who’s boss.

I hope that these steps help a few people fix their sink.  If you have any other questions, or these instructions helped you you’re welcome to post about your victory here!

If you’re interested in music, technology you can follow me on Twitter @jetsetter. If you are interested in more privacy on the internet, check out my company, Gliph.



  1. Rob,
    Great troubleshooting tips! My disposal just broke in the middle of the football game. After cursing for a while, I read your blog. Your blog both gave me some laughs as well as helping me fix the problem. Didn’t help my team win but thanks a lot for the tips!

  2. Thank you! You saved me from having to call my landlord. I never thought I would be so happy to hear the growl of my grinder.

  3. Thanks for the tips. I was debating buying a new one or calling for service. You just saved me ~$100 by being able to free it up with the hex wrench.

  4. Thank yom, thank you. I went to a local store, bought a 1/4″ Allen wrench and hey presto it worked. Two small pieces of bone had lodged in the disposal unit. I sucked them out with a wet/dry vac.

  5. Yes!! Just when I was ready to throw in the towel and call for help for our 3 year old disposal, I googled and found your post. The sweet sound of rotating, grinding blades fills my kitchen again. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  6. OMG!! Was ready to call Landlord and Joe the Plumber to be without a garbage disposal for a few days. Worked like a charm!!
    Rob, thank you so much for this!

  7. Thank you Rob! You are the best for saving me from being in the dog house with my husband because I somehow got our dish rag got caught in there. 🙂 Your instructions worked great! Thanks again.

  8. Rob, your the best. I thought I was going to have to install a new unit. After reading your post I got it fixed. Thanks…

  9. Thanks for the info on the Badger 5 unit. I also thought I was going to have to replace mine, but after reading your post, I was able to fix it. It saved me the time and effort to replace it and the money as well. Keep up the good work!!!

  10. Wow,

    Thanks really thought my wife did it this time.. Busted vase or something was in there. Reset button has worked in the past, but I never knew about the allen wrench deal. Had one in the garage and it solved it (after vacuuming out a bunch of glass) Thank You! I thought I was about to buy a new one and was deciding between calling a plumber or do it myself!

  11. You are my hero!!! Thank you so much. A metal clip had wedged down in there and I could not get it out. That manuver worked and I was able to pull it out. I could not afford a new one and pay the plumber to install it. It is a beautiful sound, the ole garbage disposal.

  12. So I am following your instructions. What if after 1-3: Hit the button and test it again. Humming now? It still is not humming. Because part 2 goes into: Its humming but blades are not turning.

    So I turn it on, I checked to make sure it is plugged in, I hit the reset button, it still is not humming, but one of the blades feels stuck. Should it still be humming?

  13. I’m glad this seems to have helped so many people, thank you for the replies!

    otto: It looks like you uncovered a hole in my guide. I can only assume that the humming sound is the motor trying to spin engage the disposal blades. If you can’t hear the motor trying to work at all, I would guess the stuck blade isn’t what’s preventing that. Though, I’m not sure.

    Please post what you end up having to do.

  14. Ok, I have tried the reset button, flipped switch on, it’s hummming, used the hex wrench that came with the disposal (about ten times in both directions), unplugged and checked for obstructions, and it still won’t work.

    What now?

  15. Humming, loose grinders, not draining. Have done the hex but it still won’t drain, just bubbles. Can’t find a reset button…felt all around and cut my thumb. Can someone tell me where it is?

  16. Great article! I too was sticking my hand into the abyss just picturing the blades somehow turning themselves on taking my fingers off. Thankfully that didn’t happen, but the blades never did start moving. I did a Google search and came upon this article.

    I had a bunch of small pieces of gravel fall into the disposal and it caused the blades to stop, water to stop draining, and terrible smell to develop.

    I tried your tips but my Badger 5 doesn’t seem to have a place for the allen key where you say to put it. Right in the center of the disposal where you say to put the allen key is only like a big nut with no place for an allen key. I’d it’s say just over 1/2″. I tried using my socket wrench to loosen it, but couldn’t get enough leverage because the disposal is a bit too far down from the sink.

    Anyway, I did see a couple pieces of gravel in the crevices of the base the blades sit on so I used a fork to force them all the down as they wouldn’t come up. Now my blades move, but I think something else should be occurring. It sounds much softer than I remember when it worked fully. Am I correct or just mistaken?

    If the blades move but there should be another piece moving as well, any further tips based on the above description?

    Thanks so much!

  17. Hey thanks a lot i had a guy come out a few years ago and do this and after reading your article i did the same thing without the $50 surcharge and 4 hour wait. Much appreciated!!

  18. Rob you Rock! Thanks this was way easier than my plan of action, which was to take it apart and test/replace etc. Thanks for you Blog!

    Jim – The reset button is on the bottom of the disposal and is red, it isn’t very conspicous, but it’s there. If you hear no noise then it is probably tripped. I reset mine and it worked fine. When tripped it actually sticks out just a little bit, when reset it is flush with the bottom of the diposal.

    Justin – I tried the same as you initially guessing that the 1/4 hex key slot was inside the disposal, but it is actually underneath it, smack dab in the center. Mine turned easily back and forth, the water drained, and disposal worked.


  19. David – I just used this on my Badger 5. The allen wrench underneath the disposal did the trick. Works great…..all good. Thankyou so much:-).

  20. LOL! hilarious writing, and fantastic tips. my sister panicked before googling. ive cleared a clogged insinkerator before and when hers stopped working, i was on your blog to perform the checks on the badger 5 when it spat out the veggies and started working again 🙂

  21. Wish I’d read this *before* doing the dinner party dishes tonight without a disposal. 🙂

    Rob, thanks!! I’m about to be underemployed and thought I’d be dropping much needed bucks for repairs or replacement. More ice cream to celebrate!

  22. Blades move freely and we get the buzzing noise but the motor does not move the blades only humm. Any ideas ? I have detached and cleaned out this Stinky thing re installed and still only buzzing yet no engaging of the blades, eventhough they are not stuck…

    Appreciate any tips…

    1. Really work the Allen wrench and get it to move freely all the way around not just back and forth. That was what finally fixed mine. I think the pieces were stuck where I could not get to them from the top.

  23. Thanks. I just fixed my garbage disposal. It broke once before and we called a repairman. He took about ten second to fix it and charged us 125 bucks. We just couldn’t remember what he did. Thanks a million.

  24. Rob, Thanks for the info. Grinder had the buzzing sound, blades would not turn. Tried the reset button a couple of times to no avail. Read your article, got the wrench and loosen the blades. Works great. Thanks…

  25. Okay, easy fix but obviously an optimal piece of equipment if so many of us have trouble, or do we all just have that many kids?

  26. I was this close to calling a plumber. The allen wrench under the disposal worked perfectly. I had washed some sanded grout down the drain…

  27. Thanks you so much for the tip! Got the Allen Wrench and it did the thing. I used a vacuum to suck out whatever was lodged in there and got loosened. It’s working like normal now! I only spent $8 on the wrench, and you probably saved me a lot more than that.

  28. The sweet sound of success. Thank you Thank you Thank you. It worked like a charm and now I feel like Super Woman Thanks again!

  29. Dude- the allen wrench trick worked like a charm! Actually, I don’t have a 1/4″ allen wrench, so I just used a flat head screwdriver. Thanks for the help!

  30. Hi, Rob,
    Did the reset thing, turned the blades with the wrench, even turned the reset switch on the electrical control panel as well as the reset switch on the bottom of the In sink erator which happens to be a Badger from Home Depot, 1/2 horsepower. Still no motor sound. What will happen if I turn the dishwasher on? If it floods, then I will really need a plumber, or sign up for an appliance policy. Hope I am not the last to write.
    Think I may just use the drain cup, and make believe I don’t have a disposal unit. ( :

  31. You’re my HERO! I was headed to the local home repair store to buy a new disposal and thought it couldn’t hurt to Google first. I would have spent much, MUCH more than the paltry amount my already idle Allen wrench would have cost me. If I had been offering a reward, it would have gone to you! Thanks much!!!

  32. my badger 5 is pissing water through the power cord on the bottom is it fairly simple to get a seal and replace it or should i just dispose of it and buy a new one

  33. I too have used all the advice given but my Badger B1-79 disposal will only hum when I turn on the power switch. The cutting blades move freely, the allen wrench moves it freely and the reset button button doesn’t help it. The reset button will not go into a set/stationery position. It moves freely when I push or move it side-to-side.Could this be the problem? HELP!

  34. Thank you. Its been broken for two months. Called in a Handyman. He said I needed to buy a new unit. I went on line to check warranty and prices and found your blog. Voila, I fixed it!!!!!! all by my lonesome.

  35. Thanks for the tips – worked awesome. Popped breaker and it was jammed. The hex broke it loose and now my wife is free to clog it once more!

  36. Thanks for the suggestions! I didn’t realize neither that there is (1) reset switch on the underside nor (2) that the hexagonal driver that came with the unit can be used to manually propel the motor to remove the obstacle preventing it from rotating freely. Surely saved me a call to the plumber. Thanks again!

  37. Still having problems after I use the hex tool. The blades are moving freely, not much garbage in the disposal. Still hearing the humming, just can’t figure out what the problem is. Can you help me.


  38. You are the man. I did exactly what you told me and it fixed it. I thought I was going to have to call a plumber. Thank you so much

  39. Thank you! I thought I was going to have to call for support, but your trick worked like a charm. I thought I remembered reading about something like this in the manual, but Iwouldn’t find it anywhere.

  40. Hi folks,

    This might be helpful for those of you who have the hum, free blades, but no start condition on the Badger series GD. I had the same problem and found replacing the start switch in the bottom of the unit solved the problem. The switch is a white plastic assembly with a brass finger. You have to remove the bottom plate of the disposer (by removing the four long screws on the top of the unit) and carefully pry off the bottom plate. Check the motor windings, they should be copper color, if not the motor may have burned out. Next check the centrifugal governor (on the motor shaft) to see of it moves down freely. If that’s OK take a look at the switch. There is a white lever that makes contact with the governor plate, gently lift it up and verify the brass switch finger makes contact and there is no corrosion. If not it’s possible to bend it a bit but replacement is the permanent fix. You can find the part here:

  41. Thanks!!!! I used the hex key and then pushed the little red button on the bottom and it now works!! This was very important because we have a party this weekend and the garbage disposal is very important. Thank you so much!

  42. Whooohoooo…Roommate shoved a shot glass down there that shattered. This fixed it!!! You da’ man!!!

  43. MANNNNNNNNNNNN…i appreciate this post soooo much. I was about to call the plumber…just had something jammed in the blades. never thought to actually get a flashlight and take a look…i just was putting my hands in and moving things around…i really appreciate your posts…I LOVE THE INTERNET…what would we do without it…

  44. WOW, I like many others on here was to the point of calling the landlord and I stumbled on to your site. THANK YOU !!!!! I kinda feel stupid though, you had great instructions. It was so simple….
    Thanks again!!

  45. You are awesome. Asked my boyfriend if he could fix it, said needs to be replaced. Googled and found you post, did exactly what you said and she’s grinding again! Thank you so much!

  46. yea-sss! that allen wrench was hard to turn but i didn’t give up. i wasn’t letting the machine or the plumber win this time. thanks for your post!

  47. Thanks very much. I pressed the reset button (I didn’t even know there was one), and I did hear a whirring noise. When I did what you said and used a wooden spoon handle to try and move the blades I saw it was very clogged. I cut up some debris and removed it with some tongs. Then I saw a huge chunk of watermelon laying right on top of the blades. I cut it in half and removed it with the tongs. When I ran the H20 and pressed the start switch, the disposal started to GO! I felt like I was a plumber! Thanks to your blog.

  48. You are the man! I used a paintstick handle moved the blades around until the water started to drain and tried again ..started to worked noisily until I removed a tiny metal spoon that was all bent up…..You just saved me $250 ….!!!!

  49. Thank you so much! Had a problem tonight and decided to use google. Your page was first. Thanks for the help!

  50. Youv’e just fixed mine! Brother, sister-in-law, niece, nephew coming to stay tomorrow, so I needed it to work. Thanks for sharing.

  51. The allen key goes in the bottom of the disposal on the underside (for those looking for it). A slight turn and bingo!
    Thanks a million….

  52. Thought it was going to be a long road to fix it. Googled and found your post, did exactly what you said with the broom handled and it worked. Thank you so much. Loved your humor as well.

  53. Rob,

    I mirror everyone else sentiments here. First a humming, then no worky. Started gearing up for the image of me, standing there in front of garbage disposals in HD. Thought “Let me google this before I leave…” and BLAM! Here you are. Saved the day man, thanks again.

  54. Thank you so much for posting this information. I am lousy at stuff like this, but have a really good neighbor, who came over and read this post. He went and got his Alan key and voila – its running again. Saved a heap of money, I would have had to pay a handyman to come and breathe under the sink.

  55. Thanks for the amazingly accurate and concise “how to”….

    Obviously, it worked for me as well.

    Just a clarification, b4 I fixed it, I too was not sure about the allen wrench instruction part of it.

    My situation was:

    1. blades turning
    2. Motor humming

    But disposal would not “turn on”…

    So the allen wrench part is applied to the bottom of the disposal and the allen wrench actually enables you to forcefully “lodge free” whatever is preventing the base that holds the blade from turning.

    So forcefully turning the allen wrench allows you to forcefully turn the disposal base to dislodge whatever is stuck in between.

    Great instructions and thanks again!

  56. Summary: if it hums but doesn’t move, you might try a drill’s power to move the hex portion rather than your hand’s strength on the wrench.

    This blog was very helpful but after many tries, I was completely stumped. The reset button was fine. The engine hummed. The blades turned fine or so I thought. After feeling around for a while, I wondered why there was a weird cylindrical object as part of the disposal. Well, it turns out it was the cap to a martini shaker and it was STUCK. I tried pliers, wrenches, etc. to no avail. I couldn’t get the hex wrench thing on the bottom of the disposal to budge and was getting ready to start taking the disposal apart when I had one last thought. A drill. So, I attached the hex attachment where a screwdriver part would go in my drill, and it popped the shaker lid out of the stuck part of the disposal. I had to use it on the most intense setting, though. I’d say use this approach with caution so that you don’t cause a bigger problem than you started with, but if a hex wrench and broom handle don’t do the trick, a drive with a hex attachment might be the ticket.

    Again, the only substitution I made was to use the drill’s power instead of that of my hand.

    Thanks for the helpful blog!

  57. This information was great!! We used the hex tool in the slot under the unit and it released and works fine again. No repair bill or new disposal needed at this time. Thank you so much for sharing your expertise.

  58. Hey, I had the “hummmm” in the disposal… went on line and read what to do….it was tough so we did this…took an electrician pliers handel end down in the hole. Used a plummers pliers to turn the electrician pliers and ran and not hummed… the blades moved and the electrican and plummer went home. Sorry, my husband told me what to write, I have not a clue what he was talking about. Thanks, Rays wife.

  59. Thank you so much. My disposer has not been working for months now, but we have been getting by until the sink recently started getting backed up when using the dishwasher. I couldn’t stand the full sink of dirty water anymore so I looked up repair tips and found your info. Pushed the reset button and heard the humming. Used the broom handle to spin the blades then tried to turn it on, but only humming. Then tried the hex tool trick and afterwards the blades were spinning freely. No repair costs and no new disposer. Thank you so much for your help!

  60. After several days of just letting the problem go, and then a couple days of half hearted attempts at actually fixing the problem (based on an initial read of this blog), I finally buckled down and read the blog from top to bottom. And then went to the original source entry and read that too.

    So, after trying the broom (in my case a wooden spatula handle) and the hex tool with no avail, I finally went Indiana Jones on it and explored every inch of that disposal with my hands…looking for the secret lever, switch, or pulley.

    None of those things were found, but what I did find was something securely lodged (we’re talking fort knox secure) into the outer edge of the blade base, and after a good 20 minutes (not counting the 40 before that, and the days before that) of slashing at it back and forth with a screwdriver I was finally able to dislodge, what ended up being the pebble of doom, from the inner workings of the disposal. And presto, back in action!

  61. Hey ladies and gents!

    I’ve read this thread before, and it worked like a charm when a little rock slipped from the fish bowl and the Allen wrench helped release it.

    But now I come back with a new problem. There’s a poodle where the bottom of the sink is, and I’m positive that the wheels are spinning (the allen wrench moves the socket freely, and the poodle flows when the disposer is on). I even dipped my hand in that hole and manually spun the blades. Yes, I had to wash my hand before typing this. But the point is, the blades are not stuck.

    Nevertheless, the water level does not move. It’s been 45 minutes. Anybody with some info on this will earn my good graces.

    Please hurry. Saturday mornings are not as enjoyable with a bad smell in the kitchen.

  62. Great info for grandmother who can do it herself with the right information. Thanks! Disposal working fine.

  63. Tried everything – Allen wrench, wooden spoon handle, ice – but the disposal still hums defiantly. It did start once spinning the wooden spoon, but didn’t sound right. Turned it off, waited a few minutes, turned it back on. HMMMMMMM. Won’t restart without spinning the spoon handle.

    I’m stumped. Can anyone suggest an answer?

  64. Thanks Rob. My erator became dead about two months ago. First we were thinking that we didn’t need it. Then the bad odor changed my mind. I had to install a new one.

    When I was checking the prices online, I saw your blog.

    I tried the link you posted. Press the reset button, heard a short hum then quiet again. Rotated the blades. Reset again and it turned!


  65. great save this disposal started to stink and was just in the way under the sink. Now its back on the job.

  66. I’m another satisfied customer.

    I knew how how to find the reset button to turn my non-humming Badger into a humming, but non functioning Badger … but other than risking my fingers by clearing it from inside the drain … I couldn’t for the life of me find a way to get it to turn. A simple allen wrench turn later and voila.


  67. THANK YOU! You have saved my marriage and the future of handymankind! OK thats a stretch but I _AM_ looking at a happy wife, an empty sink, and a closed yellow pages that had been open to P for plumber.

  68. Thanks…worked like a charm. Now I have to figure out what is the hard stuff that is not getting ground up. I think I’ll use the wet/dry vac idea posted by another satisfied customer.

  69. help!!! i have pressed the reset button forcefully. however, it disappeared from my eyesight and sucked into the erator. oh, jesus, what should i do? who can help me

  70. Your instructions worked like a charm. First with the reset button to get it humming, then again with the Allen Wrench to get it spinning freely. Many thanks for taking the time to post this.

  71. Thanks for the walk-through Rob! Like others who have posted, I spent the better part of an hour cranking an Allen Key around and around (to the point that I thought the whole machine was going to explode) only to have it cough up a small handful of artichoke fibres. Note: garborators do not like artichoke leaves. However, while extracting the fibres I noticed that my wrist made a plunger-like seal with the rubber flaps that protect the drain, so i simply pumped up and down until I was blue in the face and presto! The water drained! Now I do not recommend people just start sticking their hands down their garborators, use a plunger if you have one, but if not, before you start wagering your digits make sure you first FLIP YOUR GARBORATOR’S BREAKER TO OFF then go to town! I Hope this helps.

  72. Thanks! I was about ready to go buy a new one! It worked, go figure a small “just a pinch” measuring spoon was caught in the blades. Now it works great. Mine is also much more quite than normal, but it’s working.

  73. My disposal quit working yesterday after I put some eggshells down it. Now I know eggshells are was too fragile to jam the disposal. I took the rubber drain off the sink and was able to see a broken plastic measuring spoon jammed in the blades. I couldn’t get it to dislodge so I took a screwdrive and a hammer and broke it up. Wala…disposal now working like a charm. Thanks for all the tips. Probably would have been an pricy plumber’s visit!

  74. Reset works like a champ, I will never know what caused the disposal to trip. At least you saved me some monies. Thanks!

  75. Worked perfectly! Thank you very much. As a handy guy, I knew nothing about disposals…until now. I was all set to buy a new one until I did exactly as you recommended. Thanks again!

  76. Wow. All hail the power of the good internet neighbor. Thanks a million, Rob. Your little guide got us up and running again in no time. The thought of reinstalling (let alone buying) a new disposal unit was making me sick, but the allen wrench did the trick.

  77. I couldn’t find my user’s manual (the disposal was installed when we bought the house). After 45 minutes of trying to find it and hitting reset multiple times, I finally google’d, found this site, when out to shed for my alan wrenches and 30 seconds later I was back in business – thanks for the tip!!!!

  78. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

    You saved me big trip to the store. I had everything at home but did not know it can be fixed. I thought I will have to buy a new one. I can’t thankyou enough

  79. Wow, great tip, thanks a million for posting this tip. I also learned how to fix my furnace and my dryer from google, gotta love it.

  80. A couple of olive pits jammed my Badger 5 up, I thought it was dead. You saved me $100 and a whole lot of frustration. THANK YOU!

  81. thank you Rob- Allen wrench worked but needed a little more leverage,used bottom of cresent wrench hole over allen wrench freed it up and is back working.again thank you for the tips.

  82. Let me add my thanks to the 100s already posted. I read several sites, but none were as clear to this female as the detailed instructions you posted! Most other sites just referenced a hex tool and I had no idea that that was simply an allen wrench, which I already had in my tool box.

    Armed with this information, it took all of 5 minutes to resolve my months-old problem.

  83. like many said already, was ready to go buy a new one, but moving the hex screw did it. It worked right away.


  84. Rob,

    1. Like so many others, I gotta thank you for posting this.

    2. I’m amazed at the number of others who had the same problem! Makes me wish I was a plumber in pre-Google days!

  85. I know this is an old post, but my hubby just crawled under the sink to figure out what was wrong, and I decided to hit up Google for some words of wisdom…Found this and it saved us! Thanks!!

  86. My Badger 5 is leaking water from the bottom of the unit including the power cable hole at the bottom. How do I fix this problem?

    Thanks all.


  87. Hi

    thanks for the tip — I had called Mr. Swirl to come in and fix it as we use it a lot. He quoted $350 before parts and labour to fix it as he said the motor had burnt out.

    I said i would think about it and call back the next day. Then I went straight to the internet, did a google search, and found this blog.

    I followed the steps in the post and got it fixed in about 5 minutes as I have a nice set of tools in the garage. Most of the time was spent moving things out from under the sink.

    the guy came back to the house 20 minutes later and offered to fix it for $150 – I also declined.

    Thank you so much!

  88. You Rock! My husband and I almost went out and bought a new garbage disposal today, but I found you blog and the Hex Key worked!

  89. Thank you thank you! You saved my Sunday. I was thinking about throwing this thing through the window @ the home improvement store like they did in the discount tire commercial! It’s only 3 yrs old!

  90. The single mom in Illinois thanks you profusely. Saved me a call to the plumber. At $50 a visit, it all adds up.

  91. I knew about making sure the blades moved freely. I knew about the reset button. Didn’t know about the hex hole under the bottom. Cranked it around a few times, reset the the button and works like a charm now. Thanks for taking the time to post the distructions. You just saved me a hundred bucks and a Sunday afternoon.

  92. Thank you a million times over! We just tried this minutes ago and it worked instantly and completely. Wonderful!

  93. the allen wrench works like a charm!! I wasted 30 mins
    trying clean up the disposer, but its the allen wrench
    to the rescue.

  94. Thank you for your blog. I went from thinking the dishwasher was broken, to it being the garbage disposal and this fixed everything. Thanks again for sharing.

  95. Thanks that worked perfectly. Saved me from buying a brand new one. I thought for sure mine was toast.

    I also had the same line of thinking. I was hoping it would fix it self, but I got the floating bits of food tonight. That was enough for me, nasty.

  96. Yes! It didn’t work at first. Had to read some more comments. Then I went back and wiggled my hex wrench back and forth close to 10 times. Somewhere in all of that it started turning really easy. I was scared that the socket had popped out and a hole in the bottom of the unit had materialized. Nope. That was the feeling of cleared blades spinning freely. Now the unit works again! Happy Cinco de Mayo everybody – especially you Rob!!!

  97. I figured I’d be buying a replacement disposal this week, until google showed me your hex wrench remedy. Thank you!

  98. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I had found other troubleshooting on the web but you nail it step by step and save me a lot of money. The Hex tool did the trick for me. Unfortunately one of my 2 boys drop a shot glass in the disposal and it broke inside. But thanks to you and your post that is all behind us now except the punishment for not telling me the glass was in the disposal. Your fix took 2 to 3 minutes. Thanks again

  99. You probably already know this, but it’s worth saying again. You’re pretty awesome! Thanks for the advice!

  100. I was looking online to see how much a new one would cost when I found your post. Who knew these things had a reset button?! Thanks man, you saved me a lot of money!

  101. You’re the best – worked like a charm.

    I had tried everything but the allen wrench.

    It was magic and saved a $100.

  102. This was the first site I came to when my husband gave up and was ready to call a plumber. It worked like a charm and we actually already had the hex wrench (it must’ve came with the disposal system) that was left here when we bought the house! I’m so excited! No more nasty fish smell!!

  103. Worked like a charm…you just saved me at least $100 from having it replaced!! Appreciate the help!

  104. Thank you, you is da man. saved my ass alot of guess work and money! Worked perfectly. Great instructions. YOU DA MAN!!!!!!!!

  105. Well I am in need of some help.

    My wife jammed up the disposal last night with some salad material including chard.

    The badger 5 hums and as far as I can tell the blades are moving freely but it still will not drain.

    What should I do?

  106. I wasted my time unplugging, reseting, cleaning. I read the blog, 2 minutes later it was fixed. 1/4 inch allen wrench is my new favorite tool!

  107. Seriously. The same thing happened to us! Procrastination and all. Today was the 3rd morning in a row that i had to scrub out the sink with a pot scrubber because it was so nasty and took like all night to drain. We found your instructions and 5 minutes later…. BOOM. DONE. YOU ROCK.

  108. This advice was spot on. A couple more tips.

    1) once you have the 1/4 inch hex wrench, be sure to turn it clockwise for about 3 rotations and counter-clockwise for 3 rotations

    2) I also think it helps if you run hot water while doing the hex wrench turns

    Finally, I used the hex wrench, then let the disposal sit for about 2 hours, and tried again. The 2nd time was the charm.

  109. I was going to call the plumber tomorrow am, and hope they could get here before I go to Santa Cruz for my swim meet, however, I used the 1/4 hex allen wrench as described in the mysterious center hole moved it back and forth as instructed and VOILA it works as well as ever, thank you thank you thank you ad nauseum!!!

  110. You are my hero! Saved me so much time and money. Now the 50 bucks will go towards a manicure. And to all the men out there who commented about their women clogging up the drain, this woman fixed the disposal which someone else (ahem!) had clogged. 🙂

  111. Thank you, Rob. Your advice fixed the humming problem. This is a you-don’t-have-to-be-a-man-to-fix-it solution.

  112. Rob,
    You seem to be a guru of Badger 5 insinkerators. Maybe you can help?
    My wife said that she was running water through it, running fine, and it then sounding like it slowed up and stopped…like the power had shut off, no hum or anything. So she fipped the switch off, (it’s hardwired to a wall switch).
    She reached down and the reset button had popped out, so she reset it, and then flipped the wall switch back on. She said it made a slow sounding noise, and then stopped again. She checked the reset, but it didn’t pop out again.
    I checked circuit breaker, the wall switch to see if had power, and it did. Could this just be that it has…gulp…died?

    Is there anything I might be missing. It spins freely, and it still drains the water okay…

    Thank you

  113. Thanks Rob, your advice worked like a charm, and saved me from crushing my garbage disposal with a sledge hammer in frustration!!!!!!!!!!!

  114. The hex nut was so stuck I thought the whole unit might tear away. But, after reading a comment above about not giving up I girded myself for battle, prying hard but trying not to put pressure on the mounting. It finally worked and I too am thrilled to hear the disposal sing again. We are invincible. Thanks for this post.

  115. Thanks! I had actually tried all these tricks unsuccessfully after the combined fiasco of a mussel shell and broken wine glass down the disposal, but I gave up too soon with the hex key, not even sure I had the right size. I gave it another shot with a 1/4″ hex key after reading your post, and voila! It works again.

  116. the first time this happened i called my landlord but i wasnt home when he fixed it to see how he did it. it seized again tonight and i came online and found this webpage… thank you for this post. it took 2 seconds to fix.

  117. I moved into a little dump in the hood and found a few things weren’t working, the disposal being among them. Considering I spent 4 months trying to get management to take care of a termite infestation, which I wound up removing the infested wood myself, I figured that I was on my own.

    So tonight I got bored and decided to take the thing apart and figure out what was wrong with it. I loosened several screws and it did not seem to want to budge or disassemble. I got online to look up a manual to learn how to take the little bugger apart and there was your blog. After making sure all of the screws were back in place I had it up and running in seconds. Something seemed to be knocking around in there but what ever it was suddenly sounded like it exploded into itty bitty pieces and I am content to not concern myself too much with that at the moment.

    Much thanks for the nearly two year old advice.

  118. Thank you so much! The disposal broke right before we headed out on a two week vacation (filled with rice and who knows what by my husband). We had the same symptoms as everyone else – humming but no grinding, reset button not helping etc. Heading into this long weekend, I told my husband we would have to tackle the impossible task of replacement. He headed out to take our son to football practice and I decided to do a quick search on my Blackberry. Well…then I found your site. 20 minutes later, I’m feeling the sweetness of victory and the rest is history! Now for the big question, should I pretend I didn’t fix it and allow hubby to think he’s a miracle worker tomorrow? We all have to fake it from time to time!! Let me ponder that thought over a nice glass of wine. Thanks for saving me not just hundreds of dollars but my weekend sanity!!!

  119. Wow. This Post should win a Webbie award. I did it, it worked. Well written, succinct, funny. Seriously, dude, write a book or get on a show.


  120. Dude, I thought our disposal had “given up the ghost.” I was actually at the hardware store pricing disposals, and had forgotten my wallet at home, came back and on a whim, Googled the disposal, came across your blog and figured, what the hell, I’ll give it a try. After a few good turns of the Hex-wrench with a pair of pliers, hit the reset button, and now the disposal works like a champ!! Thanks for the info bro!

  121. thanks a lot. it worked like magic. the hardest part was finding the hole to put the allen wrench in. it was at the bottom.

  122. Thanks a ton, you just saved me the cost of having the repair guy out and I get to gloat to my husband that I am the one who fixed the disposal!

  123. Thanks for the tip. Worked great and saved me from having to buy a new disposal. My issue was a bit of a broken glass that had fallen down the drain (got crunched up when we had not noticed it)and caused the issue even though the blades were movomg freely.

    Thanks again!

  124. Thank you so much! Everything you mentioned worked great! It was a quarter that had gotten caught and hit the switch. I pressed the reset button and used the 1/4 inc l wrench to lossen the blades to turn again and removed the quarter. Everything works great! My husband was very impressed!

  125. Thx Rob:
    As a 73 yr. widow and following your instructions, I found the red reset button on my Badger 5, lying on the ground with a flashlight and pressed it. Also reset the red button on outlet and….yeah…it worked! I was about to call a plumber in desperation but now there’s no need. Your site has obviously been so helpful to many people.

  126. Thanks! Used the allen wrench from bottom to rotate and it worked like a charm. Only spun in one direction at first, but after 360 degree turn it spun freelly both ways.

  127. hey man, i didnt expect this to work but the L wrench-twist in the bottom did the trick. cant believe how easy that was. thanks for saving me the $85 plumber visit. you rock man!

  128. I have one thing to add. I hope this will save someone from the mess I created… The wrench was definately hard to turn at first, but once it broke loose, it began to turn freely. The only thing I noticed is that the water in the drain did NOT, I repeat, ***DID NOT*** go down. When I flipped the switch, the disposal began to work, but the drain was completely clogged and the drain pipe came apart and food and water erupted under my sink!
    So the bottom line is to make sure that water goes down once you get that sucker turning. If it doesn’t, pull that S trap off and take a look see for any clogs. Good Luck!

  129. Thank you so much for posting this! I was trying to figure out how I was going to tell my husband I ruined the disposal in our brand new house. Thanks for saving my butt 🙂

  130. Just moved to our condo about a month ago and our disposal was the first thing to go. I was going to call someone but I read your post and gave it a try. And it worked perfectly! Found the culprit…a dime…which one of my little ones happen to drop that in, I will never know. Thanks a bunch for posting!!!!

  131. Let’s not forget percussive engineering!

    Smacked the housing around the motor lightly with a hammer and flipped the switch…abracadabra…working disposal!!

  132. Thank you!!! You just saved my wallet and my Saturday and my wife thinks I’m a hero.

    Two things I’d add–you might need to crank this for a while–it took me about 20 or 30 minutes to get it completely free. Also, I read somewhere else that you should crank it both ways–clockwise and counterclockwise and I had to do this pretty seriously.

  133. Thanks for the info. Mine quit working and I was looking up a replacement when I found your information. I did as you suggested and now it is working again. Saved me $70.

  134. Thank you for this. I was assuming I’d have to pay someone to fix it, but thanks to the glorious world wide interwebs I found your solution and it WORKED! Great explanation, thanks for taking the trouble to post it.

  135. Badger 5 Plus, Not clogged, drains well, blades move freely, gets power (hums), Hex wrench turns freely, Hard wired, reset button works. What next

  136. You just saved me a trip to Home Depot! I fixed it within 2 minutes of reading your post – I always wondered why that Allen wrench was dangling from the side of the disposal unit!!!

  137. The steps worked like magic. First the reset button to get humming sound back;and the few turns with the allen key and noisy grinding sound was back. You saved me stress, time and $$. Thanks!

  138. Hi,
    I have Badger 5 gargej disposal from 3 years. I noticed that close to reset button I see two screws and water is dripping out of both the screws not sure what is wrong. I called the company and they said it is out of warrnty and I should get the new one. I would really appreciate your feedback on fixing this issue. I noticed yeserday night when water was not going into the sink and I had to use the manual woood/plastic pump and the water stated running into the sink right away but becos of that now the water is coming out of the screws. I did press reset button and my disposal started working but now what should I do to stop the water leaking out of the screws please advice.

  139. I did the the turning thing under the badger 5 but it still dont work. The badger works fine but it wont empty the water

  140. We were about to have the worst New Year’s Party of our lives… sink wouldn’t drain, dishes were dirty and piling up… we found your blog, futzed, and VIOLA! Now it will be the best New Year’s Party of our lives! Thank you so much. (For the record, we used a flathead screwdriver with some WD-40 and then pressed the restart button.)

  141. Thank you so much. I read some of the professional websites and figured it was a seized motor because it was humming and the flywheels were turning freely, but it still wouldn’t work. The hex wrench fixed it and now is draining normal too!!!! Thank you for saving me money and a lot of headaches on a new one.

  142. Thank you so much! I was able to fix it so you saved me a night of having a dirty sink AND at least $60! Wohoooooo!

  143. Thanks for this, my friend heard of this method but used the wrong sized wrench. Make sure it’s 1/4 in or it won’t work!

  144. This worked for the badger 9 bought in 2010 as well! The hex wrench wasnt quite 1/4 inch, but otherwise, this worked GREAT and solved my problem!

  145. Awesome job Rob. It was going to cost me $99 for a new unit and I was able to fix it with the turn of hex key. And the grin on my 12 year old son’s face when I did the “I’m the man” dance was priceless.

    Thanks a bunch,

  146. Heyy your instructions worked perfectly man!! Thanks a lot for the tips.I was about to call the service man for help.But before that i googled and saw your site.I just tried them without much hope but it worked successfully.Thanks for sharing.

  147. AWESOME! Thanks soooooo much! That thing has been “broken” for 2 months now after a big ass Clam Shell found it’s way in there…

    Thanks again…you ROCK!

  148. My god, thank you. This fixed my problem within 2 minutes of reading your post. And my family thinks I am an awesome handyman.

  149. thanks so much, the hex key/tool worked! glad i was able to find one in my husband’s tool box & i just rotated it. Godbless.

  150. You rob are a life saver, i just couldn’t stand it any more, the clog, dirt and smell. I read through your DIY step and was dancing I did it in my kitchen. Thank you so much.

  151. thanks bro, totally save me a 100 bucks. i had a shot glass get put through the disposal and thought for sure i would have to buy a new one. But you totally walked me through it, thank buddy!

  152. Thanks for the tip! Hubbie was angry that I broke the disposal (let some aquarium stones go down by accident while cleaning fish tank – oops!). Won’t he be surprised that I fixed it myself 😉

  153. I was pricing a new unit on-line when I decided to search for possible repair options… Found this and realized I had not thought of the hex key! Worked like a champ after getting it looser. It worked best when I turned in a counter clockwise direction (when looking down into the unit).
    Thanks for posting this thread!

  154. Thanks for being #1 in the Google search results! Your great summary of the troubleshooting made my “repair” relatively quick and painless. In my case, I also had a little piece of metal jamming it up, a flashlight and some pliers fixed that, but I never would have gotten it out without turning the allen wrench!


  155. Great tip. My problem with my badger 5 is when turned on it sounds like there is a spoon clanking around in there. I have the disposel off and I cannot see anything stuck inside. Any suggestions before I take it apart and probably won’t be able to put it back together?

  156. What a great blog post. Saved me tons of time and money. Thank you World-Wide-Web for doing exactly what you said you would do back in 1992 when I read about you in my high school paper.

  157. oh wow! sooo impressed… love it when i can fix things but didnt know about this time til i decided 2 google and found ur easy 2 follow instructions. didnt have an allen wrench but was desperate so i improvised with some other tools and it worked! ths!!!! 🙂

  158. Thank you so much!! Perfect tutorial. You saved me so much time and money. I was ready to take it apart! 🙂 Thanks again.

  159. Awesome! That saved me a painfull evening of troublshooting. I’m so glad they have that feature now to free it up! Once I saw hex wrench/bottom I was on that in a minute!

  160. Everyone, I tried everything and still had the humming motor and no blades turning, so I did the broom trick again. Then I turned on the hot water and turned the wrench counterclockwise a bunch of times. Finally, hit the reset button and tried it again. It sputtered, then finally kicked in. Just saying to keep turning that wrench. You might have something stuck and not know it. I never saw anything in ours. Good luck all!

  161. I have been trying to get my garbarator to work for 3 days. I have cleaned it out, fished out chicken bones, and other debris. I have danced with the broom handle, and pushed the reset button. I have also used the allen wrench. I am still just hearing the jammed humming sound. Any suggestions…..

  162. Same here. Something so simple. Saved me loads of trial and error. A flashlight, allen wrench and a pair of pliers is all it took.

  163. You saved me dude! I NEVER would have known about the allen 6 size hole without you! I was going at it from the top with a stick and hammer before I found your post 🙂 LOL

  164. Thank you so much for taking the time to post . Google result worked , Thanks to your post. I had to do the allen wrench a good few try,I had no food or clog , more like some metal piece stuck..It worked !

  165. thank u so very much…my in sink erator was struck from the last 4-5 days …and with your help now its working …thanks u soo much

  166. Thank you sooo much! I am a stay at home mom with a traveling husband and I didn’t want to spend the extra money to call the appliance repair man. My disposal was humming but not working so I put the allen wrench in and it barely turned at first but then after a couple turns both ways it turned smoothly. The culprit was a popcorn kernal! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  167. What’s happening when your Insinkerator works fine, but leaks like a strainer? Do you have to buy another one or is some kind of seal broken.

  168. Dear Rob,

    Thank you for posting your blog. My husband forgot about the reset button. We pushed it and it works again. You saved us money and my husband from having to get under the sink with a bad hip. Thanks
    again!! Keep up the good work.

  169. Good evening,
    Thank you so much for your helpful directions. I had pretty much given up after my garbage disposal was humming but not working and then finally stopped humming all together. I was trying to find a replacement unit online and I stumbled upon your easy to read/understand (i’m 6 1/2 months pregnant and getting down and dirty w the garbage disposal wasn’t high on my list for a sunday afternoon… plus I am a very non-handy individual… but I finally got him to do the taxes so I figured I’d at least try the gd). I followed your advice and it works perfectly. thank you again!

  170. Yeah! Thanks for this. Last time this happened we paid $65 for a guy to do the Allen wrench trick but it’s been so long I’d forgotten what he trick was. Worked!!

  171. Your advice works for the most part, but after following it, we tested the disposal and it started making a loud rattling noise. We read more comments to see if this happened to anyone else and sure enough, Peter posted a comment that we followed and the disposal works perfectly now!! Here is what he posted:

    This advice was spot on. A couple more tips.

    1) once you have the 1/4 inch hex wrench, be sure to turn it clockwise for about 3 rotations and counter-clockwise for 3 rotations

    2) I also think it helps if you run hot water while doing the hex wrench turns

    Finally, I used the hex wrench, then let the disposal sit for about 2 hours, and tried again. The 2nd time was the charm.

  172. Thanks for the tips, but for me, my blades were free and the motor hummed and I spun and giggled the hex key for about 30 mins(without resistance), to no avail. Finally as a last resort, with the motor humming, I used a long wooden spoon to turn the blades counter-clockwise, and the disposal engaged and kick on (clockwise did not work). It’s probably not smart or safe, but if you are going to try it, make sure to be ready to quickly remove the wooden spoon.

  173. Man If I was a girl i would marry you. Your trick worked perfectly and i thank you a thousand time for that. I actually uninstalled it from the sink and did what you said and WOW, It worked. Again thanks-a-million.

    Alexander the Great

  174. Yay!!!! Thank you thank you thank you!!! I was really not feeling like hiring some bloak to come fix my disposal and I knew my husband would never get around to it—his solution would have been to just go buy another one! YOU SAVED THE DAY!! Thanks again.

  175. Thanks for this painless troubleshooting guide! I dropped a shot glass down the drain without noticing and later turned on the disposal…My bad.

  176. thanks! the instruction works like magic:-) I hope this won’t be some plumbers out of street!
    thanks again!

  177. The mysterious hole on the bottom and turning it several times with a hex wrench fixed it. I turned it clockwise and counter clockwise a few full rotations.

    Thanks for your post, I appreciate it.

  178. Thank you Rob – glad I found your post – it worked – allen wrench used – a little back and forth!!!!

  179. Great thanks!!!
    Never had a garbage disposal for, did not know anything about them either.
    Works perfectly now.


  180. Thank you so much! You helped me save $79.00. At first it’s just a dime and the last time it just stopped then, I used your tip… the Allen wrench.:-)

  181. I googled for badger insinkerator and I found your blog on top of my search results. I knew about the reset button but didn’t know about the Allen wrench? I was lucky enough to find the wrench that came with the disposal and I was able to fix it after turning the wrench vigorously several times to loosen the debris stuck in the disposal. Thank you very much for posting your experience, it was very helpful!

  182. Awesome advice! Worked with some rigorous back and forth turning of a hex wrench. You saved me about $200 for a brand new garbage disposal. Thanks so much!

  183. THE ALLEN WRENCH did it!!!!!!!!! You’re a saint! When that wonderful hummy noise started again after the wrench loosened the motor, I started laughing and laughing and kneeled down to thank God that I didn’t have to replace my Badger5!

    After months of a deteriorating disposer, I am back in business again!

    THANK YOU, ROD~!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    You did it again! I can go to sleep now! 🙂

  184. Thanks for the post! I thought I had to replace my insinkerator, but was able to get it working with a hex key.

  185. I was almost ready to buy a new grabage disposal since the water leaked little bit at the bottom as well. But after your simple steps it works great now without spending anything. My Garbage Disposal is Whirlpool 1/3 HP.


  186. My machine does turn on and the blades seem to be moving. I used the “L” wrench to move the disposal back and forth, but it still is not functioning. The disposal runs but its not chewing up the stuff inside. Water is also not draining. suggestion?

  187. YOUR AWESOME BROTHER!!!! I wish I would have found this site three days ago and it would have saved me the agony. PERFECT solution.

  188. This is great info. Thanks so much for sharing. The hex wrench did not work since the motor would not run at all, but I found the reset button and that worked! Saved me so much hassle and money.

  189. Rob, I also rely on magical thinking when it comes to household fixes. Alas, the little bugger never did heal itself. But thanks to your blog(from 2008!), I was able to avoid that which is dreaded by single moms across the globe — calling the landlord with a problem. What an enormous relief. Thank you! It also solved the mystery of “where did the little plastic foot from the cooling rack go?”

    Cheers to you!

  190. Thanks for the post. I found a bit (same size as the allen wrench) that worked in my Craftsman cordless drill and turned the blades that way. Saved a lot of time as mine would barely turn with the allen wrench. Voy-la! Back in business.

  191. Omg thanks for pointing out the rest button. It works. You just saved a call to the landlord.
    Thank you!

  192. Wow, the internet is awesome (meaning of course, the people of the internet)!

    Searched for the manual, nope!

    Tried the broom…nope!

    Hit the reset a bunch of times, nope

    1/4 allen wrench…BINGO!!!


  193. My badger doesn’t hum and the blades are moving freely. The water in the sink just doesn’t drain. Can you help me?


    Jack Flaherty

  194. Wow!!! Worked like a charm. My motor did hum, was not clogged. Used the allen wrench and it worked. Thank you so much for a great tip. Was on the way to Home Depot for a new one.

  195. Is there a fix for a Badger 5 that leaks from two
    port holes in the bottom of the fixture???
    Was working fine and suddenly started leaking.

  196. Dude, everything was exactly as you said. Works like a charm. I now a have perfectly good working disposal and my girl thinks I can fix anything, booyah! Thanx for the help.

  197. Thanks! The hex key worked. But I had to really push hard to make it work, once it came free it turned and then worked! Yea!

  198. House with 5 skiddos….I boy four girls a fish tank and a turtle tank. Can ya guess what got stuck in the disposal??……..little bity rock…yup that’s right, from the turtle tank….I really thought I was fubared. After spending an hour trying to take the thing out to take it apart I decided to google on the here new smart phone. Thank the loard I did….this tip even worked on rock if u can believe that one….yup yup good as new!!!!

  199. Allen wrench worked like a charm. Thanks for the info. Ran to home depot right after reading this post…….brilliant

  200. dude, thanks. you just saved me $75……that’s what i paid last time when the guy came and was done in 30 seconds.
    appreciate your sense of humor and logical approach. you should become an engineer.

  201. Joe,
    I had the same problem as you, humming, blades moving freely, water draining properly. Thank you so much for bravely sticking a wooden thing into a moving disposal!! I too just turned the wooden stick COUNTERCLOCKWISE while the disposal was running, and it did engage!!! I am the happiest girl in the world!!!

  202. This info was great… Thanks for sharing. It’s working know. I’m grad I didn’t have to buy another.

  203. Thank you! Thanks for the wet vac tip- I got the vac ready to go and looked inside with a flashlight and sure enough a plastic stick was stuck. Now it runs like brand new!

  204. So mine ate a plastic bag, which wrapped itself around the motor and the whole thing seized. No choice but to take it apart. This is how:

    1. Remove the thing from the sink. You’re going to find this easier if you support it on a car jack (even more handy for putting it back: these things are quite heavy);

    2. Remove the four long screws which run from top to bottom on the device;

    3. Remove the top half of the device, which is the casing. Although the device looks like a sealed unit, it isn’t — the top half is simply a casing which will slide off. To give you an idea, the two holes that each of the long screws goes through are both part of the casing, and the bottom hole is where the casing ends. However, it’s all held together with a silicone rubber gasket which makes it tough at first. Perseverance is key here… I found a little slot in the metal casing under the outlet spout into which I was able to insert a thin screwdriver and do some levering, but it’s hard to say if I just got lucky or whether this really did something…

    4. The device will come apart into two halves: the top half is simply a casing and the other half is the entire machine, with the motor sticking out of the top, and the grinding plate on top of that.

    5. Get the motor going: unwind whatever it happens to have stuck around it (in my case a plastic bag); you can plug the thing in to see if you’ve got it right, but the plate should be able to rotate freely with no effort at all.

    6. Go to Autozone and get some black silicone rubber gasket – the type used to keep windshields in place.

    7. Clean all the old rubber away from the two halves of the machine: this will reveal bare plastic on the housing and bare metal on the body. Make sure you do pretty well at this, since it’s key in making sure that water doesn’t get into the electrics once you’ve finished; I got a metal spatula and sharpened the edge using a Dremel tool — you could also use an Xacto knife or something similar to do this.

    8. Coat the body side of the joint (the metal one) with the new silicone. Don’t be stingy: it’s not going to end up anywhere it shouldn’t — that part of the device is well away from any working parts. The idea is that when you slide on the casing, there will be a proper, watertight seal between the two.

    9. Put the housing back in place over the top of the device: remember to align the screw holes so that you can get the four long screws back in place (this is actually a lot easier than it looks).

    10. Put the four long screws back in place and tighten them. This is easiest if the device is on its side, then you can see the ends of the screws approaching the holes in the base plate. It can be tricky lining them up otherwise.

    11. You’re done, but wait 24 hours for that silicone gasket to harden, otherwise you’re going to have problems. Again: DO NOT USE the thing for 24 hours…

  205. After watching the man in the house change all the plugs and wires thinking that the switch was bad or the plug was bad over a period of a couple of weeks — I found this great article while searching where I can get a new Badger 5. 10 minutes and an L wrench and it is working again. Thanks for the article

  206. I LOVE you and your mango! I THOUGHT I had already checked the outlet reset, but I had not done it correctly. Your link to the reset button explained how to chech it and reset it. That MAY have been the problem. I went through 5-6 steps further, but you’re funny website made me feel like going through a lot of steps is OKAY and kind of fun. And we are all SO happy when the garbage disposal works again!

  207. Hallelujah! Thank you for posting this! Fresh out of a divorce, I’m having to learn how to do things on my own. And believe me, I do not have disposable cash that I can just throw at service men like it’s confetti. By the way, I LOVE the Labyrinth reference of ‘eternal bog of stench.’

  208. You ROCK!!! You saved me a trip to Home Depot, the cost of a new Badger and the cost of a plumber! Now … can you fix my computer?

  209. The allen wrench did the trick! I would never have even noticed that little hole (mine is right in the middle – the little red reset button is more on the side of the bottom, for those who can’t find it).
    Luckily, I own tons of ikea furniture so I have a bag full of allen wrenches – the biggest one I had did the trick. You should feel it actually gripping as you’re turning it…
    Good luck everyone, and thank you!!

  210. Thanks for putting this together! You saved me a bunch of time. Mine had something stuck in the blades (small rock or something – kids), and moving the blades with wrench worked!

    I love the internet!

  211. Who da man? YOU DA MAN!

    I got that engine whir but no spin.
    Power to the switch – how else would I get a whir?

    I had that mystery funk and had to leave the stopper in the sink or the window open OR BOTH.

    I tried your tool trick – it’s a manual way to spin the blades – and it freed it up just enough to spin again.

    That’s when I heard the food monster crying.
    Some rivet was in there so I risked my hand (but I’m okay…*CLAP CLAP*) and pulled out the offending metal nub.

    Now my food monster is ready for snack time!

    I avoided this problem until the smell was too much. I waited too long. Easy fix!
    TRICK: Use a mirror to see under the food monster.
    I used my spare bedroom mirror and was able to do this repair in less than 4 minutes!

    Virtual high five!

  212. If the hex wrench solution and reset button solution do not work, what next? The motor does not hum, water sits until I turn the blades with the hex wrench from the bottom. Then the water drains. I tried the hex wrench solution a couple months ago and it worked like a charm, but now I am at a loss. Please help!

  213. Hi, my Insinkerator Badger 5 started humming and not working yesterday after I finished the dishes, it was still draining so I knew wasn’t anything major. Stuck my hand inside and the blades did not move, didn’t want to have my hand in there too long so I looked under the unit and pushed the reset button but nothing. Left it alone until today hoping that the garbage disposal fairy would fix it overnight, but of course that didn’t happen and then it stopped humming. Was just making my list for Home Depot when I decided to google the problem and yours was the second I looked at. Laughed my head off and went and found an old bird perch and a hex screw driver (have tons of those usually keep them after I put together whatever them came with the put together), used the bird perch to move the blades around and free them up, hit the reset button which was now popped out, turned the power button on and voila, garbage disposal is working again. Thanks much, saved me a lot of money now I will keep the bird perch and hex screw driver with my tools as the garbage disposal fixing tools. I don’t have a warranty on the unit and knowing that I now know how to get it unstuck gives me lots of peace of mind.

  214. Rob,

    Thank you SO much for helping me out. I know you posted this blog like three years ago, but I followed your advice and it worked!


  215. Wow! Thank you. that was so simple and saved me $100 or more and 2-3 hours of my weekend. Instead 5 minutes (mostly looking for my hex wrench set) and it works like a charm.

    Our disposal started slowing down and then only hummed and the drain was also slow. I’m lucky I found your blog. I was looking for how to replace and found yours instead.

    Thank you.

  216. I didn’t stick my hand down the sink. I used the handle of a big spoon and spun the blades. That worked. Thanks for the post.

  217. Thanks so much! Had a roommate from Australia who says they don’t have disposals there, something Oprah did not mention in her broad cast from down under, so how was I to know? Thus she was running the disposal with out running any water and putting chicken bones down it. It got jammed. A few twists with that hex wrench, which mine came with, and it is just like new!

    Thanks for saving us a repair call to the landlord!

  218. Anybody come up with another answer for:

    1. Badger 5 plus insinkerator….

    2. Humming noise when on, reset button will protrude when circuit breaker hit, but no luck.

    3. Blades in sink free, water still drains.

    Allen wrench to bottom, after MUCH effort, finally unlocked and is “free” but it takes much effort to get started.

    I heard a clicking in the disposal while running and feared my girlfriend might have dropped something metal in it. Running great…and then I could hear the obstruction take hold and go straight to humming.

    Any other ideas? I have taken a flashlight into sink and cannot “see” anything odd in there. Where to go from here?


  219. Our in-sink rotator has been making humming noise for a few months and we have not have a chance to call anyone to fix it. We happen to have one day off and I decided to google the web and found your blog. We followed your instruction and IT WORKED! Thank you so much! We couldn’t believe how easy it was. Your note about showing the drain “who’s the boss” is right-on too! We were about to give up but kept trying because we knew we were the boss.

  220. Mine all of a sudden started making a loud metal rattling type of sound. I can’t see anything in there but what else might it be?

  221. thanks SO much! You just saved us a couple hundred dollars and a half day of sweating and cursing trying to install a new disposal!

  222. Thanks a ton. I have always done a few things here or there to fix our disposal but your 3rd step did the trick this time. Thanks

  223. LIFESAVER!! Thank you so much for sharing this information. We had to really work on ours but it finally ran smooth. Thank you Thank you Thank you

  224. Worked like a charm. Ceramic dipping dishes are really not made to be chopped up in the disposal but this tip got it running again. Thanks!!!


  226. Thank you Rob for the info. It worked with hex wrench like charm. You saved time, money and agony for me and many others. You are Superman.

  227. Thanks for keeping this on your blog Rob!

    When our insinkerator only hummed, we suspected that a pop tab was the culprit (Kids…argh). We followed your instructions and some of the earlier comments on pliers and using the vacuum to dislodge everything. And PRESTO! All clear and running well again.

    You just saved us a lot of money.

  228. Let me be commenter number 305 to say thanks for this useful advice. worked like a charm on my garbage disposal. btw, this blog entry is was the first in my Google search for “badger insinkerator troubleshoot”

  229. Thank you!!, very easy fix after reading your guide 🙂 I love the internet!! Thanks again for making this info available.

  230. Thanks VERY much for the tutorial. I followed it step by step and I am back in business. I was ready to head out to the store and buy a new one. Your instructions saved me!

  231. Thanks for the info. The Allen wrench worked perfectly. Took me longer to find the Allen wrench than to fix it:)

  232. Thank you so much for sharing this. I dug out the trusty allen wrench (from all the Ikea furniture I’ve built) and got whatever was in there broken loose!

  233. Way cool… are the man. Worked like a charm. Saved me some money and saved my son, who put gravel in the disposal, from me!!! lol Thanks again dude.

  234. Thx so much! I was ready to call a plumber when I decided to google my problem! Appreciate it….A LOT!!!! 🙂

  235. the on/off switch on the sink is stuck.. any advice? my cleaning lady pushed it in and now it won’t pop back up…


  236. out of blue. would not start. no garbage waiting to be disposed. reset did not work. easy turn of allen wrench did the trick. thanks.

  237. thank you so much after taking this to facebook and 2 wks of this mess my husband and i figured it out with your help we were think we need to buy a whole new disposal… thank goodness for that and the clog was from fish tank rocks ( the little pink and blue ones) we have a 5 yr autistic son so who know how or when this happened…lol

  238. Genius! It was a penny stuck under the blade so far you couldn’t see it. Works great now – thanks!

  239. My wife was on my case all week long regarding the broken badger 5. I had to fix it or keep hearing aboout it. I googled it and got a hit on your blog. AWESOME!!! The 5 minute fix! Gracias amigo!!!

  240. Another victory. Looks like a screw fell into the disposal. The hex wrench dislodged it with the help of a little elbow grease.

  241. Thank you, Rob!

    Now why can’t you write a “how-to” manual on how to unclog the gridlock in Washington and dispose of some of those characters down the drain?

  242. Great info… Thanks for sharing… I first spent 30 minutes taking all the pipes apart under the sink and couldn’t find any clog, then thanks to your advice I used the hex wrench like you suggested and 1 minute later the problem was solved.

  243. Thank you so much. I’ve had to do this twice (about a year ago and today)–saved my bacon both times.

    I had to use the light tap of a hammer on the allen wrench because the disposal was extra stubborn and my hands are not as strong as a guys.

  244. Thanks!
    Hex key freed the unit up, and with a flashlight I was able to retrieve a heart-shaped charm and chain link that my daughter somehow dropped in the sink.

    I love happy endings.

  245. Thanks! Even a few years later, this post is still clearing disposals and saving us money!
    There really wasn’t much NEW that I didn’t see on other fix-it places in terms of WHAT to do (it was, of course, the turning the hex wrench back and forth a bunch….and having to push it HARD to do so!), but what you DID include was the whole bit about hearing humming, because that was the key thing I was trying to understand. Because of your DESCRIPTION OF SYMPTOMS, your post made me know what I had to do and WHY. Thanks again!!

  246. I have the InSinkerator Badger 5 garbage disposal. It does work; however; it’s extremely loud all of a sudden. I’ve been researching this; and unfortunately; the tape is on the garbage dispoal where the wrench would be; but no wrench. Believe me; beats the heck out of me where it is; as I have never used it.

    Everyone keeps talking about hitting the reset button. Where is it?? I’ve looked on the bottom and on the sides and can’t find it. I certainly can’t afford a plumber and though some free advice would be in order.

    Thank you in advance.


  247. Excellent instructions, many thanks.

    Found the central hole underneath easily enough and inserted the 1/4 ” allen wrench snugly. However, it was too tight to turn. Finally attached the long end of the allen wrench to an adaptor and then to my screwdriver to make the handle longer for better leverage. I was finally able to turn it.

    You only need to turn it a little bit (90-180 degrees) to dislodge the stuck object, in this case a tiny spoon.

  248. Another success story. The hex wrench did the trick.
    As a woman, it feels good to solve the problem without bringing in a plumber. Thanks!

  249. Thanks alot for the tip. Seeing as I had no idea of what to do. The allen wrench did the trick.
    Thanks again.

  250. It worked!!! We were so not looking forward to trying to figure out how to fix our garbage disposal and we just read this blog and it took no more than 1 minute to fix!! THANK YOU!!!

  251. so i cleaned out the disposal completely did the hex key trick and it worked… until i shut it off then it goes back to humming… so the run down is, the hex key trick works but once i shut it off then turn it back on it just goes back to humming until i do the hex key thing… everytime

  252. Thank you, Rob!!! Just wanted you to know that your advice is still helping folks years later. It hummed when I reset it. There was nothing lodged in the upper compartment where the blades are, so I figured it had to be in the motor, and the 1/4 Allen wrench did the trick! Yes, rigorous turning for quite a while. Don’t know if it made a difference, but whatever was jammed broke free after I poured a little olive oil down the drain.

  253. It worked! My husband already has an allen wrench (and everything else), he’s VERY handy. No more greasy, yucky residue in the sink from slow draining water….

  254. Thank you for putting the information on the web. I was having the same problem. I googled on how to repair it & I came across this site. I followed the directions & now it works again. Thank you. You saved me time, money & last but not least aggrivation.

  255. DAAANGGG ! !…the hex/allan wrench on the bottom made a cake decorating metal piece break free and resolved the same troubles that you all were describing above come clear. I am now really impressed with the way anyone can help another person with household trouble, via the internet/online! Thanks.

  256. Thanks , thanks thanks

    THIS WORKS. Awesome instructions

    1) Used the reset button (If the unit is HOT – wait for some time before trying the reset and switching ON the unit

    2) My Hex Key DID NOT TURN AT ALL – thought that my piece was just different. However – took faith and hammered it a bit towards one side ( the longer end) – which seemed to loosen whatever was stuck – after that – it was working again

    Thanks a lot!

  257. Thanks!!
    If you’re having trouble with getting the wrench to turn due to glass try using a shop vac down the drain to pick up all the little pieces. If the wrench still doesn’t turn get someone else to vacuum while you jostle the wrench back and forth till it turns freely.

  258. Can’t thank you enough for the easy, clear directions! Got out my allen wrench set and got the thing spinning again in no time! I had already had no luck trying to spin the blades from above, so these steps were a lifesaver for someone unemployed who REALLY didn’t want to have to pay a plumber.

  259. I was dreading working on this. Your flowchart was perfect – fix took only 5 minutes (or less). Thanks for taking the time to write it down and share.

  260. Your instructions are great; however, if you happen to have a Badger disposal, the hex won’t work. It is a new-fangled disposal specific key. If you are not sure, use a small mirror to see up the hole and determine if it’s a hex or something else. Thanks for the re-set button tip as well.

  261. Thank you soooo much Rob!!!!!! Followed your instructions to the exact, in about 10 minutes, WORKING!!!!!! So glad feel pretty good, my husband said we should just call a plumber, I said I am going to Google it and try, yeah me

  262. Huge thanks from Prague!
    Yesterday there was a power cut and then the garbage disposal refused to work, which became apparent only after the sink was full of crap I wanted to get rid of – typical. My washing machine had broken down a week before and then the garbage disposal…it was just too much! I went through a furious rant about stupid gadgets, technology etc., then had a drink and decided to try and repair it myself.
    I found your story (the small bog of eternal stench is so true!) and followed the advice and it worked perfectly! I don’t know if the power cut had anything to do with it, but that’s irrelevant now.
    If you even come to Prague, drinks are on me! 🙂

  263. Hi Rob. Thank you for posting this. It is well written and concise and your descriptions had me laughing out loud at times. I was able to fix my Badger 5 quickly by following your instructions.

  264. Yes, you are the man! Worked like a charm. I just moved into a new house and did not want to call my landlord the first week. Thanks man

  265. Worked like a charm. I don’t know what it was that was jamming the blades but I could have saved a few bucks on Drano if I would have came to this site first. Can I get reimbursed?

  266. Amazing instructions. Thank you soooo much!

    You would think they should leave your instructions on the bottom of their device since enough people experience this and it is such an easy fix.

  267. Amazing instructions. Thank you soooo much!

    You would think they should leave your instructions on the bottom of their device since enough people experience this and it is such an easy fix.

    Badger take note.

  268. I think your a great writer! It was very entertaining.. I’m going to give it a whirl tomorrow! Thanks for the tips and saving me a ton of research I’ll report back how it goes 😉

  269. Thanks…This was a lifesaver…..put a wooden spoon in the damn thing and it moved…..then just turned on the machine and it worked…didn’t even need the hex wrench…Thanks so much….

  270. Wow, I cannot thank you enough!! My parents were out of town and I thought I had broken the insinkerator by trying to grind up pork bones. I know, stupid me, but hey we all learn from our mistakes. 😀 Anyways after repeating the reset button and hex wrench steps a couple times, and taking out whatever bones remained in there, ol’ Badger came back to life!

  271. Thank you…that’s $79 saved…didn’t have to buy the new disposal…just used that funny little hex wrench that was under the sink!

  272. Hi There! What do I do now that it appears as though the reset button itself has fallen out of the bottom of the garbage disposal? Tried sticking a plastic chop stick in the hole but did not hit anything that reset the power. Garbage disposal makes no noise so it appears as though the electricity is not flowing.

  273. Don’t forget to check the circuit breaker. Apparently during all my effing around with the thing I tripped the breaker. Should had known to check that after it stopped humming.

  274. THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! Followed your directions and I am now a superhero in my home. What a sense of accomplishment–and one less disposal going to the landfill.

  275. I actually have a whirlpool disposal, but the 1/4″ hex tool still worked perfectly. It took a bit of force to loosen up, but it did the trick perfectly! I heard the water running down the pipe and flipped the switch and it was good to go.


  276. I almost went out and bought and new disposal before reading this. Had some lump charcoal go down by accident and thought I killed it. Tried all of the tips mentioned above and it is working perfectly. Many thanks for this post.

  277. Thank you so much!!!!

    My daughter cleaned her fish aquarium in the sink and spilled some of the gravel into the disposal. So, after reaching my fingers into the disposal to try to “fish” out the gravel, but still not being to get the thing to do anything but hum, I realized that this really didn’t seem like a great idea. I did a search for the “Badger” disposal and came across your posting.

    So, my fingers are still intact, the daughter can safely come out of her bedroom, the fish is alive and happy in her aquarium, I got one more thing off the to-do list, and everything is right with the universe.

    Thanks again for your post.


  278. Thanks Rob! Easily the simplest “How-to” which saved a $60 trip from a handyman to do 2 min worth of work!

  279. Rob,
    Awesome!!! I’ve been a do-it-yourselfer all my life. Usually, I learn the hard way. Mess something up even worse, then figure it out.
    This time, I googled first and got your blog right away. My disposal sucked up a rag, and when I found out, I pulled it out, but didn’t hear the motor running. I was ready to take it apart, but followed your instructions. I didn’t know there was a reset button. pressed that and the motor hummed, but blades still jammed. Used a wooden spoon, got the blades loose, and I’m back in business!!!
    Goes to show an old dog (61Yrs) can still learn a new trick!!! I love the computer!! THANKS!!

  280. Husband was about to buy a new one. I googled you and we are back in business! Thanks for getting me points with my husband!! 🙂

  281. this article helped me to fix my disposal in 5 minutes. Thank you, you saved me $200 in plumber fees.

  282. YES! Three years ago you wrote this and apparently are still helping people all over the world! I installed my badger a few years ago and when it stopped working I vaguely remembered there was something else I could do to get the blades going again. I was so close to calling a plumber when I decided to give the internet a shot! Fifteen minutes later (and it took me 14 of those minutes to find the right size allen wrench in my disorganized box of tools) and HURRAY! I’m grinding again and I’ve saved myself bucks! Thanks Rob! You’re a hero! If everyone you’ve saved sent you $5 bucks you’d have quite a payment for this one article! 😀 Thanks again.

  283. Thanks for the info, went to the hardware store and purchased a 1/4 allen wrench for $1.25 and then fixed the disposal in two minutes. Saved me a lot of money compared to calling a plumber!

  284. Awesome! Lot of plumbers not happy but I am and saved some $$ and time. Just for time sake 2 years later what an impact!

  285. Rob – you are a magician!

    Hey- run for president – if you can get thee mysterious, stinky but necessary contraptions working yo can probably fix what ails government.

    I had already bought a replacement disposal – then found your blog. Eureka! Rob for president!

    Thanks amigo!

  286. I travel for months at a time and was not looking forward to calling a Plummer to fix my disposal on the one weekend I’m home this month. Followed your steps here, and it worked like a charm. Thank you so, so much for the clear directions, an most of all for sharing your adventures in plumbing!

  287. This helped a lot but didnt fix it just helped relize it was a little more then that. Ended up taking drain off of garbage disposal and found a towel jammed up inside there! Thanks for all the help

  288. Thank you Thank you Thank you!!!! You saved us the purchase of a new unit because we were about the throw this one out the window! THANK YOU!!!!!!

  289. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

    I was thinking that I was going to have to call a plumber, but this helped me and saved me tens, if not, hundreds of dollars!

    The key for fixing mine was using the Allen wrench on the bottom of the device! I did have to show it “who was boss” and that did the trick!

    I’m going to share this info on FB and Twitter as a thank you for such a simple solution!

    God bless!

    Chris Hunter

  290. Holy Cow! It’s usually the guy who fixes this stuff, and with your help, I DID IT!
    How amazing. I feel so empowered!
    Thank you!!!

  291. Thanks so much for the tips. I was too ambitious when disposing of potato peels (manual says you can dispose of them just do so gradually) and disposal started pushing water back into sink and stopped draining. I used the 1/4 inch hex tool (Allen wrench) and didn’t get any results after I turned it every which way. I came across another article which said to turn it counterclockwise for one full rotation. Still nothing. I got so frustrated and angry because I thought I’d have to buy a new disposal or pay a hefty plumber fee. I then remembered an earlier commenter said he used a flat head screwdriver because he didn’t have a hex tool. Since the hex tool hadn’t worked, I reluctantly used the screwdriver but had no expectations. I was so relieved when I heard the swishing sound of water going down the drain. Thanks for pointing me in the right direction. Yippppeeeee!

  292. Thanks a lot. It works perfectly.

    I had a wrench and it took more time to find it…

    Saved me a lot of time and money

  293. AWESOME!!! Genius!! Fantastic!! A $3 Allen wrench and the problem is solved. So great not to have to call a plumber, and to be able to tell my boyfriend, “I fixed it!” Thank you!!

  294. You are a lifesaver! See I am a woman. . . wife. . . mom. . GRANDMOTHER (my favorite title! – they’re so cute!)
    So I just dumped 2 large pieces of cornbread down the disposal. Hit the switch – hmmmmmm. . . .well, you know the sound.
    Got down and looked under the sink – so much JUNK and there was a leak all over my checkerboard Contact paper. Dark, ugly wet goop had developed. Then, did the horrible icky job of scooping out the cornbread which had now become something like leftover dressing. Yuk!!
    Flipped the switch. . . hmmmmmm. . . .went on-line put in “disposal just started humming” and got you! Didn’t go out for a hex – what the heck is that, anyway! Just got a screwdriver from the kitchen junk drawer and stuck it up in there and started turning. . something turned. . . then I checked the blades with a long handle plastic spoon. Oh, yeah, I did unplug the disposal – I didn’t know they had plugs!! Anyway, I plugged it back in, started spinning the blades with that long handled spoon and VOILA!!! ABRACADABRA!!! I am so smart!!
    Think I’m going to start fixing stuff for ladies without husbands. . . mine was at work. . . doesn’t know a thing. . . won’t even tell him! He’s too involved in work-issues to think about something like maintenance on a house!!! Hey, if you build it, it should stand. . . forever!!!

  295. ok, so the insinkerator badger series has complaints galore. If I were you, I’d just upgrade to the Insinderator Evolution series and accept my losses with the Badger. It appears whatever Insinkerator messed up on with the Badger, they corrected with the Evolution series of disposers. Good luck.

  296. Rob, you’re the man! Our Badger 5 stopped working this morning, it just hums and I can feel the heat build on the case. I reset the red button to no avail. Uh-oh this is not good, I started to think about the cost of repair, labor and materials and I’m just upset.
    So I took a 1/4 Allen, gave a few twist, it would move freely and then stop, move freely and stop. I found out a tiny screw found it’s way there, upon taking it out, several twists later and voila, it’s good to go! Thanks Again!

  297. Hi Rob — thanks for the excellent descriptions and instructions! Three years later, this post is still saving us $$$ and aggravation!

  298. From start of the problem, til finding this post and fixing with the hex wrench, it all happened in 5 min. I spent most of the 5 min thinking the hum meant it was a goner. As a single mom, I feel empowered when I can take care of these things without calling someone. Thank you!!!!

  299. Wow Rob! That was so easy! A reset button and an a few twists of the allen wrench! I was letting it sit for weeks because I just didn’t want to address it!

    Thanks again!

  300. Thank you so much. I think you should represent Joe the plumber in next election… someone who has really helped so many people by his article… the number of response is testimony.

  301. Yep – years later and you are still saving folks. In this case? A single mother of three with a full-time job. Its been 2 weeks, and I finally said, after looking at the dishwasher push-up sitting in the sink, “Ive got to google how to fix this thing..”
    Found your site first off – Did exactly as you said – and thanks to the H-key (which was in my home tool kit, but I hadnt even known what to call it before) I had it up and running again even before church!
    you *rock* – thanks so much!!

  302. WOOHOO!!!! Feeling great gratitude for you, the Internet and a former boyfriend who had the foresight to give me a complete tool box, including 1/4″ hex! Life is good. Thank you!

  303. Huge THANKS! Count me as one of the people you saved $$ and from calling the landlord! I am now rewarded with Chipotle burrito by my happy wife with you post.

  304. Incredibly simple and helpful. Spared me from calling our helpful, but expensive plumber. Also made me the hero of the household.

    I had only metric hex wrenches and got one a little stuck, but wiggled it free. Even if the blade can spin by hand, the mechanisms seems it can be stuck on this model. After a twist with the wrench, it was free.


  305. Thank you so much! Why, oh why did I not do a web search and read your blog before I disconnected the disposer from the washing machine and drain hookups? Would have saved me a good half hour plus aggravation! Thanks again!

  306. Thank you so much for writing this blog. This fixed my disposal and was a huge relief! I was actually searching google for a replacement and found this. Five minutes later my Badger 5 was up and running again 🙂

  307. Tried doing what you said with the Allen wrench and it worked to a charm. I had a soda tab that got caught in the blades and by moving the blades with the tool, it loosened the tab which we did not feel inside the first time we checked. Thank you very much!!

  308. Wow, you saved by $$. I have an InSinkErator. My wife broke a cup in the sink and the disposer stopped working. It humms, but not rotates. The disk rotates when touched, but not when the motor is switched on. Then I used an allen key and roatated in that “mysterious hole”.. Woohah, it started working again !!. Thanks

  309. Thanks SO much for this post. We’ve been living with an inert insinkerator for a month, dreading calling the landlord/plumber. When I found your instructions, it took me longer to find my 1/4″ hex key than it did to actually fix the disposer! It’s working great now!

  310. Gosh, it was so simple to fix! Mine was just a simple hum of the motor that didn’t turn: so the allen wrench did the trick in a cinch! Now I wouldn’t be so bummed when this happens again!

    Thanks Rob!

  311. SUCCESS! I, like you had just let it go and let it go till I walked in today and the whole house smelled like death. It works perfectly now and I didnt have to drop any money. Thanks again!

  312. PERFECT ADVISE!!! thanks from Burnaby BC Canada…. I’m feeling like cooking but the disposal was blocked so I found you and the magic answer.. Thanks.

  313. Thank you very much . i used broom stick to rotate moter , Its work . I have badger 5 . when i cleand my fish tank sand kept on the sink couple of small sand peble went throgh and make a hum noice .Any way great instructin .Thank you .took only 4 minutes .

  314. Thank you SO MUCH! I was getting irritated after a week of nasty disposal backup, but I really didn’t want to bug my landlord and have a maintenance man in my apartment while I’m at work!

    Went to HD, picked up a pack of hex wrenches for less than $3, 1/4 worked perfectly the first time, blades loosened!

    Been hearing a weird tinny rattle lately; the hex wrench loosened the culprit: a TIIINY piece of metal used on the ends of tubes of ground beef!

    Thanks so much; I feel awesome being able to fix this myself! 🙂

  315. We’ve had this problem before – used these steps and it works. However today I’m a bit more concerned because when we try to rotate the allen wrench it won’t move. 🙁 We’re still working to get it moving… trying a bit more force and still searching the internet for some insight

  316. So my garbage disposal has nothing lodged in it after I probed around with my hand and a spoon. I have unplugged it from the outlet and pressed the reset button and even took the plunger to it! It makes a hum noise and spins around the backed up water. What the heck is wrong with it? Am I at the point where I need to call a plumer? Please help this single young gal!

  317. Presto! Magic, it worked…….funny thing was is that the hex tool was already under the sink from a previous owner…thanks!

  318. The hex tool inserted in the bottom but the disposal will not budge either way…I am a pretty strong guy too!

    what now?

    Motor is humming btw.

  319. FIRST OFF,DO NOT EVER REACH INTO THE DISPOSAL UNTIL YOU HAVE FLIPPED OFF THE CIRCUIT BREAKER FOR IT AT THE BREAKER BOX. then you will have to turn it back on to try it and see if it worked.


    The bottom he refers to, for the reset button and to use the hex key/ allen wrench, is UNDERNEATH THE SINK. Open your cupboard door under the sink and approach it from UNDERNEATH the disposal; not reaching down inside it!

    I had a small broken piece of pottery lodged in mine, and after soaking the bottom of the sink in water with a little chlorine bleach, letting it drain, then fishing around the blades with a long rubber glove on, I got it out.
    The hex key/ allen wrench did the job perfectly for me, I thought i remembered that from childhood… but needed a refresher. thanks.

  320. Fixed mine without this post after reading the insinkerator manual. There is only one troubleshooting activity in the manual… and that is to do the wrench thing. Mine still sounded funny so I was searching online to see if there was more to this. I should have looked online before going to the manual. Your description is very good, easy, and humorous. If we can’t laugh at our mutual ineptness at fixing stuff around the house, what can we do. I feel super-manly now and will celebrate with some football watching beverages.

  321. Thanks so much for the tip! Otherwise I would have to enroll in a programme Obama put in place that pays for “free” garbage disposals…..

  322. Thank you so much it worked within a minute. To bad I messed with it on and off for two weeks trying to figure this thing out. Thanks again!!

  323. Thank you Rob, the fix saved the day! Others have said this but it was great to be able to FIX this myself. The hex wrench did it..

  324. Your advice got my garbage disposal working again. I left town for 7 months and when I got back — the motor would run and the blades move but it was not chopping up food. The sink was slow to drain and the disposal smelled something awful. I used the allen wrench and turned it as you directed. All of a sudden, I heard the water drain and then tested the disposal. VOILA– it is now working again. Thanks a million.

  325. From 2008 to 2012 this has been helpin’ poor fools! I almost took the whole thing apart, (& nearly broke it in the process), before I decided to check the net. Glad I did! Thanks

  326. I am a widower on a fixed income and connot afford many repairs. You just saved me alot of money. THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH FOR THIS ARTICLE!

  327. Thank you so much!! We somehow ended up with broken glass down our disposal which was now only “humming”. After fiddling with it for a half an hour I found your blog and read it to my husband who was able to get it going! Now we feel all puffed up and proud like real DIY homeowners but the thanks belongs all with you!

  328. As a single female, just want to say thank you, thank you, thank you. Over the weekend my fridge went out, my garbage disposal went out, and now bad leak in bathtub faucet.

    I replaced the fridge, tried the plumbing but running into issues. Decided what the heck, let me see if i can fix the diposal. With your help i did. Now i feel empowered and am heading back to the bath room. I can do this…..Also, your bit of humor made me smile the first time today. Thanks 🙂

  329. Thank you so much. It worked just as you said. I am calling my friends to tell them not to call the plumber in the future! It is such a pesky household problem!

  330. Thanks from a 72 year old female who has now fixed her garbage disposal!!!!!!!!!!! Awesome internet and people who share their information.

  331. Not sure if you still look at these comments, but you just saved me! I stuffed way too much garbage down my sink and the disposer completely stopped working. I was about to have a panic attack because we have no extra money right now and then I found your blog. It’s working again – thank you so much!

  332. So that’s what that darn tool is in my drawer next to the sink! If only I had had the brains to google BEFORE I disconnected the unit from my sink and take out to the backyard and do a series of repetitions spraying my hose into the neck and turning it upside down banging it on the pavement. It worked though! I dislodged every single little pebble and learned my lesson to never ever water plants (with pebbles in the soil) in my sink!

    It’s supposed to be easy to screw the unit back on but I’m having trouble. Well at least now I know!

  333. This article was awesome, I was just about to call the plumber, when I decided to do a query on line. This article saved the day and my pocket book.

  334. Perhaps I’m not being persistent enough, but for the life of me I can’t turn that Allen wrench more than a few inches back and forth. When I do I can hear a slight squishy noise up in the sink, but I’m not sure if it’s actually doing anything. One blade moves freely but the other is stuck and won’t budge a mm. I almost broke a broom trying to leverage it free. The disposal hums and everything when I turn it on. Does anybody else have this problem? Where the allen wrench just won’t free anything up no matter how hard I yank it around? I’m turning it to the point where the disposal is shaking around loose from the sink (almost, I don’t wanna break it).
    Please help! Should I just keep going at it? Or is there something else wrong.

  335. I have had two 1/3 hp Badger disposals where the housing has cracked. I went to Home Depot to see how and why it would crack with normal use. My landlord is confident it has cracked by placing spoons and other foreign materials inside. This has not happened. According to the Manager at Home Depot, spoons or other items will not crack the housing. It will only cause the motor to seize. Yet he has never seen a cracked motor on any disposal. He believes it can only happen by hitting the housing with a hammer or something heavy object, pouring water inside and somehow freezing the unit or dropping it from a high building. Do you have any ideas how this can happen?

  336. THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!
    You saved me from my wife nagging one more day!
    I did have to show it who’s boss like you had mentioned.

  337. I just finished dealing with my own badger 5 which was making the buzzing soun but no blade movement. The instructions in this blog worked ferry well except that my badger 5 model had the hole for Hex key at very bottom and center of the badger unit.

    I had to call in for confirmation. The support personnel on the phone recommended that I do 2 complete revolutions with the Hex key, one clock-wise and one counter-clock-wise and force my way through if any resistance. After that, I re-cleaned the blade chamber then reran the badger with running water. Worked like a charm!

  338. i dropped some small rocks into the garburator and i fixed it!!! yeee! i let it dry it, dried it more with paper towel tied onto a stick and then checked with flashlight so i saw the rocks there and used vacuum and got them all!!! 🙂

  339. As of March 2012 this advice holds true! You may have to crank it around for a little bit depending on the level of jam. Be patient, really work it around and use cold water when you run the disposal.

  340. NICE! Same exact issue with hummin sound but no movement of blades even though they moved freely. I used a broom stick just to make sure there wasn’t anything lodged in there and moved everything around like stew… Strange because the hex wrench doesn’t actually engage or fit into any actual bolt. There must be some kind of switch in there? Anyone have any idea what the “red” button is for because that didn’t help.

    Anyways, thanks for this post!

  341. IT WORKED! We actually undid the entire thing and cleaned it out and nothing worked. I found your page – had my husband used the magic allen key and presto! Suddenly it worked perfect.

  342. I echo one and all- Thank you Rob- Thank you to all those who added posts- – tried different allen wrenches – couldn’t so it- tried screw driver couldn’t do it – then read more – got the screw driver in there and turned and turned – hard counterclock and clockwise and felt the loosening- turned on the water and that lovely sound!!!! Thank you!!!!

  343. Thank you. I bought a house, and the disposal would hum but not spin. Blades wouldn’t spin either. I tried your trick. Took a bit of oompf to get it to turn, and I had to work it back and forth little by little until full turns were possible. Then flip the switch and bam. Working great. Thanks again. Saved me from buying a new one.

  344. Rob, I Googled for an answer to my issue, found your post, and it worked like a charm. Thanks for saving me the money of calling a plumber out to my house.

  345. Who would have thought. Your tip is still working. THANKS!. The hex wrench would not turn the blades, which lead me to investigate further. I found a small screw jamming the blades, removed it, and everything works fine now.
    Saved me $100.

  346. Thank goodness for these instructions! I googled how to fix a jammed Badger Disposal and this blog popped right up…it worked!! Saved me beating my husband to death with his own shoe and a plumbing bill!

  347. Love all the comments, I have learned much.
    I have a unique problem….The little red reset button has come loose and is now swimming inside the unit. I have removed the whole unit, pulled the bottom housing off hoping I could get inside the bottom plate but it appears I’m out of luck I have tried fishing the button out but there is very little room to work.
    I think I am out of luck and will have to purchase a new one in the morning.
    The bottom plate appears to be fixed.
    If you know any other tricks, I’m open to suggestions or this one if headed for the trash.
    Thanks for your tutorial.

  348. No joke, my disposal got clogged with MANGO PEELS. Had no clue what to do. Went to Google, saw you’re blog posted, jumped under the sink with the allen wrench, did the twistamatic, the electric hum’s now gone, and the blades are spinnin’ like a top. Down with mango peels, up with Rob’s Blog.

  349. Another garbage disposal saved! I discovered the problem the night I got back from a week in Jamaica and thought to myself, uhhhggg! Back to reality!!!! Put it off for a couple of days, thinking like you did, “maybe it will miraculously fix itself”. Found your blog and voila! Easy fix, funny thing is, as I was looking for the allen wrench, I found one that said “food disposal” on it. Apparenty it must have come with it when I bought and installed it and didnt even realize it. Just threw it straight into my toolbox and forgot about it. Thanks again!

  350. Just like Rohan a few above me, my 12-year-old decided to clean his fish tank in the kitchen sink…with a pasta strainer. (Remind me to school that boy on round objects and bigger round holes).

    Long story short, mine went. First, humming but not turning. Then, not humming at all.

    I’d pressed the reset and tried a broom handle, all to no avail. Was ready to replace it, pricing out fancy multi-blade reversible mult-grind units so this wouldn’t happen again…

    Started reading stuff on how to replace it (since I didn’t put my first one in). Ran across this blog. Exposed hex-head to turn the motor, eh?

    5 minutes with a pistol-grip driver and a hex head later, profit! Still works great.

    You, sir, are a credit to society. Many have saved thousands of dollars due to your effort to put the right information into a succinct step-by-step. Kudos!

  351. Rob,
    I knew the tactice you have mentioned above. But this time did not worked to me. Even I could smell a wire burn when I try to run the motor. I almost give up and was going to change the motor.
    However, after seeing your posting, I tried it again for one more time anyway. I did the bottom treatment and walla! It is alive again.

    Thanks to your post rob.

  352. Thanks Rob. I darn near tore apart my disposal before coming across your blog (which probably saved me $$$). I even went on to the manufacturers website and they didn’t mention the simple turning of a hex screw at the bottom of the unit, which would have saved me a couple of hours. Thank again

  353. Thank you for saving the day!!

    We thought for sure our disposal was dead since we didn’t even hear any humming any more, but I had no idea there was a reset button underneath!

  354. Mine would not turn using anything but I finally used a long thin blade screw driver and a flash light to pry out a piece
    Fish bone and ceramic bowl I broke in the sink a few weeks ago.

  355. Thanks for the tips, my disposal has been in Limbo for a year but working great now, glad I did not waste money on a plumber 🙂

  356. I have an In Sinkerator Pro 17 that had been making a hum for a few seconds then stopping with no blade movement. Draining was fine. Followed your directions (found the “jamerator” wrench on top of the power switch) Took many many tries – cleared out pebbles from changing goldfish bowl water. Thought I had removed all the debris but found a thin, rusty piece of metal wedged vertically against the side. After removing that – presto! Thank you to for the directions and for the replies that suggested not giving up.

  357. When there is no hum and the grinder moves freely, take a look at the wall switch! I had a wire from the GFI to the wall switch come loose! It isn’t always a problem with the disposal. (Make sure you turn the power off when working on this!)

  358. Thanks for your detailed explanation!!

    After 30 minutes of trying to clean it and hitting reset multiple times, and went to Amazon for a replacement order and then thought of googling. Found your site, searched for an alan wrenche that’s laying in the house some where (found multiple? and a minute after the disposal started working – thanks so much!!!

  359. Isn’t the internet amazing, how a fix-it blog from 2008 is still helping people in 2012?

    Thank you so much! I thought I was going to have to call a repairman. I had my house built in 2007. The Badger 1 was installed and it came with the tool. I never knew what this tool was used for until today when I opened the draw that it has been sitting in since the house was built. It had the words garbage incinerator on it…never picked up the tool to even read what it said.

    I’m so happy! We’ve been cleaning the dishes the old fashioned way by scraping the plates over the trash can!

  360. By the way…my disposal also first had a hum, then went to silent. I unplugged it from the wall for a minute, then plugged it back in, and also push in the reset button. After that, I heard the hum again.

    My tool wouldn’t budge either, but I just kept at it, pushing and pulling it as hard as I could. Eventually it budged and made a terrible grinding sound. I continued pushing and pulling until it would go back and forth 360* and continued until it was silent.

    I had reached in there several times before today and could never find anything that would be jamming it up. I think the going back and forth with the tool dislodged what was in there. It turned out to be some sort of raw bean or kernel. Thinking a popcorn kernel got down in there from one of the kid’s bowls of popcorn.

  361. Fixed my problem, too. Looks like you’ve built up more good fix-it karma than you’ll ever be able to use. Can you clone yourself to all the other help desks, too? One virtual beer on me, man. Thanks!

  362. Thank you…Thank you…Thank you! Can you hear the echo of my praise and appreciation for this post and the all the helpful comments? I too was able to solve my disposal problem as a result of this post. You have been a blessing to many…

  363. 3 years later and you are still saving the day! I was pricing replacements and then read your post and it is fixed!

  364. This worked great. I have used this solution twice. My problem was a stuck spoon each time. Moving that Allen wrench takes some effort.

  365. I had the exact same issue and this worked like a charm. Thank you for posting this on the web. So many people have saved a lot of effort and money thanks to this page.

  366. WIN! Zombie how-to post saves the day!

    I was getting ready to show this POS who’s boss by yanking it’s teeth and peeling it’s skin off. I and already dismembered the carpet cleaner for disobeying me. (It’s much happier now) This post saved me a LOT of work. Easy 5 minute fix!

    Long story short… Got back from travel for work, ex finally moved out, cleaning house for a week straight and the blasted disposal hummed but wouldn’t move, then quit humming. Looked down it’s throat with a flashlight but didn’t see anything wrong. Checked the circuit breaker in the basement and found nothing wrong. Google knows all, found me this page after all. Bright red reset/breaker button on the bottom brought back the hum, and the allen key cleared whatever was holding up the blades.

  367. thank you thank you thank you!!!! You saved me about 200.00! This website is a grand blessing! The wooden spoon idea worked!!!!