Garbage disposal problems are bound to occur from time to time. Nothing is more frustrating than the garbage disposal not working.
Regardless of popular belief, there are many foods that are not recommended to be run through your garbage disposal. Things like potato skins, carrot skins or banana peels should never be run down a disposal.
Really, any kind of fibrous food should be thrown away or composted instead of run down your disposal. However, even if you are very vigilant about what goes down your drain, eventually something will sneak past even the best of us. When this happens you need to know what to do.
First of all, and this is the most important thing that you need to know about your garbage disposal, never, ever, under any circumstances, put your fingers in your garbage disposal. Not even for a moment. Secondly, before you put anything down your garbage disposal, turn off the circuit breaker for the disposal.
Once you are sure that power has been disabled to the disposal, find a long pair of tongs or anything else that you can use to remove debris from the disposal. It might not be a bad idea to grab a flashlight to get a better look at what is blocking the disposal. Clear as much material as possible and run hot water through the drain. It is also a good idea to use the tongs to make sure that the blades of the disposal move freely.
Once you feel everything is clear and moving freely, turn the circuit breaker on, run cold water and run the disposal for a second. If the drain is working properly, you have fixed the problem. If there are still issues, call a professional plumber to diagnose and fix the disposal properly.