Garbage Disposal Allen Wrench Won’t Turn

Garbage Disposal Allen Wrench Won't Turn

When your garbage disposal is clogged, it can be easily fixed with an allen wrench. All you have to do is unplug your disposal, insert your allen wrench into the disposal unit’s wrench slot, and turn it back and forth until you feel the garbage disposal’s disc that supports the blade begins to loosen. So if you can be able to loosen up the disc, that means the problem is caused by clogging or jamming of the blades.  

Garbage Disposal Allen Wrench Won't Turn​

However, there can be times when your garbage disposal allen wrench won’t turn and prevents you from unclogging or unjamming your unit. But worry not because we have some simple tricks that can solve this problem. 

Why a Garbage Disposal Won’t Turn

When you find that your allen wrench refuses to turn, it simply means that the object causing the jam is too big or too strong for the impellers to crush, even with some help from your handy wrench. The most possible cause is you have dropped a piece of jewelry or a piece of utensil down the drain. Hence, your garbage disposal allen wrench won’t turn no matter how hard you try. 

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If this happens, we recommend that you grab a flashlight, take a look at your drain, and locate whatever item is causing the clog. Of course, you should always make sure that your garbage disposal is turned OFF or unplugged from the socket before attempting to do any repairs. Once you’re able to find the blockage, carefully pull it out with a pair of long-nose pliers or tongs, and your garbage disposal should be working fine again.

Garbage Disposal Allen Wrench Won't Turn​

Another possible cause your garbage disposal allen wrench won’t turn is probably that the impellers have rusted over time. Just like every other kitchen appliance, your disposal unit needs regular cleaning and proper maintenance for it to work properly. If you notice that your garbage disposal is not getting rid of food and waste as effectively as it used to, or the unit seems clogged while your usual fixes don’t work, the disposal’s impellers could likely be rusted. 


When this happens, your garbage disposal allen wrench won’t turn no matter how hard you try because the rust is preventing the impellers from moving freely from their screws and cannot slash the food waste accordingly. Fortunately, you can easily remove some of the rust with a simple lemon juice solution.


How to Remove Rust from Your Garbage Disposal Using Lemon Juice:

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  1. The first thing you need to do is to create your lemon juice solution. Combine three tablespoons of salt and one cup of lemon juice in a small cup or bowl, and stir the mixture well with a spoon.
  2. Pour the lemon juice solution into your disposal unit and let it sit overnight. Avoid running water into the sink, and don’t dispose of any food in the garbage disposal while the lemon juice works its magic.
  3. After letting it sit overnight, run a stream of cold water to rinse the garbage disposal’s impellers.
  4. You can now turn On your garbage disposal. If the lemon juice did its job, put some ice cubes into the drain and grind them up to clean up the blades. 

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If your garbage disposal allen wrench won’t turn and the above method still did not bring back your garbage disposal from its normal functioning, it may be time to hire a professional plumbing service to check on your unit. But if your unit always experiences this issue, better consider replacing your disposal unit altogether.

Allen Wrench For Garbage Disposal Size

Most garbage disposals come with their very own wrench tool taped at the side of their boxes. But sometimes we can all be a little disorderly so it’s not uncommon to lose these disposal wrenches before we even get the chance to use them. Fortunately, a simple allen wrench can be a good substitute for these disposal wrenches.

Garbage Disposal Allen Wrench Won't Turn​

An allen wrench for garbage disposal size is typically one-fourth of an inch. However, it’s essential to note that this is only for most models so not all garbage disposal wrench slots can accommodate an allen wrench of one size. Therefore, you have to find out what specific allen wrench size can best suit your disposal unit before you even encounter the need to unclog your disposal. 

Garbage Disposal Allen Wrench Won't Turn

If you accidentally get the wrong size, your garbage disposal allen wrench won’t turn. So do a quick Google search on your garbage disposal’s brand and model, or call your plumber, or ask from your local hardware store to know what allen wrench for garbage disposal size you should get.

Garbage Disposal Allen Wrench Won't Turn​

You can also check your unit’s manual and you may find the appropriate size for the allen wrench your unit requires. So if you want to safely keep the give-away wrench, put this safely into your toolbox as soon as you unbox your garbage disposal to avoid losing it. 

Allen Wrench Stuck in Garbage Disposal

When you insert your garbage disposal’s allen wrench into the wrench hole, it should go in and sit perfectly into the hole and you should turn the motor and the flywheel easily. However, it also happens that when you try to take out the wrench from the hole, it won’t come out.  Especially if your garbage disposal allen wrench won’t turn and your allen wrench stuck in a garbage disposal, this means there is something wrong here. 

Garbage Disposal Allen Wrench Won't Turn​

Probably, you could have purchased the wrong allen wrench for garbage disposal size so it got stuck there or because you used too much force while turning your wrench, the wrench grip the entirety of the slot. Either way, you have caused the allen wrench stuck in garbage disposal. But then we have some solutions for you. 


Steps in Freeing the Allen Wrench from the Garbage Disposal Wrench Slot:

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  • Tap it out with a hammer

Take a small hammer and gently tap the end of the allen wrench to dislodge it from the wrench slot. Be sure not to over tap or forcefully tap it because the wrench may break and will leave part of it inside the wrench slot.  Multiple gentle taps are more effective than a few strong ones.

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  • Use a lubricant

Apply a lubricant right on the slot where the wrench got stuck. You can use either oil or penetrating fluid or WD40 that you can spray or squirt in an upward direction. Let the lubricant sit for a few minutes. Then, when you feel that the allen wrench has loosened up a little bit, gently tap its underside with a tool until the wrench will release its hold. 

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  • Use a wooden rod

Before attempting this method, be sure that your disposal unit is turned OFF and unplugged from the socket. Stick a long wooden stick inside the drain until it reaches the impellers. You may use a long wooden spoon, a drumstick, or the end of a broomstick for this. Then, turn the blades with the wooden stick in the opposite direction from where the allen wrench was turned to. 

If all else fails and your garbage disposal allen wrench won’t turn, we advise you call a professional plumber. Fiddling with an allen wrench stuck in garbage disposal when it refuses to come out could lead to the breakage of the wrench and the problem can become more complicated.


How to Fix a Garbage Disposal No Allen Wrench Hole

There are a few disposal models out there that don’t have slots for allen wrench. If you’re one of the homeowners with a garbage disposal no allen wrench hole, you may get worried about how you can manually turn your disposal’s impellers when your unit got stuck or clogged. Well, one effective way is to use the wooden stick trick which we have mentioned above. But this time, how to use this method is more elaborated.  


  1. Make sure that the garbage disposal unit is turned OFF and unplugged from the socket.

Garbage Disposal Allen Wrench Won't Turn

2. Take a flashlight and look for whatever is causing the blockage in your garbage disposal.

3. Remove the debris using a pair of tongs or pliers. Never use your hands to remove anything from this part of the garbage disposal.

4. Take your wooden rod and insert it into the drain that leads to the impellers.

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5. Engage the disposal’s blades by moving the wooden rod back and forth. The movement is for freeing the stuck flywheel from the top of the unit. Keep doing this until you feel the flywheel starts to loosen up.

6. Once you feel the impellers loosening up, plug your garbage disposal back in and turn the machine ON.

7. Run a stream of cold water from your faucet.

Your garbage disposal should start working after this. Otherwise, there could be some problems such as if your motor doesn’t hum at all, the problem could be your unit’s wiring or the motor itself. 

Avoid Garbage Disposal Problems

The best way you can avoid issues with your unit such as clogging or jamming is to prevent what can cause these in the first place. So here are a few dos and don’t s you can practice keeping your garbage disposal always in good working condition:

  • Run a stream of cold water before, during, and after running your garbage disposal. Doing so will flush the drain line and keep the garbage disposal free of any debris.
  • Practice sharpening your disposal’s blades by grinding a small amount of ice in your disposal. Make sure your sink’s drain stopper is plugged while doing this to avoid ice particles from flying out from your sink.
  • Chop up food scraps into tiny pieces before throwing them into the garbage disposal. Putting chunks of food that are too big for the disposal’s impellers to grind can lead to clogging and jamming.

  • Have your drain line cleaned up at least once every two years as part of your unit’s preventive maintenance. All garbage disposals can work better if the drain lines they are connected to are also free of debris.
  • You can replace your garbage disposal if you’ve had it for over seven years especially if it experiences regular malfunctioning. Your disposal unit degenerates over time and having one that is too old could lead to frequent issues and can cost you a lot of money for the repairs.

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  • Don’t overload your garbage disposal with too much food. Put only small pieces at a time and feed these slowly into the unit while running a steady stream of cold water. 
  • Don’t throw in greasy, fatty, or oily food into the unit. These can solidify inside the drainpipes and can cause serious clogs. Get rid of these by throwing them into your bins for biodegradable. 

  • Avoid using solvents that can be too harsh for your garbage disposal such as bleach or drain cleaners. Drain cleaners are only for unclogging sink drainpipes without the garbage disposals. However, you can make your mild cleaning agent using only water and liquid dishwashing soap. There are also cleaning products that are made specifically for garbage disposals. Ask for them in grocery or hardware stores.

Keeping your garbage disposal well-maintained can significantly lessen the need for repairs of your unit. So always remember that prevention is better than cure. 


We all know that troubleshooting your garbage disposal is not always an easy task  though you have to carry it on. And while the solutions we suggested can be simple, you still need to follow a good amount of patience and caution when fixing your unit. 

With the help of an allen wrench, you can do some magic in fixing your garbage disposal. An allen wrench can be your magic wand to troubleshoot and fix most of garbage disposals’ problems. However, if you find that the issue cannot be fixed by your magic wand anymore especially if your garbage disposal Allen wrench won’t turn while unclogging the impellers still don’t work, then it’s time to call your local plumber for help. 

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