DIY Home Fixes

Don't dial a pro -- put down the phone and pick up your tools. These simple solutions to common household problems will save you time and a whole lot of cash.
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Problem: The Garbage Disposal Is Jammed

Time Commitment: 20 minutes

Repair Kit
Flashlight
Tongs
Allen wrench

DIY Solution
If the machine makes no sound at all when you turn it on, press the red reset button on the unit and try again. If it starts making a humming noise, that means something is probably blocking the motor. Turn the power off at the circuit breaker and unplug the disposal, then look down the drain with a flashlight. Even with the power off, it's best not to put your hand down there. Instead, remove small objects with a pair of tongs, or a pencil with duct tape on the end, or two butter knives used together as chopsticks. Let your inner MacGyver lead the way.

If there's an object you can't reach -- or you don't see anything at all -- you'll need to rotate the motor so the obstruction can pass down the drain. Most disposals have something called a hex head slot on the bottom of the unit and come with a hex head, or Allen, wrench. Insert the wrench into this slot and gently turn it back and forth to spin the mechanism. Check to see if any items have popped back into view and remove them. Turn the power back on, plug in the disposal, run the water and turn it on. Still not working? It's time to call a plumber.

A Pro Costs: $140
Your Cost: $00
Total Savings: $140

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