What Is a Garbage Disposal Wrench?

The garbage disposal in the kitchen may be one of the most underappreciated appliances in your home. It’s there to help make cleanup a breeze as it churns up foodstuff you have no use for.  It also helps to keep the smell of old food from festering in the trash.  However, there may come a time when ol’ reliable will need fixing. When this is the case, a garbage disposal wrench is an invaluable repair tool.

Okay So What Is a Garbage Disposal Wrench?

The garbage disposal wrench is another name for a specific Allen wrench used on a garbage disposal. An Allen wrench is a simple metal tool. It has an octagonal vertical portion, then one tip is bent at 90 degrees to the right and the bottom tip is bent 90 degrees to the left (it looks like an elongated “S”).

If you have purchased any kind of furniture that requires you to put it together at home (such as an IKEA piece of furniture), you have received a disposable Allen wrench before. You can also purchase sets of Allen wrenches. Different kinds of devices and bolts will require different sizes of wrenches.

The wrench, in a way, works like a screw. It has the same screw threading but uses the octagonal design to make it easier to insert the wrench into an opening without it slipping out. Plus, these kinds of wrenches are helpful when you need to work around a corner, which is why it has a 90-degree bend in it.

A garbage disposal wrench is no different. It uses the Allen wrench with an opening on the bottom of the disposal. This opening is accessed with the Allen wrench. If you have a set of Allen wrenches, you will have the appropriate wrench to use on the disposal. When you purchased the garbage disposal, it may have come with an Allen “garbage disposal wrench” as well. However, if you don’t have the correct size, you can go out and purchase one for just a few dollars.

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Why Might You Need a Garbage Disposal Wrench?

The main reason why you would need a garbage disposal wrench is if you need to perform some kind of internal repair. There are two primary reasons why people typically need to use a garbage disposal wrench on their disposals:

Jammed Disposal

There are times where your garbage disposal might become jammed, and no matter what you do from the top of the disposal there’s just nothing you can do to fix the problem. When this is the case, you’ll need to open up the disposal and get at the problem clog from a different angle.

While you can disconnect the disposal from the mount under the sink, typically using either a Phillips screwdriver or a socket wrench depending on the kind of disposal you have, you will need a garbage disposal wrench to open up the underside of the disposal.

When you flip the garbage disposal over, you will see the connection where you can insert the Allen wrench. Insert the Allen wrench and loosen the screws. Once you have loosened the screws, you will be able to take off the underside of the disposal. This will pull out the blades, making it easy to clear out any kind of debris or other gunk that might be stuck around the appliance so it will start turning again.

Once you have cleaned off the blade, you can put the disposal back together, tighten the screws with the Allen wrench, then insert it back into the mount on the underside of the sink.

repairing a garbage disposal

Leaking Disposal

There might be a time where your garbage disposal runs into problems and begins to leak. When this is the case, you need to search the garbage disposal to see where the leak is. First, dry off the garbage disposal and then run the sink. Now, feel around the top where the disposal connects to the sink. If you can’t feel anything here, you’ll want to feel around the connections running from the dishwasher and out of the disposal into the water run-off connector.

If you still don’t feel any water, you’ll want to feel around the bottom of the disposal. Chances are that you will find that the water is located on the underside of the disposal.

If you find the leak is on the underside of the disposal, this means there is a problem with one of the filters inside of the disposal. If you are comfortable taking the disposal apart, you can repair the problem, install a new filter, and correct the leak: all without replacing the garbage disposal. Replacing the filter will save you a considerable amount of money over buying a new disposal. Self-repair will save you from paying high amounts by hiring a professional plumber.

You will need to remove the disposal from the mount on the underside of the sink. Use the Phillips screwdriver or the socket wrench to remove the bolted screws on the sides of the disposal mount to remove the disposal. You can use the Allen wrench on the underside of the garbage disposal to loosen up the Allen screw. When you do this, you can remove the underside of the disposal.

Once you have this removed, you can continue taking apart the bottom of the disposal. There will be a series of filters here and determining which is the problem filter can be a challenge. As you don’t want to be stuck taking the disposal apart a half-dozen times, it will be easier to just replace all the filters inside of the disposal all at once. This way, you only have to take apart the disposal once and can replace all the old filters at the same time.

After you have finished replacing all the old filters, you can close the garbage disposal and secure it back to the mount on the underside of the sink. 

Allen Wrench

Are All Garbage Disposal Wrenches the Same?

Yes, all garbage disposals use the same wrench size. So as long as you have a quarter-inch (1/4 inch) Allen wrench, you will be able to open up the underside of the garbage disposal.

Should You Buy a Specialty Wrench?

Do you need to buy a special garbage disposal wrench if you already have a quarter-inch Allen wrench? No, you don’t. The disposable Allen wrench you received from previous furniture will work just fine. There really isn’t any need to go out and spend more money on a fancy wrench.

However, if you want something with a longer construction and even a handle, you can invest in a disposal wrench. The longer construction will give you more torque when turning the wrench. 

If the Allen bolt or screw has rusted in place and the smaller Allen wrench is not making it budge, you may want to go with the disposal wrench with a longer base to make it easier to turn. Ultimately it is up to you. One tip is to pick a long handle wrench from the tool section as opposed to the kitchen section. A regular quarter-inch Allen wrench will cost you maybe a dollar. But the exact same wrench marked a “garbage disposal wrench” will cost far more.

Conclusion

The garbage disposal is a fantastic addition to any kitchen, but the appliance will not last forever. That is why you need to know how to take care of your garbage disposal and how to correct problems when issues do arise.

Should you need to take the disposal apart, you will want to have a garbage disposal wrench on hand. As long as you have a quarter-inch Allen wrench, you’ll be perfectly fine. If you’re interested in investing in an actual “garbage disposal wrench,” you can buy one with longer handles; but any quarter-inch Allen wrench will do just fine.

Last update on 2020-09-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Mr Garbage Disposal
 

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