To fix a broken garbage disposal, switch the garbage disposal on, and determine if the disposal is making noise or if it stops altogether. If it makes noise, it is jammed and needs to be reset. If not, inspect the motor to determine if the housing has a crank or socket. Open the housing and remove any clogs before resetting the disposal. If there is a leak, replace the gaskets, and test the disposal to ensure it is fixed.
The reset button is usually underneath the disposal motor. To reset the disposal, press the button, and wait five minutes before testing the disposal again. If this does not work, turn the crank or socket to manually move the blades using a hex-head wrench or an appropriate tool. This allows any small clogs to become dislodged before the disposal is reset and tested again.
With the disposal switched to the off position, insert a broom handle to move the blade back and forth to unclog it. Press the reset button and test the disposal again. If the clog extends into the sink drain, use a snake to remove the clog after removing the trap.
If none of these methods work, consider replacing the disposal unit. Anytime you take the disposal apart, turn off the power to the area where your disposal is located. Avoid chemical drain removers, as they tend to damage the garbage disposal.