Garbage Disposal Clogged? Quick Tips to Unclog a Garbage Disposal

Garbage Disposal Clogged? Quick Tips to Unclog a Garbage Disposal


Tips to Unclog Your Garbage Disposal

Is your garbage disposal clogged? It is a horrible feeling when you see that water is not going down your garbage disposal. Clearly, something is clogging it and you are going to have to deal with the wet, slimy, and smelly mess that is clogging it. Having a clogged garbage disposal is a problem that thousands of Americans occasionally run into every year. There are a few steps to take to correctly diagnose the problem, and from there, the solution to fix the clogged garbage disposal should be relatively simple. If you're trying to figure out what to do when your garbage disposal is clogged, you've come to the right place! 

water going down drain sink clogged

Garbage Disposal Clogged? What are Some things that Clog a sink?

  • Grease from food - Grease is a pretty common substance that clogs drains because homeowners do not realize how it builds up in the pipes. These globs of grease merge with other unwanted substances and eventually create a blockage in the pipe to ultimately cause a clog.
  • Food scraps from the kitchen - Avoid putting foods like meat, bone, fat, skin, or cheeses down the drain. These foods, among many others, are not meant to go down the garbage disposal.
  • Vegetable peels that accidentally go down the drain - A minimal amount of potato, carrot, or apple peels are okay to put down the drain. However, if you are peeling for Thanksgiving dinner and try to dispose of all the peels down the garbage disposal, you will certainly clog the drain.
  • Coffee grinds - An abundance of coffee grinds down the drain can clog it pretty quickly. Make sure to throw these into a trash can.
  • Soap - If you use a solid soap, do not let large chunks go down the drain.
  • Jewelry - It might be a good idea to take off any rings before doing the dishes. You don’t want that to get lost in the garbage disposal!

peels in drain clogged garbage disposal   grease down drain sink clogged

How to Unclog a Garbage Disposal

Knowing the common things that clog a sink is importing so you can avoid having them go down a drain. What do you do if your garbage disposal does, unfortunately, get clogged?

  1. Shut off the power - The first step is to shut off the power switch of the garbage disposal. This is typically located under the cabinet near the disposal or can be done in your home’s main breaker.
  2. Look into the disposal - Use a flashlight and take a look into the disposal. Sometimes the problem can be as simple as taking out a large chunk of food or piece of silverware.
  3. If there is an object, use a pair of pliers - Pliers are much safer than sticking your hands in the disposal. Even though the power is off, there is always a chance that the switch is faulty and the disposal is somehow triggered. Turn the power on - You should wait 15 minutes for the motor to cool and then turn your power back on.

Still clogged? Sometimes the impeller of the clogged garbage disposal needs to be manually spun. Time to get a little more hands on!

  1. Shut off the power - Again, make sure the power is off before working on your garbage disposal.
  2. Use a long object - Use a wooden probe like a broomstick or a wooden spoon to insert down into the drain to manually spin the impeller. You main need to rock back and forth to break it free.
  3. Turn the power back on - Make sure you wait 15 minutes for the motor to cool before turning the power back on.

broom stick in sink garbage disposal clogged

How Great Pros Can Help

Unclogging a garbage disposal, or any drain can usually be a DIY project. If you are still having problems and cannot get the drain unclogged, there may be something deep in the pipes that is causing the problem. Tons of resources can be found that teach you how to disassemble the pipes, find the problem, and fix it, or you could take 2 minutes and fill out a questionnaire to have a licensed, bonded, and insured plumber come fix it for you. We have many plumbers who are readily available to help you with the job!

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