How To Unclog A Garbage Disposal in 5 Easy Steps

How To Unclog A Garbage Disposal

A garbage disposal may seem like a device that barely has faults, but it is far from it. It is prone to frequent breakdown if not used properly.

Blocked trash disposal may be challenging to diagnose since the blockage might be caused by a single thing, multiple items at once, or a non-food object. A clog in the garbage disposal might also come from the blades, the structure, or the sink drain.

In this post, you’ll discover why garbage disposal clogs, how to unclog it, and how to prevent clogs from happening again.

Why Is My Garbage Disposal Not Draining?

The garbage disposal machine may be clogged if it cannot grind food and flush the waste down the drain. Clogging is caused by broken plastic parts and components, a faulty motor, jammed impeller blades, debris in the pipes, and too much food caught within the disposal.

The indicators of a trash disposal blockage are simple to recognize. First and foremost, your unit drains slowly, leaving standing water in your sink. When the trash disposal unit is not in use, you may detect foul odors emanating from it, or the garbage disposal may not even turn on!

Clogs occur in garbage disposals for the following reasons:

  • When the disposal runs, there isn’t enough water.
  • Putting too much rubbish in the garbage disposal.
  • Instead of flushing the wrong things like plastics down the drain.

Tools to Fix the Garbage Disposal

To unclog a garbage disposal drain, you’ll need some equipment and materials. Some of these are almost certainly already present in your home:

  • Baking soda
  • White vinegar
  • Plunger
  • Wrench

How to Unclog Your Garbage Disposal

  1. Look for any Stuck Food or Debris

Do not put your hand down into the disposal unit, even if the power switch has been turned off. Instead, glance down into the disposal with a flashlight to see if you can figure out what’s causing the issue. If you observe anything, unhook the unit from the wall, switch off the breaker, or remove the fuse to cut off the electricity to the device. Then, using pliers, tongs, or the handle of a wooden spoon, remove the trapped object.

If the flywheel becomes stuck, you may be able to loosen it using the tool or wrench that came with the device. Follow the manufacturer’s directions for inserting the tool.

  1. Pour boiling water or a solution of baking soda and vinegar down the drain

Don’t fall into the trap of using commercial drain cleaners. The chemicals in these cleaners have the potential to damage disposal components. Instead, pour hot water from a kettle or saucepan down the drain to clear obstructions. To remove the obstacle, you may need to do this numerous times.

If boiling water doesn’t work, pour a half-cup of baking soda down the drain, followed by a cup or two of white or apple cider vinegar, if boiling water doesn’t work. Allow for a 10-minute cooling period before trying to pour hot water down the drain again. This treatment may be carried out as many times as required.

  1. Reset Unit

If nothing is blocking the disposal, it may be overheated. Restart the device by pushing the reset button, which is normally located underneath or on the side of the main disposal unit (under the sink).

  1. Turn on the Dishwasher

If your dishwasher is connected to the mainline that leads to the trash disposal, you may try running it to see if it clears the blockage.

  1. Use a toilet plunger

A toilet plunger may be used to clear persistent obstructions. Place the plunger over the garbage disposal hole and fill it with enough water to produce suction. If one plunger fails in a double sink, acquire two plungers and ask someone to assist you. Allow one person to shut off the second sink side with a plunger while the other plunges the disposal side.

Tips to Unclog a Garbage Disposal Drain

If you have the correct equipment and materials, unclogging a trash disposal device isn’t difficult. Fixing a blockage and ensuring appropriate drainage takes typically approximately 20 to 30 minutes or less.

If you use chemicals to unclog your garbage disposal, the chemicals will eat away at the plastic portions of the system. Natural cleansers may be an excellent alternative to chemical cleaners. If you have a stubborn clog, you’ll need to unclog your disposal using either the plunging approach or the disassembly method. Unclogging the trash disposed of will be fairly straightforward once you get it.

How do Garbage Disposals Work?

Garbage disposal aid in preventing drain blockages by breaking up items that are flushed down the drain. Garbage disposal is an electric motor and blades that break down food connected to the underside of a kitchen sink drain.

Before reaching the drainpipe, the blades cut up food waste into little bits and then flushed it down the drain with tap water.

It’s critical to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for utilizing your trash disposal and running water down the kitchen drain. Consult the owner’s handbook for further information on how to unclog your trash disposal and how your unique garbage disposal works.

What to do if Your Garbage Disposal Gets Clogged in the Future

The best approach to prevent clogs is to avoid them altogether! Remember to run water while using your disposal and for at least 20 seconds after you switch it off. Read your instructions carefully and avoid throwing out non-food items or foods that have been known to create issues.

Potato peels, carrots, celery, corncobs, artichokes, bones, and congealed oil are all classic clog causes. Slowly put food into the disposal, avoiding dropping excessive quantities at once.

You’ll need to hire a trained repair specialist if you can’t unclog the trash disposal or if it’s not performing correctly after it’s been clogged.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Will my Garbage Disposal Affect my Septic Tank?

If you follow the manufacturer’s instructions and avoid putting stuff into your trash disposal that you shouldn’t, your garbage disposal should have no detrimental impact on your septic tank. Keeping your trash disposal and septic tank in good working order can assist keep everything functioning smoothly.

2. How do I Know When to Replace my Garbage Disposal?

If your garbage disposal clogs often, takes a long time to grind food, leaks or makes abnormally loud sounds despite appropriate use and maintenance, You should consult with a plumbing professional to learn more about how to unclog your trash disposal and address more serious issues. These signs may indicate that your garbage disposal needs to be replaced.

3. How to Unclog a Garbage Disposal with Boiling Water

Pour a kettle full of boiling water into your garbage disposal. Pour it carefully so that you don’t receive a back spray of hot water on your face.

This straightforward procedure may work if the blockage isn’t too serious and can be quickly dissolved. Of course, try it two or three times, and if it doesn’t work, consult a professional.

4. How do I Empty my Garbage Disposal?

Usually, your garbage disposal is supposed to empty itself automatically if you take adequate care and maintain it properly. However, since every garbage disposal is different, follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for garbage disposal maintenance.

5. How To Unclog a Garbage Disposal with A Plumber’s Snake

If you’re a handyman and have an auger (a plumber’s snake), you may use it to unclog your garbage disposal.

Before placing the snake into the line beneath the cabinet wall below the sink, you’d have to disassemble the drain pipe and the P-trap. If neither of these solutions helps clean your clogged garbage disposal, we recommend contacting a professional plumber.

6. Why Does My Disposal Smell?

There’s probably rotting food waste within the grinding chamber. It’s possible you didn’t grind your previous batch long enough, or there’s food caught within the machine that wasn’t adequately flushed down the drain.

Run lots of cold water into the machine and turn it on to remove the odor. Allow it to finish grinding and flushing all of the things in the chamber. After that, clean your disposal thoroughly to remove any germs remaining and contributing to the stink.

7. How do you Unclog a Garbage Disposal With Standing water?

Place the sink plunger over the garbage disposal drain.

Begin by pressing the sink plunger up and down. Lifting the plunger away from the drain will break the seal you’ve made and prevent the suction needed to dislodge any particles.

Before lifting the plunger, push it up and down at least 6 to 8 times. If the water in the sink drains, you have most likely effectively removed any food particles. If there is still standing water, you may need to repeat the instructions multiple times.

Once this is finished and the water has receded, it is advised that you run hot water down the disposal for up to three minutes to force any residual material out of the drain.


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