Seems like garbage disposals are not the funniest appliance in our kitchens even when they are doing their job perfectly, not to mention situations when they get clogged (yes, even the most powerful ones).
Yet, don’t throw the appliance right away, as we have 5 easy ways for you to fix the clogged garbage disposal.
Next time you find yourself in a stuck situation, make sure to follow our simple instructions, and you will see the magic – as things will get moving down your garbage disposal again.
Garbage Disposal – Possible Scenarios
There are a couple of different scenarios that can happen with your garbage disposal.
Read on this section carefully, as you want to determine where the problem lays in order to fix it.
- Clogged kitchen pipe
If you want to make sure whether your garbage disposal is out of function, you should check on the pipes first.
Even though it may seem you have an issue with the clogged garbage disposal, it happens that the jam is coming from the pipe.
Food remains, grease, scale, and sediments cause clogs, and some of them smell like hell.
This is how you would detect the pipe clog.
Garbage disposal has one function – to ground up debris so it doesn’t clog the pipes, but there will be at least a small part of it coming down with each wash.
If you detected a clogged pipe, turn of the disposal, then fill the sink with soapy water, and leave it for 30 seconds.
Then plunge the sink with a cup plunger, and this would be just enough to clear the clog.
After this, the water will start draining normally again.
- Clogged Garbage Disposal
Once you notice that garbage disposal’s motor is humming, but doesn’t grind, that means something clogged it.
You see, there is a big difference between a clogged garbage disposal and a clogged pipe we mentioned in the previous section.
When you have a situation like this, that means the flywheel got jammed, and this is exactly what we are going to talk about today.
Keep on reading the following lines.
Note that you should never try to stick your finger or hand down the garbage disposal, as this is extremely dangerous.
- Power issue
If there is no way to turn on your garbage disposal, that means only one thing – there is no power supply.
Check on the outlet first, as you may have knocked a plug out accidentally.
In this case, plug it in and – problem solved.
On the other side, if it is plugged in, and you are still not seeing any difference, try to reset it.
If nothing helps – sorry, the outlet of your garbage disposal is dead, or the circuit breaker is malfunctioning and it needs replacement.
It is absolutely possible for disposal to leak. It can be that the mounting bolts have weakened, and you should simply tighten them.
Further, you may need a plumber putty to seal up the flange and the sink.
You would have to lift the sink flange up a bit, so it is higher than the sink. When you are done with sealing, simply re-attach the unit.
Just Before You Start…
We want to make sure you are safe and sound.
Even though fixing clogged garbage disposal is not the most dangerous task in the world, it still can lead to severe injuries, so be careful and follow our advice.
If you made it clear that your garbage disposal is clogged, then we will give you a piece of advice right before you get to it.
You want to ensure that electrical and water supply are removed.
Any water supply should run dry before any work takes place.
Garbage disposal contains a couple of sharp components.
We advise you to protect your hands and your skin with a pair of strong work gloves and gauntlets.
If you don’t have any at your home, then remove the components first before starting the task.
How to Fix a Clogged Garbage Disposal?
Just as we promised, we are presenting you top 5 easiest way to fix the garbage disposal.
Flush It Out
Sometimes you don’t need anything else but a solid water flush to unclog your garbage disposal.
Dry goods usually ground up in the mechanism, which causes a clog.
Not letting enough water to flush it out will only make it possible to gather even more grime in there.
Coffee grounds, egg shells, starchy paste, potatoes, and bananas are dangerous for any garbage disposal, as tiny particles of these ingredients create a clog in a short period of time.
Run the faucet in your kitchen at full flow, let the water flush out the mechanism, and voila – the clog would be gone.
This is the easiest and most simple technique for clogged garbage disposal, so it may not work in all cases.
However, it would work if you flush the mechanism out the second you notice the water flow through the drain gets slower.
Lemon and Ice
You see that water can’t fix the issue, as the disposal is only containing it in the sink.
What will you do next?
You will take a lemon and peel it, and then you will need a couple of ice cubes.
Let the lemon and ice cubes down the mechanism, and that should be just enough to unclog the disposal.
The key here is in the lemon, while ice cubes’ coarseness should give it a final kick.
After completing this process, run water down the drain.
However, in case this doesn’t help, move on to tip number three.
As lemon is truly a secret formula for kitchen clogs, we would highly advise you to purchase a pack of Glisten Glisten DP20 Disposer with a lemon scent, as it strips away anything that may cause grunge. This product would extend the lifetime of your garbage disposal by maximizing its functionality and performance.
Even though we mentioned this already, there is no possibility we would overreact if we repeat once more that you should disconnect the power supply to the clogged garbage disposal.
Once you ensure there is no power supply, you should shine the sink with a flashlight.
This will help you detect the cause and location of the obstruction.
Now that you know where the blockage is, you should take a wooden dowel, long wooden spoon, or anything with a long neck to get to the clog.
You will also need a pair of pliers in order to take the mess out.
Yes, we know – this won’t smell nice, but – it will solve the problem in a couple of minutes.
Use a Hex-Head Wrench
Do you remember the hex-head wrench that was included with the garbage disposal unit that you are using now?
This tool can be of great help right now.
Try to find it, as you can manipulate the flywheel with it.
Then, turn the wrench for as long as it is needed to release the blockage.
Everything should be just fine when you run the water again.
We all tend to pick the easiest way to fix an issue.
Of course, we promised you 5 easy ways to unclog your garbage disposal.
Even though the final step is not that complicated, it still takes slightly more effort than the previous ones.
As you can guess by the title, you would have to dismantle the appliance.
After disassembling the disposal, take a look beneath the sink.
Here, you will locate the S-shaped pipe, from which you should remove the fasteners with the help of a wrench.
This will provide you easier access to the drain.
You would probably find blockages when you remove the drain trap from its holding in the disposal discharge.
Yet, as we said probably, that means the issue may be somewhere deeper.
In case the clog is somewhere beyond the wall, you would need a slim flexible cable to dislodge blockages.
Put everything back into place, and switch the power of the disposal back before you test this trick out.
How to Extend the Life Cycle of Your Garbage Disposal?
You can extend the lifespan of the disposal in your kitchen mostly by not putting certain items in it.
For example, you should avoid letting these items down your sink:
• Large bones,
• Plastic pieces,
• Metal pieces,
• Too much grease and oil
Another great way to treat your garbage disposal right is to avoid putting the following ingredients into it:
• Coffee ground,
• Onion skin,
• Egg shells,
• Corn husk,
• Peach pits,
• Raw meat,
It actually doesn’t matter that much is the disposal in your kitchen is intended for heavy use, as you still want to keep the line moving fast, and the only right way to do so is to avoid letting go too much of the above-mentioned items and food down the sink.
We are aware of the fact the garbage disposal is one of the most overlooked components in your kitchen, even though it doesn’t deserve such treatment.
This, indeed, is a powerful device that handles pretty much of everything you toss in it – until things go down one day.
Once your disposal fails, don’t look for a warranty right away, as there is a great chance you can solve the problem yourself.
Of course, you should treat your disposal right, but – accidents happen.
If there is no hope for old broken garbage disposal, you should consider new one.
We truly hope one of our 5 easy tips will help you handle clogged garbage disposal in your kitchen, and keep things moving smoothly for a couple of years to come.