In discussing ways to unclog a garbage disposal with standing water, we’ll cover details like what leads to these draining issues and proper garbage disposal usage.
Other details include signs of clogged garbage disposal, unclogging your garbage disposal not draining, preventing a reoccurrence, and DIY vs. calling the pros.
Garbage Disposal Not Draining
Let’s get to the meat of the discussion without further delay, shall we?
Garbage disposal is a valuable and essential kitchen tool to have. As the name suggests, it helps collect and pulverize food waste for onward disposal.
However, this sometimes encounters failures, hence this guide on unclogging garbage disposal. So, is your garbage disposal clogged?
You’ll need the tips provided in this guide to make it work.
What Causes Clogging in Garbage Disposal?
If you’ve had to deal with clogging issues with your garbage disposal multiple times, you might wonder what the underlying causes are.
Improper use of this tool will cause it to clog with harmful practices like insufficient water use, placing unsuitable items in the garbage disposal like coffee grounds, chicken bones, and egg shells, and introducing greasy and fatty items into the garbage disposal unit.
Your garbage disposal may also malfunction or clog when non-food items are introduced or fed into the garbage too fast.
Any of these actions will immediately or gradually impact your garbage disposal, leading to malfunction. As discussed in the next point, your best bet for preventing this is strictly adhering to its proper use.
Proper Use of Garbage Disposal
There’s a proper way to use your garbage disposal.
While every detail may not be covered here, the following will prove helpful: first, every garbage disposal unit you buy comes with specific use instructions.
It’s essential to abide by these to prolong its lifespan. One such instruction is the exclusion of hard, starchy, or fibrous leftovers from your garbage disposal.
Commercial drain cleaners won’t do much to help with your maintenance procedures. For your safety, avoid dipping your fingers into the garbage disposal unit.
Also, avoid trying to dislodge stuck items with your hands, as this will do little to address the problem. A more holistic approach is needed, as outlined below.
Signs of Clogged Garbage Disposal
Do you suspect your garbage disposal to be clogged? There are ways to confirm you have a clogging issue. These include perceiving a stinky smell from stuck food in the grinding chamber.
Other signs include humming sounds with no action, a louder-than-normal sound, slow grinding, vibrations, and inefficient grinding.
While these signs often signal clogged garbage disposal, they may also indicate the need to replace the unit. This is especially true when clogs become too frequent, leaks are noticed, or the garbage disposal unit is past its lifespan and showing signs of slowing down.
Any of these signs of malfunction point to the need for an immediate fix.
Garbage Disposal Clogged | 7 Practical Solutions
Having confirmed your garbage disposal to be clogged, there are definite ways to fix the problem.
Such include getting the necessary tools, turning off the power, and inspecting the unit to identify the problem. Remove any obstructions you see.
Use baking soda and vinegar alongside a plunger. In the absence of any, try resetting the garbage disposal unit. Call a plumber when all else fails.
i. Get the Tools Necessary
To unclog a garbage disposal, some tools are needed. Such helps the unclogging process be more effective and stress-free.
Tools you may need for this job include a flashlight (for inspection of the disposal unit), drain-washing gloves, a plunger, pliers, a bucket, a scrub brush or wire, rags or paper towels, and a drain snake.
You may not need all of these tools for unclogging.
ii. Turn off the Power
Before anything is started, have the power to the unit turned off. This helps prevent risks like electrocution or sudden starts that could lead to serious injury.
This is precautionary and should be repeated whenever you want to perform maintenance work on your plunger. It should also extend to any electronic gadget you wish to maintain.
iii. Inspect the Unit
Having the garbage disposal unit inspected. This should be done with the help of a flashlight. If there are clogs, such should be visible upon close examination.
Check the intake point for any clogs. It’s possible not to see any. When this is the case, you may not be dealing with a clog but other forms of malfunction that call for troubleshooting.
iv. Remove Any Obstructions you See
Upon close inspection of your garbage disposal unit and finding garbage within the system, remove the same using the tools provided. Here, your drain snake, plunger, or pliers will be helpful.
Of course, you must know how to use such tools for best results. If you don’t, you can quickly learn by watching a YouTube video on how to.
v. Use Baking Soda and Vinega Alongside a Plunger
Baking soda and vinegar are used as cleaning agents and may help dislodge clogs from garbage disposal units. This solution serves best when the clogs are greasy.
First, use your plunger to remove clogs before pouring in your baking soda, followed by vinegar, and allow to sit for half an hour. Now, pour in water to flush the system.
vi. Resetting the Garbage Disposal Unit
Sometimes, garbage disposal malfunction may not be due to clogs.
This is especially true when you’ve inspected but can’t find clogs. Fail safes accompany such devices to ensure they function correctly.
Locate the reset button to turn the unit back on. This may solve the problem. However, there’s a possibility it won’t. If it doesn’t, you’ll have to take the next step.
vii. Call a Plumber when All Else Fails
When everything else fails, call the pros to have a look and address the problem. Plumbers are knowledgeable about garbage disposal systems and how they work.
It’s vital to call reputable plumbing technicians. This can be done through customer reviews to identify the best hands.
Troubleshooting a Garbage Disposal
There are troubleshooting actions to take when a garbage disposal malfunctions. Some of these may cater to clogging problems, including checking for power, flywheel, and impeller jams.
Also, check for garbage disposal leaks and clear the drain trap. These, in combination with the tips outlined above, may address garbage disposal issues.
Now you know how to unclog a garbage disposal. While these tips may prove helpful, there are no assurances that they’ll work.
In such a case, calling a plumber would be the best option to address the problem.