Calling a plumber is the easiest way to get rid of clogging garbage disposal. But you can do it by yourself. You do not need to spend much money but times and should have patience. Garbage disposal is an electrically powered device which is used to cut down the food wastes into tiny pieces and let them drain out properly through the drain without harming the environment. Sometimes the process may hamper due to clogging the debris in different parts of the disposal. Let’s know how to unclog the disposal and prevent the clogging in future.
Find out the source and unclog
At first, unplug the power supply of your garbage disposal and wear safety gloves to protect your hands from blades because you may need to use your hand inside.Use a flashlight and look down the drain to find out the blockage.
Clogged by any materials, piece of glass, rubber, etc.
If the disposal is clogged by any materials, a piece of glass, rubber, etc. then do not run water rather use tongs or pliers to pull them out. If it is something precious like a ring, then you can try by yourself or call a plumber to remove it safely. If there is a buildup of food like any food waste, fruit’s peel, bones, or fatty strips of meat, etc., pull them out with the pliers and never use your hands.
Debris stuck to the pipes
Sometimes the food debris that stuck to the pipes is not possible to flush down with water. To remove them you need to use a plunger. Before starting plunging, fill the sink with some water and place the plunger on the sinkhole. The plunger will help to lift out the debris which is developed day by day and harder to remove. After plunging properly, run the disposal using some water you will get a clear disposal and pipe.
Manually turn the blades on
If you find that the disposal is clogged under the sink, you need to turn the blades manually. The process will help you to identify the source of the clog and break down the materials slowly. Use an Allen wrench and turn the blades to break down the debris. You can check your manual for proper instructions.
Avoid using chemicals
Do not use chemicals to unclog your garbage disposal. Chemicals may harm your plastic pipes and different parts of your disposal.
Cleaning the P-Trap or S-Trap
There is a P or S shaped pipe behind the disposal unit which is connected to the trap arm on the back wall of the cabinet. Sometimes plunging can not help to remove the sludge which builds up from coffee grounds, fat, or grease from the trap. This build up sludge prevents to break up new materials and to drain properly. To get rid of this problem you may need to disassemble the P-trap or S-trap.
Before removing the P-trap, place a bucket under the pipe and sponge up the sink to avoid water dripping out. Take a towel to manage, if there is an unwanted mess. Now unscrew the pipes. The trap arm is small and looks like a faucet, which is connected from the back of the cabinet. The waste tee connects the trap to the disposal, is the pipe above the trap.
Now remove the trap very carefully because the grime may fall out and make a mess. There is a clean-out plug in the base in some disposals, if you have it, then you do not need to remove the trap.Use a coat hanger to pull out the debris and rinse it with warm water. After cleaning the trap, reconnect it.
If still, you have the draining problem, check the drain and clean it properly.
How to avoid clogging
- Do not insert bones, plastics, a piece of glass, rubber, or any other materials in the disposal. Remember it is not a trashcan rather it is built to break down the food wastes and drain them properly through the drain.
- Manually cut down the large food wastes before run it through the disposal. You can grind up egg shells, chicken bones, small fruit pits, etc. but make sure that they are very small in size.
- Do not put the food items which are not biodegradable in the garbage disposal.
- Avoid putting down fibrous food scraps like onion peels, celery stalks, artichokes, corn husks,
- Do not leave potato skins which may form a thick paste and may suck the blades of the disposal.
- Coffee grind, rice, pasta, can clog the drains.
- Avoid putting down fat, grease or any other kind of oil into the disposal. It may slow down the motor, and may clog the drain.
Use cold water while grinding
Grind the food waste with cold water so that it can solidify the grease, fat or oils which will be chopped up before stuck the disposal.
Flush with cold water
Do not forget to run cold water after grinding the food wastes in the disposal at least for 30 seconds. It will help to flush out the grime. Do it every time after using.
Remove fat, or grease, etc.
Place a stopper in the sink, add a squirt of dish soap and fill 2 or 4 inches of the sink with hot water. Now let the water flushes through the disposal. Hot water will help to liquefy the build up fat and grease which will not solidify with cold water.
Use ice cubes
Use ice cubes with some cold water and grind them until the ice is gone. The ice cube will help to sharpen the blades of the disposal.
Use lemon or lime
Take a half of a lemon or lime and grind it with some water in the disposal. Wait for 2 minutes. The lemon will help to remove odor and debris.
Vinegar and baking soda
Take a half cup of baking soda and sprinkle it down into the disposal. Add one cup of white vinegar. Don’t be a wonder if it fizzes and makes noise. Let them work for a few minutes. Now pour a kettle of hot water to flush them out. It is no doubt an odor-busting combo, and it will help to dissolve grime.
Over-stuffing the disposal
You should not put as many materials down at a time at your disposal. Over-staffing may cause clogging. After practicing all the possible way, if you fail to unclog your disposal, call a plumber.