How to Clear a Clogged Garbage Disposal

How to Clear a Clogged Garbage Disposal

We should all know what not to put down our garbage disposals; coffee grounds, bacon grease, entire pineapples, etc. Unfortunately, these types of things can find their way into the disposal and clog one of the most important parts of your sink. While there are some clogs that require the skills of a professional to clear, there are a lot more that you can easily fix by yourself.

  • Your first step should be to turn off the disposal. For this part, you’ll just be looking inside the disposal for clogs, so you don’t need to go to the fuse box and cut the power just yet, but do not put anything down the disposal until the power is cut. If the disposal accidentally turns on while something like, say, your arm is inside, it could severely damage both the disposal and your arm.
  • Grab a flashlight to get a better look inside. If you notice that something valuable is causing the blockage, your best bet is to call a plumber to ensure its safe removal.
  • If you discover that your garbage disposal is clogged underneath the sink, you’ll need to manually turn the blades to help break up some of the clog. In order to do this, insert an Allen wrench – you can buy these from any hardware store – into the bottom of the disposal and slowly turn it to operate the blades. Make sure you have the disposal’s manual with you and follow the listed instructions.

If your garbage disposal is still clogged after trying these methods, it’s time to go to your fuse box and cut the power. For extra security, you can also completely unplug your disposal entirely.

  • Grab the flashlight again and check for any debris that you might be able to grab with a pair of pliers. Never, ever put your hands in the garbage disposal. Even though the power is off, the blades are still sharp enough to give you a nasty cut.
  • Once you’ve removed all the debris, use a plunger to clear out more of the blockage. Make sure you fill the sink with a few inches of water so the plunger can work properly, and once you’ve given the sink a few good plunges, grab the pliers again to pull out any debris that may have come free.
  • If the water drains out of your sink after you pull out the plunger, odds are that the blockage has been removed and your garbage disposal is all clear. Wait about 15 minutes before running it again. Once you do test it, make sure to run the sink the whole time.

If these methods don’t work, it may be time to call in the professionals. The plumbers at bluefrog Plumbing + Drain are dedicated to providing the best service you’ll find, so give us a call at 888-794-0341 or visit our website to find your local bluefrog Plumbing + Drain location.

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