How To Properly Unclog Your Garbage Disposal
There’s no denying the convenience a garbage disposal brings to our daily kitchen cleanup routine. But like all appliances, it’s not immune to occasional hiccups, including stubborn clogs. However, before you rush to call your local plumber, there are a few steps you can take to unclog your disposal yourself. It’s important to know what to look for if you suspect your disposal is clogged, how to fix it safely, and when to call a professional.
Signs of a Clogged Garbage Disposal
Your garbage disposal is an essential part of your home, but when clogs occur, it can disrupt your day-to-day activities.
A few signs that your disposal may be clogged include:
- Water backing up into the sink
- Hearing unusual noises
- Bad odor persisting after running
- Slow draining or failure to drain
- Not turning on
- Frequent overheating
Step-By-Step Guide to Unclogging a Garbage Disposal
Unclogging your garbage disposal might seem daunting, but don’t worry — it’s a task you can typically handle with patience. Here’s a simple guide to help you:
Step 1: Safety First, Always!
Before clearing a clog, switch off the garbage disposal at the wall switch. For added safety, you should also turn off the circuit breaker that supplies power to the disposal.
Step 2: Check for Visible Obstructions
With the disposal off, investigate the disposal using a flashlight. If you can see the cause of the clog, proceed to the next step.
Step 3: Remove the Obstruction
Use pliers or tongs to remove the obstruction. Never use your hands, even if the power is off, as this could result in injury.
Step 4: Test the Disposal
Once you’ve removed the visible obstructions, run cold water and turn the disposal on. The clog is cleared if the water drains away and the disposal sounds normal. If not, proceed to the next step.
Step 5: Clean the Disposal’s Trap
If the clog persists, you may need to clean the disposal’s trap. This will require you to disconnect the trap, which is the curved pipe leading from the disposal’s drain line. Once you’ve removed it, you can clean out the clog. Remember to place a bucket underneath to catch any water.
Step 6: Reassemble the Disposal
After cleaning the trap, reassemble the disposal. Run water through the system to ensure everything is working correctly.
If the clog is persistent or the problem lies deeper in the plumbing, it may be time to call a professional. A stubborn clog could indicate a more serious issue, so don’t hesitate to seek professional help.
Preventing Future Garbage Disposal Clogs
Prevention is the best way to avoid future issues with your garbage disposal. Keep your disposal running smoothly by:
- Avoiding the disposal of tough or fibrous materials like bones, coffee grounds, or celery stalks
- Running cold water while the disposal is in use and for a few seconds after it’s turned off
- Cleaning your disposal regularly with a mixture of baking soda and vinegar to prevent buildup
Call a Vredevoogd Professional for Garbage Disposal Issues
While minor clogs can often be resolved at home, stubborn blockages, frequent clogs, or strange noises from your disposal are signs that it’s time to call a professional. Our experienced plumbers at Vredevoogd are ready to help when you need us most.
Choosing Vredevoogd means opting for a company with a proven track record, serving Grand Rapids since 1964. We pride ourselves on our 24/7 emergency services, same-day services, free estimates, and affordable financing options. We also appreciate the sacrifices of our military and veterans, offering them discounts.
Why Choose Vredevoogd?
Michigan’s HVAC & Plumbing Experts Since 1964
- Serving the area for over 50 years
- 24/7 emergency HVAC services
- Same-day services
- Licensed, insured & background-checked technicians
- Free estimates & financing options
- Military, veteran & senior discounts