Garbage disposals are rapidly becoming an integral part of every kitchen. They save drain pipes from getting clogged due to large waste particles. Sometimes, there occur garbage disposal clogs, which can be annoying. To deal with this problem, it is essential to unclog a clogged garbage disposal. You can also take measures to prevent clogs. Here, you will learn 6 quick and effective ways to unclog a clogged garbage disposal.
What is a Garbage Disposal?
A garbage disposal lies underneath the sink. It serves the job of collecting solid waste in a grinding chamber. You can put the trash in the sink and turn it on. A spinning disk inside starts spinning, turning the disposal on. It converts solid food particles into tiny pieces. These pieces can now be released into drain pipes without being a hazard.
The garbage disposal working is very sharp, making solid food easy to go. If these pieces enter the pipelines unchecked, it may be why your sink is not draining. That’s why you should install a garbage disposal in your kitchen.
Causes of Clogged Garbage Disposal:
There could be many possible causes of clogged garbage disposal. It includes putting too much or incorrect food types into it. Incorrect and excessive use can be a potential threat to its working. Let’s check out the primary causes.
Overloading the Unit:
One of the major causes of clogged garbage disposal is putting too much solid waste in it. The user must remember there is a limit to fill the unit. Upon exceeding, there will be no room for debris to crush down, and it can lead to clogs. This condition also leads to a humming noise. You can figure this out by checking if the food spins inside the disposal. If not, it means a clog has formed over there.
The garbage disposal clogs can cause backflow in the sink. Overfilling puts too much workload on the blades as they try to chop large portions at once. It then leads to the passing of larger chunks, which becomes a cause of garbage disposal clogs.
Incorrect Food Types:
Throwing every type of food waste can often cause clogs. The user should check the items being thrown in the disposal. Hard bones and large waste piles must be avoided as they are not recommended. You should also follow the instructions on the disposal packet for better working.
You should also avoid putting stingy items like pasta or banana peels into it. These sticking materials can reach into sensitive disposal areas and hinder its performance. Similarly, they can create a thick paste sticking all over the apparatus that causes garbage disposal clogs.
Ignoring Leftover Washing:
Most people immediately turn off the disposal when it grinds the food. It leaves particles and even pieces of junk in the unit. If you continue doing it every time, it can deposit a heap of leftovers onto the unit’s working parts.
The best solution to this problem is to run sufficient water through the disposal after grinding. It will remove the tiny particles and clean the apparatus for subsequent use.
Waste Other Than Food:
Throwing inorganic waste can be a cause of garbage disposal clogs. They are meant to deal with food only. Solid wastes like paper, silverware, plastic or foil, etc. can damage the disposal. When materials like these get stuck inside, unclogging is very difficult.
Eggshells and coffee grounds make the situation more complicated. The blades do not work on these objects and can be damaged. The grinding attempts for solids other than food can also cause jamming.
Running Hot Water:
The garbage disposal clogs also result from running hot water. To clean the garbage disposal, cold water is suitable. Using hot water causes the fats to spread around the apparatus. These fats become more complex upon cooling. It can result in taking up significant space. This condition often becomes the cause of garbage disposal clogs.
6 Quick and Effective Ways to Unclog a Clogged Drain:
Clogs in garbage disposals can be very hectic. But specific ways can help you deal with the problem on your own. Here are the 6 quick and effective ways to unclog a clogged drain.
Method No. 1: Thorough Inspection.
It is the most basic method to unclog a garbage disposal. Take a flashlight and pliers. Open the garbage disposal and have a thorough look into it. You can notice the debris at specific locations. Now, using pliers, try taking out waste. Keep cleaning the apparatus until you remove all the waste-causing clogs. Now, run plenty of water through for complete cleaning, and the clogs are gone.
Method No. 2: Disposal Wrench.
Most of the disposals come with a specially crafted wrench. It is very effective in manual turning of the blades for proper working. Start by unplugging the garbage disposal and turning off power sources. Insert the wrench inside the unit and target the clog. Turn it clockwise and anticlockwise against the clog to break it down. It will not only unclog the garbage disposal but will also get the blades back to their position.
Method No. 3: Vinegar and Baking Soda.
It is one of the most effective methods to unclog a clogged drain. You can easily prepare and perform this DIY task and eliminate the clog problem. Both ingredients make such a combination that breaks down complex food clumps. This remedy is best when the cause of clogs is fat, oil, and grease.
Pour baking soda into the garbage disposal. Now, follow this step by adding vinegar to the unit. Let both ingredients settle down for at least 20 to 30 minutes. It will start deteriorating the clogs until they break into tiny pieces. Now wash away the whole disposal for thorough cleaning.
Method No. 4: Use Plungers.
Use plungers if the clogs are pretty stubborn and do not wash away. Take a suitable-sized plunger and cover the drain. You can use a drain stopper for this purpose. Fill the sink with water. It will help form a water-tight seal closer to the plunger’s round bottom.
The next step is to move the plunger up and down with full strength. Keep repeating this pattern for two to three minutes. It will loosen the clog and clear the path. Turn on the cold faucet, washing out waste particles from the disposal.
Method No. 5: Check P-Trap.
If the clog remains, then you should check the p-trap. It is a shaped curved pipe under the sink. Stop water from flowing through the sink. Put a bucket under the p-trap to collect water that may spill.
Loosen the nut to remove the p-trap pipe from the sink. Take it out and inspect for clogs. If there are clogs, try removing them with your hand or some tool. Then, re-attach it after cleaning. Tighten the nuts to secure the p-trap.
Method No. 6: Contact an Expert.
In some cases, if you don’t understand the problem, it is better to consult a plumber. The expert may uninstall the disposal to remove and reinstall the clog. It can be costly, but if nothing else works out, you should go for it.
How to Prevent Garbage Disposals from Getting Clogged?
Although the clogs can be messy, some measures can save you. It is always better to follow specific instructions to avoid trouble. Here are a few instructions to prevent garbage disposals from getting clogged.
- Always run cold water through the water disposal after every use. It helps wash out the food from within the delicate areas. It keeps blades in satisfactory condition and cleans the drain pipes. You may spill some cleaning solution while flushing out to add maintenance.
- Garbage disposals are small devices not meant to handle significant food waste. Before throwing trash into the disposal, cut them into smaller pieces. It provides disposal in a more accessible way by applying less force. It can be one of the primary ways to prevent garbage disposals from getting clogged.
- Sink strainers are time-efficient products that can help disposals last long. They catch waste food, peels, etc., before they enter the removal. It saves users from the hassle of checking items to be disposed of.
- Not using disposal regularly also results in poor performance. If they are not regularly used, it can cause disposals to rust out. The blades will not move well on turning on the disposal. Thus, it is essential to periodically activate the removal for some time, even if not in use.
You can rely on the above 6 quick and effective ways to unclog a clogged garbage disposal. Yet, it is essential to select quality products for kitchen sinks. An efficient sink strainer can be an excellent preventive measure. It collects the large solid particles before they reach disposal. Hofen Sanitary’s strain collection can be a lifesaver. You can choose from their excellent range of kitchen and bathroom products. A few sensible steps will save you from dealing with clogs trouble.