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How to Fix a Garbage Disposal Clog

potato peels in a sink

Garbage disposal, like every other appliance, can also be subject to several problems. They can jam up and start throwing off the water back up into the sinkhole, also the drain fittings can loosen over time and can cause leaking beneath the sink.

There are many ways in which you can fix the garbage disposal clog which does not require many tools or time. But first, let us look at the most common ways by which the garbage disposal clogs.

  • Putting down unwanted items like, banana peels, potato peels, eggshells, coffee grounds, etc are the main culprit behind the garbage disposal clogs. They are difficult to grind and also sticks to the blades and pipe, resulting in a clog.
  • When garbage disposal grinds the waste, it needs water to flush the waste through the pipe into the drain. But, if you are not putting down enough water when the garbage disposal is running, it will surely get clogged. Without enough water, the shredded food waste will start building up inside the pipes and eventually will lead to full blockage.

How to Fix a Clogged Garbage Disposal Drain

Sink drain

If you find your garbage disposal not working even when it is switched on and has not tripped in your electric panel, then there are few things that can be done to fix it.

  1. First, make sure to unplug the garbage disposal because you do not want to accidentally turn it on and cause injury to yourself.
  • Now, get underneath the garbage disposal, there you will find a little black or red button, which is your reset button. Push the reset button and make sure it clicks.
  • Underneath the garbage disposal, there is going to be a hole in the middle where you can put an allen wrench or a hex key.
  • Insert the wrench or key into the hole and make sure the key fits in properly. Now what you need to do is just move the key back and forth gently such that whatever is jamming up the disposal could move and unclog it.
  • If something is jamming the disposal, it will be difficult to move the key in beginning. Move it a little bit at a time so that whatever that has been stuck can move without further damaging the garbage disposal.
  • Once the key start moving freely, plug your garbage disposal back again, press the reset button again, and see if the disposal is working or not.
  • If your garbage disposal starts working then run some water through it and check for any leaks. If it does not start working, it means there is something wrong with the electricals maybe or you have a short in the junction box. At this point, if you are not sure about what you are doing, then it is better to call an electrician.

TIP: Allen wrench or hex key can prove to be very useful in unclogging the garbage disposal. Always keep them next to the garbage disposal underneath the sink such that it is readily available whenever needed.

How to Unclog a Garbage Disposal Drain

Man kneeling in front of sink putting tools away in tool bag

If you are not able to fix your garbage disposal clog by the above method, then you might want to try this method.

In this method, we will remove the pipe connections from the P-trap and will check if something is sticking on the surface of the pipe or not. Then place a bucket around the drainpipe opening and run the water for a few mins. It will flush all the waste materials out from the pipe.

Reassemble the pipes and run the garbage disposal. If it still does not work, then it is time time to call a plumber or maybe to replace your garbage disposal.

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