What is the biggest problem that can occur with your garbage disposal?

A garbage disposal can clog, causing water and food particles to back up into your kitchen sink. Here are some useful tips for those times you need to unclog your garbage disposal.

The best tip to prevent a disposal from clogging is to not jam it full of waste all at one time.

If you have a quality disposal, you can really put almost anything down it as long as you do it judiciously and run a lot of water while you are using the disposal. Instead of jamming it full all at once, take your time and do a little bit at a time.

Also, most people think that when the grinding sounds are completed, the work is done, and you turn the water off. St Paul Pipeworks recommends that you turn off the disposal when it is no longer making grinding noises but continue to run the water for about another thirty seconds.

There is a P-trap under the sink, and the running water helps to push all of the waste through that trapway into a larger pipe.

Use Hot Water With Your Garbage Disposal

The industry used to recommend using only cold water when running your disposal in the past. That is not the case anymore. St. Paul Pipeworks recommends using hot water while running the disposal because hot water is better for easily breaking down anything that is greasy.

DIY Tips For Unclogging Your Garbage Disposal

There are a few things that you can try to remedy a problem with your disposal. On the bottom of the disposal, there is generally a red “Reset” button that will trip if the disposal gets jammed up. If the motor has stopped humming all together, you can try pushing in the red button to restart the disposal.

If you turn everything back on and the humming has resumed, it may resolve the problem. If not, the reset will continue to keep tripping.

All new InSinkErator disposals come with a large Allen wrench and have a hexagonal hole on the bottom where this tool can be inserted. You can try to use this tool to manually turn the chamber back and forth inside and release the clog without having to stick your hand down inside the disposal.

If none of these options are successful, call your local plumber.

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St Paul Pipeworks plumbers are experts in unjamming all types of garbage disposals, and over the years our plumbers have found everything you could think of inside clogged disposals.

So, if you are having a problem with your garbage disposal or are just looking for a quality plumber in the St. Paul and Minneapolis metro area, give St Paul Pipeworks a call today.

Yours Truly,
Matthew Dettwiler
Social Media Manager

FAQs for Garbage Disposal Maintenance and Troubleshooting

Q: What is the most common issue with garbage disposals?

A: The primary problem with garbage disposals is clogging, leading to water and food particles backing up into the kitchen sink. Preventing clogs involves judiciously using the disposal and avoiding overloading it with waste all at once.

Q: How can I prevent my garbage disposal from clogging?

A: To prevent clogs, avoid overloading the disposal with waste all at once. Instead, gradually feed small amounts and run a generous amount of water while using the disposal. After the grinding noises stop, continue running water for about thirty seconds to push waste through the P-trap into larger pipes.

Q: Is hot water recommended for running a garbage disposal?

A: Yes, using hot water is now recommended over cold water for garbage disposal operation. Hot water assists in breaking down greasy substances more effectively, aiding in a smoother disposal function.

Q: What can I do to unclog a jammed garbage disposal?

A: You can attempt a few DIY solutions for a jammed disposal. Try locating and pressing the red “Reset” button on the bottom of the disposal. For InSinkErator disposals, use the provided Allen wrench to manually turn the chamber and release the clog. If these methods fail, contacting a local plumber might be necessary.

Q: When should I seek professional help for a garbage disposal issue?

A: If DIY methods fail to resolve the disposal problem or if the motor continues humming after attempting a reset, it’s advisable to contact a local plumber. Professional plumbers, like those at St Paul Pipeworks, specialize in resolving various disposal issues and can assist in fixing persistent problems.

How to Unclog Your Garbage Disposal – Tips from a Professional Plumber