What to do when your garbage disposal is clogged.

If your garbage disposal fails to function when turned on, there are a few troubleshooting steps you can take yourself before you call a plumber.

Safety First!

Garbage disposals combine three common household hazards; Water, Electricity, and Sharp Objects! If you are at all unsure about your abilities, stop right here and call a plumber.

Before attempting to fix the problem, it’s important to make sure you turn off the power to the garbage disposal unit. This can be done by unplugging it from the outlet or turning off the circuit breaker that controls it.

Electricity Is Off – Now What?

Once you have turned off the power, you can follow these steps to try and unclog your garbage disposal:

  1. Use a flashlight to check for any visible obstructions or foreign objects such as utensils that may be blocking the disposal blades. If you do find an obstruction, use tongs or pliers to carefully remove it.
  2. Try resetting your garbage disposal by using the reset button located on the bottom of the unit. This can often fix minor clogs and get your unit running again.
  3. If resetting the unit doesn’t work, you can try using a plunger to force out any remaining clogs. Place the plunger over the drain and vigorously pump it up and down for a few minutes.
  4. Another option is to use a natural cleaner such as baking soda and vinegar to break down any buildup or debris in your garbage disposal. Simply pour half a cup of baking soda down the drain, followed by half a cup of vinegar. Let it sit for a few minutes before running hot water to flush out the mixture.
  5. If all else fails, you may need to remove and clean the P-trap or trap arm that connects the disposal to your sink’s drain pipe. This can be done by disconnecting the pipes and using a brush to scrub away any buildup or debris.

If these steps do not unclog your garbage disposal, it may be time to call a professional plumber for assistance. They have the necessary tools and expertise to tackle more severe clogs and get your unit back up and running in no time.

One more time . . .

Remember to always use caution when working on your garbage disposal and never put your hand inside the unit. Garbage disposals are happy to hurt you if they get the chance. Don’t give it that chance.

Keep Your Drain Flowing

By following these steps and properly maintaining your garbage disposal, you can prevent future clogs and keep your kitchen running smoothly.

So, the next time you’re faced with a clogged garbage disposal, don’t panic – just follow these simple steps to troubleshoot the issue and get it back in working order. With a little bit of effort, your garbage disposal will be back to grinding away your food waste in no time. Happy unclogging!

St Paul Pipeworks plumbers are experts in unjamming all types of garbage 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.

Photo of new black garbage disposal on kitchen counter

Yours Truly,
Matthew Dettwiler
Social Media Manager

FAQs about Clogged Garbage Disposals

Q: Why is my garbage disposal clogged?

A: Clogs in garbage disposals are usually caused by improper usage, such as putting large amounts of food down the drain or disposing of non-food items.

Q: Can I unclog my garbage disposal myself?

A: Yes, you can try unclogging your garbage disposal using the steps mentioned above. However, if these do not work, it is best to call a professional plumber for assistance.

Q: How often should I clean my garbage disposal?

A: It is recommended to clean your garbage disposal at least once a month by pouring baking soda and vinegar down the drain. Regular maintenance can help prevent clogs and keep your unit running smoothly.

Q: Can I put any type of food down my garbage disposal?

A: No, certain foods such as grease, oil, and fibrous vegetables should not be put down the garbage disposal as they can cause clogs and damage to the unit.

Q: What is the best way to prevent clogs in my garbage disposal?

A: Avoid putting large amounts of food down the drain at once and always run water while using the garbage disposal. It is also important to regularly clean and maintain your unit.

My Garbage Disposal is Clogged – What Do I Do?