How to Unclog a Garbage Disposal
How to Unclog a Garbage Disposal
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How to Unclog a Garbage Disposal
Oct 03, 2022

How to Unclog a Garbage Disposal

Is your garbage clogged, and you are looking for simple methods to unclog it? You’ve come to the right place. In this guide, we will walk you through the process of unclogging a garbage disposal and what you can do to prevent clogs.

Step 1: Turn the garbage disposal off

This is a very important step. Make sure you disconnect power from the unit to avoid getting injured. Also, never stick your hand inside the garbage disposal, whether the unit is on or off.

Step 2: Perform a manual checkup to identify what’s causing the clog

Shine a flashlight into the unit and peek inside the unit to see what is causing the clog. Pay particular attention to the perimeter of the unit. If you notice visible blockages, use a pair of long-handled pliers or tongs to retrieve the blockages. Once you’ve removed all the clogs from the unit, turn on your garbage disposal and press the reset button.

Step 3: Use baking soda and vinegar to dislodge the clog

Pour ½ cup of baking soda into the garbage disposal followed by ½ cup of white vinegar. Let the mixture sit for 15 minutes to allow the fizz to break down the clog. Next, turn the unit back on and run hot water into the disposal to wash away the blockages down the pipe. A mixture of baking soda and vinegar is especially good for unclogging grease, fat and oil.

Step 4: Use a plunger to push tough clog down the pipe drain

Fill the sink with enough water and place a plunger directly over the sink drain to create a watertight seal around the drain hole. Vigorously plunge the drain for a minute and see if the water starts to drain. If the clog dissipates, run hot water down the drain to wash away the clogs. If these steps do not help clear the clog, call a reputable plumber to help you out.

Signs You May Need to Replace Your Garbage Disposal

  • The unit doesn’t work at all
  • The garbage disposal has exceeded its lifespan—you can expect your garbage disposal to last between 10 and 12 years as long as you keep up with maintenance
  • Frequent jamming
  • You are experiencing constant clogs
  • Poor performance
  • Abnormal noises such as grinding, metal scraping, and overly loud whirring
  • Water is leaking from your garbage disposal
  • Persistent odors
  • You’re frequently pressing the reset button on the unit

If you’ve noticed any of these warning signs, call an experienced plumber to help you with garbage disposal replacement. Although it might be tempting to ignore signs of garbage disposal trouble hoping they will go away on their own, failing to take action can lead to more expensive problems down the road.

Garbage Disposal Tips to Keep the Unit Running Smoothly

  • Run the garbage disposal regularly, even if you don’t have anything to grind up
  • Use cold water when running your garbage disposal
  • Cut food waste into smaller pieces before grinding
  • Clean your garbage disposal at least once a week
  • Grind ice cubes once a month to help maintain your unit
  • Be mindful of what goes down the disposal

Call Mr. Rooter Plumbing for Garbage Disposal Services

If you need garbage disposal replacement or garbage disposal repair, know the experienced plumbers at Mr. Rooter Plumbing are ready to help. The good news about garbage disposal replacement is that it isn’t an expensive project when compared to water heater replacement or repiping.