How to Fix a Garbage Disposal
No matter how your day or night is going, no one is excited to discover their garbage disposal is clogged. When this happens your mind immediately tries to recall how much that thing cost to begin with, and if you were fortunate enough to move into a place that already had one, you’re wondering what will be the cost to replace.
Well before you start your car up to go to the nearest home supply store, or race to your phone to contact a repair person, you might want to see if you can unclog it yourself. Totally alone having never done anything like this before? Below are some step-by-step instructions on unclogging a garbage disposal; hopefully they will be all you require to get your life back on track. Possibly not, but they might get the life of your garbage disposal back on track.
- Let’s verify that the problem isn’t connected to electrical power. You can do this by simply checking for a hum that the disposal makes when it’s on. Quickly turn the power on and then off again while listening for a humming sound. If it hums, the power is probably not the issue. If not, you may need to activate the disposal’s reset button or see if a breaker has been tripped in your electrical panel. Since you’re already at the sink, let’s try the reset button first. It will be located on the bottom of the unit and is often red. If your disposal doesn’t have one, try flipping your circuit breaker on and off. (If necessary find your exact disposal online, the image and description will help you find the reset button).
- If the power is fine, it’s time to see about unclogging the disposal. The disposal will need to be turned off; at the bottom of the unit there is a space for an Allen key to be inserted, insert one and turn it back-and-forth. This process affects the motor directly causing it to move with your manual assistance. Continue until it is turning freely. If this doesn’t work, you’ll need to try to solve the problem from above. First, verify that it is an object you cannot simply remove with the assistance of a pair of tweezers and a flashlight. Use the flashlight to look down into the disposal from the sink, and if you see what’s causing the clog, remove it with the tweezers.
- If this doesn’t work insert the handle of a broom or wooden spoon into the garbage disposal from the sink side. And then push in a back-n-forth motion against the grinding nods. Check with your flashlight and repeat the tweezer removal process. While running water into the sink, check to see if the disposal is working.
Hopefully, these steps will help resolve your garbage disposal clog, if not, it might be time to call someone who is handier than you. Get a professional to fix it or simply replace it (check the warranty, and also check to see if it has been recalled). Whatever you do, be certain not to remove the bolt located on the sink side of the disposal in the very center of the disposal itself. This little seemingly innocent bolt holds the entire disposal together. If the suggestions supplied help unclog your drain and restore peace to your home, or at least your sink, you might want to know how to avoid this in the future. Below are a few tips on preventing your garbage disposal from clogging.
Some things are harder to drain than others, no matter what you’re disposing of. Be certain to use a sufficient amount of water! The tougher things for your disposal to handle include Banana peels, coffee grounds, egg shells and potato peels. When a garbage disposal is clogged, it’s because the waste line or trap have become encrusted over time, causing for waste to obstruct the line or trap. To help prevent this, be certain to flush the disposal with a generous amount of water while it is grinding and for an additional 30 seconds after it has finished. It is also helpful to grind pieces of lemon peel and ice cubes; do this sporadically to help your disposal maintain its functionality.