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How To Clear A Clogged Garbage Disposal

By March 29, 2019 April 14th, 2021 Blog

How To Clear A Clogged Garbage Disposal | Triton Plumbing Service London Ontario Plumber

Homeowners who have a garbage disposal installed often swear by it, and love what it does for them. However, all of them will have a story of a time that it broke down or got clogged up, right when it was needed most.

It’s for times like this that it’s important to have a London Ontario 24 hour emergency plumber on hand, so we can get your Thanksgiving dinner or birthday party bumping again.

While a damaged garbage disposal might not sound like an emergency, if you’re in the middle of a dinner party it can be catastrophic.

Don’t worry, Triton is there for you.

What Is A Garbage Disposal?

A garbage disposal is a machine that’s mounted under the sink so that food pieces get shredded small enough to not clog your pipes.

It’s also known as an in-sink-erator and a garburator.

This means that many homeowners get to rinse off their dishes straight into the sink and run the disposal to wash away the plate remnants.

Grease solids or oils won’t damage your garbage disposal directly, but they generally get lodged in your pipes further down the line. We’ve talked about that in articles before, about the sort of things you should NOT rinse down your drains. That includes cooking oils and grease.

This is one of the reasons garbage disposals have become less popular in recent years, but those who have them are generally reluctant to give them up.

Common Causes Of A Clogged Garbage Disposal

We sometimes pull objects out of the disposal, which are the culprits of the jam – such as an espresso teaspoon, jewelry, or chunks of a dish sponge.

Occasionally homeowners who are new to having a garbage disposal will push food down them too quickly, and not running enough water to keep the ground chunks washing away as more are being added – this can cause a backup that needs to be manually removed.

Lastly, certain foods are common culprits for garbage disposal clogs, such as fruit pits, chicken or fish bones, grease, corncobs, artichokes, rice or potatoes.

Troubleshooting A Clogged Garbage Disposal

Most importantly, you want to start by turning off the electricity to the disposal – this is often found near the disposal, under the cabinet, or on a wall close by; if you’re unable to find it, we recommend that you turn off the breaker or fuse on the main panel before you attempt any further steps.

Next, check to see if there’s an object stuck in the disposal unit – a flashlight should be able to highlight any alien objects – and then try to dislodge and remove it with a pair of needle-nosed pliers. The space is generally too small for you to reach your hands into, and even if you could you could still hurt yourself, even if the power to the garbage disposal is deactivated.

Finally, before you turn it back on and try running it again, let the motor cool off for about 20 minutes, so you don’t damage it.

In some cases, you will be able to remove a foreign object yourself, but in other situations, you may need someone who is able to pull apart the sink, the pipe, and the motor.

Alternately, if the clog isn’t one object, but a whole bunch of food, you may need help clearing the clog with specialized tools.

Either way, a licensed plumber is your best bet, because they will carry the insurance that protects all the work they do; you don’t want to mess around when it comes to your home, and especially your plumbing.

Call Triton Plumbing & Service

Have you got a clogged garbage disposal that you can’t fix with the pointers above, or don’t want the hassle of fixing yourself?

Many people aren’t comfortable working near the blades of the garbage disposal, and that’s completely understandable – they can be dangerous and you could injure yourself seriously if you’re not careful or confident.

Call Triton Plumbing & Service, and we’ll be happy to send out one of our friendly and reliable plumbers who will have your kitchen running smoothly again in no time.

Triton Plumbing + Service
Serving London and SWO

At Triton Plumbing + Service we believe a happy customer is our greatest asset. Got a plumbing issue that needs solving? Contact Triton Plumbing + Service today!