The garbage disposal is an extremely handy appliance in any household. If your disposal seems to be on the fritz, there are some things you can do to fix it. Before you decide to go out and buy brand new garbage disposal, read this handy guide to learn more about what could be causing the problem, and how you can correct it yourself.
Why Garbage Disposals Clog
If you throw certain foods down the sink, they can clog your garbage disposal. Items like corn cobs artichokes, animal bones, and potatoes can all cause clogging. If you stuff items down the drain too quickly without running the disposal, it can also cause a clog. Avoid dumping grease down the drain, as this can coagulate and create a blockage. Make sure you run plenty of water down the drain as you run the disposal so it can clear. Another issue may be a dropped utensil, dish sponge, or even a piece of jewelry that has fallen down the drain by accident.
How to Fix Your Garbage Disposal
In some cases, you can fix the disposal yourself. First, make sure you turn off the power switch which can be found near the disposal or on the wall. It might also be under the sink in the cabinet below. If you can’t find the power switch, turn off the breaker for the disposal. Never work on your garbage disposal until you confirm that the source of power is off. Take a flashlight and shine it into the drain, looking for any debris. If you see an item that’s clogging it, remove it to clear the clog. You can use a pair of pliers or another tool to help you reach down and remove the item.
Once you’ve removed the item causing the clog, allow the motor of your garbage disposal to completely cool down. This should take around 20 minutes maximum. Once the motor is completely cool, turn the power source back on and run some water down the drain as you turn it on. You can add some food to the disposal and test it out to see if it’s working the way it should be. If you’re still running into trouble, it’s time to call an experienced plumber who can help you troubleshoot and correct the problem.