Disposal Not Disposing? 4 Steps To Clear The Problem

Posted on: 23 February 2016


If you thought your garbage disposal could devour anything you send down the drain, you might be in for a rude awakening. There are actually some common foods that your garbage disposal can't process properly. Those foods include lettuce, potato skins and egg shells, which can bind up the blades and get stuck inside the drain pipe. Once that happens, you might find yourself facing a broken garbage disposal and clogged drains. If you're experience a problem with your garbage disposal, here are some easy-to-follow instructions to help take care of the problem.

Remove the Water

If your garbage disposal has malfunctioned and caused a clogged drain, don't try to use a plunger. This may make the clog worse. Instead, use a cup to empty the contents of your sink into a bucket. Once the clog is cleared, you'll be able to pour the contents back into the sink.

Disconnect the Power to Your Disposal Unit

Once the water is removed from the sink, you'll be ready to work on your disposal. However, before you begin work, you should turn the power off. This will prevent any accidental electrical shocks. The power cord is located under the sink. Simply unplug it from the electrical outlet located in your cabinet. Place a plastic baggie over the end of the power cord and secure it with a piece of duct tape. This will keep the cord dry.

Clean Out the Disposal Unit

Now that the power is off to your disposal unit, you'll want to take a look inside. Have someone hold a flashlight over the drain while you look inside the unit. You'll be looking for food that may be trapped around the disposal blades. When garbage disposals fail, it's often because large particles of food have gotten jammed under the blades.

If you see debris under the blades, you'll want to remove it. You can use the handle of a cooking spoon to dislodge the food. You can also use a baby bottle brush to scrape away the caked-on food. Once the food has been dislodged, plug the disposal unit back in and turn it on. If the blades don't turn, you'll need to free them.

Free the Blades

When garbage disposals are overworked by foods they can't process properly, the blades often freeze. When that happens, they'll no longer rotate, which means you'll need to dislodge them. Before you work on the blades, reach under the cabinet and unplug the unit again. With the power off, place a broom handle in the garbage disposal. Press the broom handle up against the blades and push until you feel them moving freely. Plug the unit back in and test your disposal.

Use the methods described above to get your garbage disposal working again. If the problem continues, be sure to contact a plumbing service, such as Wright Total Indoor Comfort, as soon as possible.