Garbage disposals are a great asset to any home. They’ve become so popular that most new homes come already equipped with this modern-day novelty. While garbage disposals provide several benefits to homeowners, they need to be appropriately handled. Improper handling of your garbage disposal can lead to significant personal injury.
So, what happens when your garbage disposal gets backed up? The smell, the mess, and the issues that can occur if you don’t handle this properly can create a significant problem. Garbage disposals can experience problems for various reasons. While you should proceed very carefully if your garbage disposal is backed up, here are some easy steps you can try before you call a plumber.
5 Steps to Fix a Backed Up Garbage Disposal
If you have a backed-up garbage disposal, these five steps can help you fix the problem.
1. Make Sure Your Garbage Disposal Power is Turned Off
This is the most critical step to take before you attempt to fix your garbage disposal. You do not want your hand to be stuck in the garbage disposal while trying to fix it and have the machine accidentally turn on. You may end up with a severe injury, including the loss of a finger. That’s why before you start with the process of cleaning, you need to be 100% sure that you have unplugged it from the outlet. To be even safer, you can also turn off the circuit breaker that provides your disposal with electricity.
2. Examine the Disposal Thoroughly
Once it’s turned off, examine the inside of your disposal for clogs. For additional help, grab some gloves and a flashlight before sticking your hand down the drain. Be careful around the blades, as they can be sharp in newer systems, but check if anything is lodged in this area that’s preventing your fixture from working. Remove any blockages you find.
3. Use a Plunger
If there are no visible clogs inside your garbage disposal, use a plunger to try to clear out the pipes below. You can find a sink plunger with a flat cup to effectively remove any backup. Before you start plunging, fill the sink with a few inches of water since moisture is vital for your plunger to work.
4. Create a Homemade Drain Cleaning Solution
If the disposal is still clogged, you can try a drain cleaner to eliminate the blockage. Never use store-bought chemical solutions. Instead, go with a homemade solution. Store-bought ones include chemicals that may damage your pipes and your garbage disposal. Mix a simple solution of vinegar and baking soda and let it sit in your drain for at least an hour. Rinse your drain with hot water before testing your disposal.
5. Conduct a Disposal Test
After following the above steps, plug your disposal back in and test it. Try dumping some light food waste to test the system. Run the disposal for a few seconds to ensure it’s working smoothly.
If your garbage disposal still doesn’t work, it’s time to call a local plumber for help.
If your garbage disposal isn’t working despite your attempts to fix it, we’re here to help. Contact One Way Rooter to schedule an appointment with a reliable Downey plumber.