Call Us Now: (415) 985-0155

Common Causes of Garbage Disposal Clogs and How to Avoid Them

Jan 16, 2023 | San Francisco Plumbing

A man pouring hops from a bucket into a sink

Like any other household appliance, garbage disposals can develop faults that need repair. Depending on the situation, a little troubleshooting and patience may be all that is necessary to get the equipment operating again. Most of the time, your garbage disposal suddenly stops working because something foreign or food-related has become stuck there. Water backs up in your sink from blocked blades, producing a laborious mess to clean up. Review this blog to learn about preventative activities you may take and how to handle garbage disposal clogs.

A leaking garbage disposal

Top, side, and bottom garbage disposal leaks into the dishwasher, plumbing, and drainpipe are all possible.

This is a straightforward solution to the problem of leaking garbage disposal seals. If your garbage disposal is leaking, chances are you need to replace an O-ring or tighten certain components. The answer is conditional on finding the leak’s origin. A more costly and time-consuming leak repair may be necessary if the source of the leak is determined to be the sink flange or somewhere else. It may be more cost-effective to purchase a new device in some cases.

Defunct waste disposal systems

One of two things may be wrong if you turn on your garbage disposal and hear nothing. It is possible that the disposal’s reset button has fallen out of place or that a connection has come loose. It might be that the electrical switch for the garbage disposal must be toggled. Overloading the disposal or the motor’s circuit breaker may require resetting the breaker. The possibility exists that the engine has already died. Get in touch with a qualified electrician in your area if you’re experiencing electrical issues.

Jammed disposal clog

The inner flywheel is likely obstructed if the motor makes a loud buzzing sound, but the garbage disposal isn’t grinding. Too much food waste or the wrong food waste might cause garbage disposal clogs or jams.

When disposal becomes clogged, the built-in circuit breaker trips to protect the motor from overheating and eventual failure. Resetting the device may be done by pressing the circuit breaker located at the device’s base. If your garbage disposal’s flywheel becomes stuck, you can usually fix it using the wrench provided and following the steps outlined in the owner’s manual.

Turn off the electricity to the disposal and find the hex-shaped opening on the bottom of the unit. If something is blocking the flywheel, turn the wrench in both directions to loosen it. When in motion, the flywheel spins easily. Then turn on the disposal while running cold water through it.

Garbage in the drain that isn’t food

The garbage disposal will get clogged if anything other than food waste is put in it, whether by accident or on purpose. Shot glasses, rubber bands, and twist ties may inflict much more damage than a few stray pieces of silverware that find their way into the garbage disposal. Bones may weaken or even paralyze the blades in your garbage disposal, so you should keep them out of the sink.

Ensure to throw non-food garbage in your kitchen trash bin or elsewhere. Knowing how to prepare the kitchen for the move is essential if you’re planning on relocating. You can prepare it for transport easily in a couple of steps. In order to get your plumbing back up and running quickly, it’s recommended to call skilled professionals for the job.

The garbage disposal is overloaded

Just like flushing too much waste down the toilet all at once can clog a toilet, dumping too much food down the kitchen sink is another common cause of clogged garbage disposals. While it would be tempting to just dump the entire plate of leftover spaghetti down the sink, remember that foods that can expand when exposed to water, like pasta and rice, can clog drains very quickly. Putting too much food or other debris that can’t be broken down into smaller pieces down the garbage disposal might clog the trap, leading to a nasty backup in your sink. Remember to avoid using chemicals when unclogging a drainpipe. Only put small amounts of food waste down the garbage disposal at a time, and always run water down the drain while doing so.

Flushing the wrong foods down the drain

Unfortunately, some people’s go-to solution for food waste disposal is garbage disposal. That may cause severe problems for your appliance. Blades may become caught or dull from citrus peel, eggshells, and vegetable skins, and the rubbish created can choke pipes and overwork the engine. While putting little food scraps down your garbage disposal is OK, you shouldn’t put anything rough or stringy. If you are unsure whether something is safe for your garbage disposal, throw it away (or, better yet, compost it).

Strange sounds

Something is probably jamming the flywheel if your garbage disposal is creating a humming sound but not a grinding one. Disconnect the garbage disposal from the wall, turn it off, and use a wrench or something similar to retrieve the object, being careful not to lose any hair in the process. Never turn counterclockwise.

Malfunctioned motor

Simply put, motors can give out on occasion. In the event your motor repeatedly loses power or resets itself, it may be time to get a new one. Please refer to your warranty for replacement details, if applicable.

Although garbage disposals may be easily replaced, it is more cost- and time-efficient to maintain your current unit. Come with me as we examine the best practices for maintaining the health and longevity of your garbage disposal.

Stay ahead of potential garbage disposal clogs

If you know what you’re doing, garbage disposal clogs can be unclogged easily. Run hot water through it often and right after use to prevent it from getting blocked up again. Maintenance like cleaning and sharpening the blades on a regular basis can also aid in keeping the disposal in good working order. If your trash disposal is having issues, it’s best to call a professional plumber for assistance.

Read More

Related Posts

How To Clean A Drain

How To Clean A Drain

Persistent, unpleasant odors infiltrating your home can often be traced back to dirty, clogged drains. These issues...

read more
How To Clean A Drain

How To Clean A Drain

Persistent, unpleasant odors infiltrating your home can often be traced back to dirty, clogged drains. These issues...

read more

We’re On It!

Emergency Services Available – 30 Minute Response Time.