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December 03, 2019

Nashville, TN – How to Clear a Clog from your Garbage Disposal

Posted in: Industry News

A garbage disposal is a relatively simple machine that consists of a motor, a flywheel, and propeller arms fashioned with blades that are attached to the flywheel that spin and shred everything they come in contact with. Occasionally, you’ll get some debris stuck in your garbage disposal and you’ll need to make a quick trip to the circuit breaker to cut power to it and then a couple of easy steps to remove the unit from underneath your sink.

Some of the tools you will want to have handy to help unclog your disposal are a broom stick (or other long and sturdy object), needle nose pliers, and an Allen wrench. The first step is to check if the power is on to the disposal or not. If you hear the hum of the motor when you flip the switch, you know you can proceed once the power is shut off. If you do not hear a hum, you should then try and test the reset button and cut the power off once you know the unit still works.

Next, you should attempt to dislodge whatever is causing the jam or clog by inserting the allen wrench into the inlet on the bottom of the disposal. Give the wrench a good back and forth wiggle motion to turn the blades in an attempt to free the blockage. After a few repeats of this motion, you will then want to grab the broom handle and insert it into the mouth of the garbage disposal in the sink to try to dislodge the blockage further. Once you feel little to no resistance from the blades, you are ready to move onto the next step.

Taking the needle nose pliers, you will attempt to pull the obstruction out from the bottom of the disposal. If you feel that the object you’ve gotten a hold of won’t budge, chances are you grabbed one of the propeller arms and need to keep “fishing”. After locating and removing the blockage, turn on the cold water to harden and wash down any grease that may have accumulated in the disposal. Test the motor while the water is running, pulsing it in short bursts to determine it is safe before running the disposal for a good 4 to 5 seconds.

And that’s it! Your disposal is restored to working condition. There are a lot of foods we eat during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays that are rather strong enemies of your garbage disposal, and maintaining an appropriate method of disposing food waste is just as important. Stringy vegetables such as celery and carrot tops can easily wind themselves around the blades and restrict their movement. Bones, pits, and other hard pieces of food will jam the machine in no time at all. Be sure to keep your disposal protected this holiday season to prevent any unwanted problems in your kitchen during all the hustle and bustle of celebration.

If your garbage disposal is unaffected by your attempts to clear it, or you suspect there may be a bigger problem, contact your local Jack Ward & Sons Plumbing Co. today! Give us a call at (615) 227-2811.

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