The kitchen sink is one of the most used fixtures in the home. The garbage disposal is an integral part of keeping it clean. But over time, the disposal can become clogged with food and other debris.
If left unchecked, this can lead to standing water in the sink, bad odors, and a sluggish drain. If your garbage disposal becomes clogged with standing water, you can still fix it.
In this blog post, we will walk you through the steps that you need to take to unclog your garbage disposal. We will also provide some tips on how to prevent your garbage disposal from getting clogged.
How to Unclog a Garbage Disposal With Standing Water
There are several methods that you can use to unclog your garbage disposal. With a little patience, you will be able to get your garbage disposal working again in no time.
Baking Soda and Vinegar
If your garbage disposal clogs and you have standing water in the sink, there is an easy way to clear the drain. All you need to use is baking soda and vinegar. First, pour a cup of baking soda down the drain. Then, add a cup of white vinegar and let it sit for 15 minutes.
After 15 minutes, turn on the garbage disposal and run water down the drain to flush out the clog. The baking soda and vinegar will help to break up the clog and clear the way for the water to flow. You may need to repeat this process a few times before the clog is completely gone.
If the disposal remains clogged, you should try another method. But chances are, the baking soda and vinegar will have done the trick.
One of the most effective methods is to use a sink plunger. First, make sure that the stopper is in place and that you have turned off the disposal. Next, fill the sink with enough water to cover the plunger cup.
Then, place the plunger over the drain and push and pull the plunger up and down several times. Finally, turn on the disposal and run some water for a few seconds to flush away any remaining debris.
The suction will help to break up the clog and clear the way for water to flow again. With a little elbow grease, it is usually possible to clear a clogged garbage disposal without having to call a plumber.
A plumber’s snake, or drain auger, is a long, flexible rod. You use it by inserting it into the drain to clear away obstructions. To use a snake, insert the end into the drain and rotate the handle to turn the auger. As the auger turns, it will grab onto any debris in the drain and pull it out.
If you keep turning the handle, the auger will break the clog and allow the water to drain. Be sure to keep a tight grip on the snake, as it can be difficult to control once it has started spinning.
First, remove objects that might block the disposal, such as dishes or silverware. Then, use a pair of pliers to grab onto the stopper at the bottom of the sink. Turn the stopper counterclockwise to loosen it, then pull it up and out of the drain.
With the stopper removed, you should be able to see the disposal opening. Use the pliers to reach into the opening and remove any debris that is blocking it. Once the disposal is clear, replace the stopper and turn it clockwise to tighten it in place. Finally, run some cold water through the disposal to flush out any remaining debris.
Most garbage disposals come with a hexagon-shaped hole in the bottom of the unit. This hole is for manual resetting of the blades if they become jammed. If your disposal clogs and you can see water standing in it, you can use a hex wrench to try and clear the clog.
First, find the hexagon-shaped hole in the bottom of the unit. Insert the wrench into the hole. Then turn it clockwise and counterclockwise four or five times. This will help to loosen any grime or debris that may be stuck on the blades. If the blades spin after this, then the clog is free. You can remove any remaining clog pieces with pliers or tongs.
If your disposal does not have this hole, insert a wooden handle into the side and twist it back and forth.
Call an Expert
If you have a garbage disposal, you know that clogged drains come with the territory. However, when water starts to back up into the sink, it is time to call in reinforcements. While you might be tempted to reach for the drain cleaner, this is not the time to DIY.
A professional will have the tools and experience necessary to clear the clog right away. A professional will be able to inspect the garbage disposal for any other issues. By calling an expert when a clog first occurs, you can prevent serious problems later on.
Safety Tips for Unclogging a Garbage Disposal With Standing Water
If water is standing in the sink when you turn on the disposal, there are a few important safety tips to keep in mind.
- Never put your hand into the disposal. Even if the water is not running, the blades can cause serious injuries.
- Always use a plunger to try to dislodge the clog before resorting to chemical cleaners. If you use a cleaner, pour it into the disposal and let it sit for a few minutes. Then run hot water down the drain.
- Be careful not to over-tighten the disposal. This can damage the unit and make it more difficult to unclog.
- If your garbage disposal starts making strange noises or leakage occurs, shut off the power. Then call a plumber.
What Causes a Clogged Garbage Disposal?
One of the most common household problems is a clogged garbage disposal. While it may seem like a simple issue, there can be a variety of underlying causes. Without understanding the cause, it can be difficult to address the problem.
Incorrect foods are fibrous vegetables or meats, starches, eggshells, coffee grounds, or grease. These items can wrap around the blades or harden over time and cause the disposal to become clogged.
Non-food objects can also cause a clogged disposal. These objects can include bottle caps, pieces of plastic wrap, or small toys. If these items go down the disposal, they can get caught on the blades and cause a blockage.
A clogged disposal can happen from trying to grind up too much food or using hot water to clean it.
Finally, not washing away leftover waste can also lead to a clogged disposal. When food goes down the disposal, run water for at least 15 seconds to wash away any remaining particles. Otherwise, these particles can build up over time and cause a blockage.
How to Prevent Future Clogs
Here are some tips to help prevent your garbage disposal from clogging.
- Be mindful of what you put down the disposal. Avoid putting hard or stringy objects down the drain, as these can wrap around the blades and cause a jam. Instead, chop up larger pieces before putting them down the disposal.
- Grind up hard objects like coffee beans or eggshells often. This will help keep the blades sharp and prevent them from getting clogged with soft food waste.
- You should also run cold water for at least 15 seconds before and after using the disposal. This will help to flush any debris down the drain.
- Be sure to clean the disposal often with a brush or rag to remove any build-up of food particles.
- Always run cold water while the disposal is in use. This helps to solidify any fats or oils that may be in the food scraps, making them less likely to stick to the blades.
- Make frequent use of the waste disposal. Over time, an underused garbage disposal will rust and corrode. Then it will freeze whenever you turn it on.
By following these tips, you can keep your garbage disposal in its best shape.
If you find yourself with a clogged garbage disposal and standing water in your sink, do not despair. There are a few different ways you can unclog the disposal and get your sink back to normal. Baking soda and vinegar is a great home remedy for small clogs.
For tougher clogs, you may need to use a plumber’s snake. If the snake does not do the trick, you can try using a sink plunger. If all else fails, you may need to disassemble the disposal unit with pliers and a hex wrench. With a little patience and elbow grease, you can unclog your garbage disposal in no time.