A clogged garbage disposal may be caused by leftover food that the flywheel was not able to spin through and grind. The debris may be too large for the device to trim to pieces. If it is completely not working, it may also be because the device is fairly old by now. Thus it is having a hard time mincing the remnants. Stop scrambling for the plumber’s number in your phonebook.
Here are several do-it-yourself steps on fixing a clogged garbage disposal:
- Turn the power off and check on the garbage disposal. If it is still on, power off your device for your own safety. Use a flashlight to see through the sink drain and check it out for whatever object is possibly blocking your garbage disposal. If you find anything, use tongs or pliers to grip and take the culprit out.
- Use a hex-head wrench to remove unseen obstructions. If the unit is still not working, unseen obstructions may be causing the damage. Find the hex-head slot that came in with the installation of your garbage removal device. Then, find a hex-head wrench (also called an Allen head) that matches the size of the opening underneath your garbage disposal.
- Manually set free the flywheel from unseen obstructions. After inserting the wrench, use it to twist the blades of the unit. This will automatically remove any object that may be jamming your waste disposer. If it is too dark inside the equipment to do this, place a mirror and a flashlight at the bottom of the disposer to locate the disposal mechanism.
- If you are not lucky, use wood to do step three. If you were not installed with a hex-head slot, you need a 1”x2” piece of wood to insert into the opening. You can also use wooden spoon or the stick of a broom when no wood with such size is available. Stick the wood niftily inside while trying to locate the blade. When you have located it, you have to turn the blade slowly back and forth until the waste is removed and the device is loosened.
- Run a test. Turn on the power and place a small piece of food into the garbage disposer. If the mechanism works efficiently again, then you are able to fix the problem. But if the food gets stuck into the unit again, then you will have to go start all over again with the procedures. Keep trying until the clog gets done away with. After several tries and the mechanism remains not working, then you will have to get a new garbage disposal altogether. Do not worry if you have to buy a new one. Replacing your clogged garbage disposal may spare you economically, rather than risking other parts of the sink by trying to fix it.
Usually, the first three to four steps work after a series of going through the process. Just stay patient and you will have your garbage disposal fixed sooner than you think.