Bloomington Plumbing Tips: Clearing a Clogged Garbage Disposer


Probably every kitchen sink in America has a garbage disposer. Too useful to do without and yet sometimes these things can get clogged or jammed.

When you buy a garbage disposer, they come with a hex-wrench that can be used to unclog them. If you still have yours, congratulations. You are the rare individual who can still find something purchased long ago and rarely used. Except sadly during a holiday at the most inconvenient time.

You can pick one of these little wrenches up at Home Depot or any hardware store. They will cost you a little time and hassle, and are only a couple of dollars. Find it or buy it and tape it to the side of your garbage disposer so when you need it, its right in plain sights

When your garbage disposer clogs up its usually because you have put too much food into it at one time and used too little water. If you feed your garbage into it slowly while the water is running it shouldn’t clog. There are a couple of possible exceptions to this. Peelings and rice. Thats right, some peelings are thin enough that they can slip right by the cutting/shredding blades and get into your pipes. Another is rice. Small grains can also get past the blades and if a bowl of rice is dumped into your garbage disposer all at once, it could also clog your pipes.

If the garbage disposer runs but does not drain, then the problem is in the pipes. Here is what you do. Clear out below your kitchen sink and place a large shallow pan under pipe coming from your garbage disposer. Loosen the pipe slowly to allow the water to drain without too much mess. The water that is backed up into the sink should be dipped out from above as that will be faster. Don’t let the bowl get too full before emptying it or you will spill. I usually dump this water into the toilet, but if you have a double sided sink the other side is not usually clogged.

Once empty of water, disconnect the trap and clear the pipes above it and the trap also. Often the clog is in the pipe just above the trap. This may be the case when you have a two sided sink that use the same trap for drainage. When this is the case the pipe leading into the trap is reduced in size where the pipes from the two sides come together just above the trap. Other times the trap is just full.

Remember, clearing a clogged garbage disposer is not a hard job, and requires few tools and yes, anyone can fix it! You can purchase a new Bloomington garbage disposer and have it installed by calling Sunkel Plumbing today.

If you are looking for a Bloomington garbage disposal contractor then please call 309-829-5320 or complete our online request form.