We’ve all been there. Instead of throwing something away in the trash, we take the easy way out and dump it down our drain. Sometimes we can get away with it, without damaging our plumbing. But what happens when we don’t?

How Do You Get a Clogged Garbage Disposal?

First, it’s important to remember that even though it has the word “garbage” in its name, we can’t treat a garbagedisposal like a trashcan. Here is a short list of items weshould never put down our kitchen sink or flush away in our toilet.

  • Cleaning supplies and chemicals
  • Grease or any kind of oil
  • Paint
  • Oil or transmission fluid
  • Fruit pits or big seeds
  • Stringy or fibrous vegetables
  • Corncobs or corn silk
  • Bones (chicken, beef, pork)
  • Flour
  • Pasta or rice

When you put any of these things into a garbage disposal, it will become clogged eventually.

Things like grease or oil will solidify as it gets farther and farther down your pipes. Sticky things like flour act like glue when they go down your disposal, picking up all kinds of junk and debris as it flows out. Some foods, like pasta and rice, will expand, causing blockages. Putting hard things into the garbage disposal, like bones or fruit pits, will dull the blade, causing issues in the future.

If you notice your sink isn’t draining as fast as it should, or at all, it’s possible that the pipe is already clogged. Thiscould have been caused by putting too much down the drain too soon, or it’s possible that there is another obstruction like a cleaning utensil or a piece of jewelry.

There are also manythings you can put down your garbage disposal. After all, it wouldn’t exist if we couldn’t use it. Here is a list of a few disposal-safe items.

  • Ice cubes
  • Dish soap or other liquids that are non-toxic (juice, soda, and milk)
  • Small pieces of food or waste

Solutions to a Clogged Garbage Disposal

It’s always safest to call Fite Plumbing if something has gone wrong with your garbage disposal. If you want to attempt to fix it yourself, follow these steps.

  1. Make sure that the garbage disposal is turned off. Ifyou aren’t sure it’sturned it off, head to the breaker box and turn off the main power to the kitchen. MOST IMPORTANTLY, never stick your hand down into the garbage disposal unless you’re sure it has no way to turn back on. If you are unsure, just give us a call at 317-271-5400, and we’ll keep you and your hands safe.
  2. Once the power is shut off, use a headlampor flashlight to locate the clog. If it’s something big like a bottle cap or a fork, you should be able to identifyit easily. Find a pair of pliers or tongs and gently remove it from the garbage disposal.
  3. Don’t turn the garbage disposal, or power, back on until the motor has cooled off. This usually takes about 20 minutes to be on the safe side.

The worst-case scenario isn’t the worst at all, we makesure of it. Our experts at Fite Plumbing will come help you out in a jiffy. If we can’t fix it, we can replace it. We’re available 24/7 for emergencies.