Clogged Garbage Disposal Drains: 5 Culprits to Avoid

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Garbage disposals are immensely useful but can suffer from wear and tear. They can become clogged, which makes it much harder to use your kitchen sink.

Fixing your garbage disposal is a matter of figuring out why it’s clogged. With that in mind, our experts at Pride Services created this quick guide on the top five reasons for a clogged garbage disposal drain.

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1. Incorrect Food

The main cause of garbage disposal clogs is putting incorrect food into the drain pipe. Some foods are too tough and gummy for the garbage disposal blades, so they can create clogs, preventing the disposal of other foods. 

Foods that are not good for garbage disposal include:

  • Bones
  • Pits
  • Seeds
  • Ice
  • Pasta
  • Corn husks
  • Lettuce
  • Grease
  • Oil

These kinds of foods are too hard for the blades or soft enough they get tangled in the blades, keeping them from properly working. Instead of putting these foods in the garbage disposal, you should put them in the garbage can. 

2. Non-Food Objects

Another common reason for garbage disposal clogs is the presence of non-food objects. Non-food objects can damage garbage disposal blades or dull them, making them ineffective. Common non-food objects that cause garbage disposal clogs include:

  • Foil
  • Plant matter
  • Paper
  • Sponge material
  • Washcloths
  • Glass
  • Silverware

You can tell if there is a non-food object in your garbage disposal due to the sound. For example, when you turn on the garbage disposal, silverware, glass, and other hard solids will make a loud rattling sound. 

If you try to grind these materials, you might damage your garbage disposal blades and motors. You will need to remove the wet clumps of material before using the disposal properly again. 

3. Too Much Waste

Garbage disposals have a limit to how much waste they can handle at once. If you try to shovel too much food into the drain, the impeller blades won’t be able to handle it all. Overwhelmed garbage disposals can clog and make a soft humming noise as the blades struggle to get through food material. 

You can avoid this problem by cutting food waste into smaller pieces and putting them in the disposal individually. You can accidentally burn out the garbage disposal motor if you put too much food into the drain at the same time. 

4. Waste Buildup

This is one of the most common of the five reasons for a clogged garbage disposal drain.

Most people just turn the disposal off after disposal and don’t turn it on until it’s time to use it again. However, failing to rinse out the disposal can cause food residue to solidify and harden. After you use the disposal, keep it on, and run water through it for at least a minute to rinse the remaining food down the drain. 

5. Hot Water

Despite what many think, hot water does not necessarily help everything go down the drain. Hot water can spread oil and grease instead of washing it away. These fats and oils can then trap other food particles, solidifying and creating clogs. 

Cleaning a Garbage Disposal

Here are some useful tips for cleaning a clogged garbage disposal drain. 

  • Instead of drain cleaners, you can combine baking soda and vinegar to create a solution that can eat through tough grime and remove foul drain odors. Pour half a cup of baking soda down the drain and add one and a half cups vinegar. Wait for 20 minutes, and rinse the drain.
  • If the clog is too large for baking soda, you can use a plunger to remove it. Position the plunger above the drain to create an airtight seal, and push it up and down. You should feel the clog loosen. 
  • You can also remove a clog with the wooden handle of a kitchen utensil. Stick the handle into the garbage disposal drain, and move the handle back and forth to move the blade. If the blade spins, the clog is free, and you can remove the pieces from the clogged garbage disposal drain. 

Contact Us Today!

Pride Services dedicates itself to providing affordable and reliable plumbing services in and around Rockville Centre. We strive to create lasting relationships with our clients with our full-service plumbing repair and installation services. Call us if these five reasons for a clogged disposal drain don’t help resolve your plumbing problem.

Published: Nov 10, 2022

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