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Home Maintenance  /  July 25, 2016

How to Unclog a Garbage Disposal

There are some household tasks that seem easy, but are really jobs best left to the experts at Handyman Connection of Blue Ash. For example, the idea of unclogging a garbage disposal can sound simple until you actually start unclogging. If you prefer to try unclogging your garbage disposal on your own, there are steps you can follow that will help to remove the clog and get the disposal working again.

Turn Off the Power

It is critically important that you turn off the power to your garbage disposal before attempting to unclog it. This step is not referring to the light-style switch on the wall you use to activate the disposal. For this step, you will need to turn off the actual power that runs to the disposal before you get started.

Locate the garbage disposal under your sink and see if there is a power switch on the side of the unit. If you see a power switch, then turn it off. If there is no power switch, then turn off the power that supplies the garbage disposal from the breaker box.

Look for Obstacles

Once the power is off, use a flashlight to look into the garbage disposal to see if there are any noticeable obstacles. If you see an obstacle, then use a pair of pliers to remove it from your disposal. You should never place your hand inside your garbage disposal for any reason.

Move the Blades

If a look inside the disposal does not reveal any obstacles, then it is time to see if the impeller is clogged up with material. The impeller is the area that houses the cutting blades, and it is often where you will find the garbage disposal clogs.

Use a long wooden spoon handle or a broom handle to gently rock the blades back and forth. After working with the blades for a while, they should spin freely when you apply pressure.

Wait Before Starting Up Your Disposal

You should wait at least 15 minutes after unclogging your garbage disposal for the motor to cool before turning the power back on. If you unclogged your disposal while it was already cool, then you do not need to worry about waiting.

Start It Up and See What Happens

Once the motor has cooled and you have turned the power back on, it is time to see if you successfully unclogged your garbage disposal. Do not place anything inside the disposal to check to see if it works. If it is still clogged, then adding more material will only make the situation worse.

Stand as far back as you can from the garbage disposal and then turn it on. If it makes familiar noises, then you have successfully cleared out your garbage disposal. If it only makes a loud humming sound and does not move, then it is still clogged. If it makes sounds you are unfamiliar with, then you could be looking at other problems.

The idea of unclogging a garbage disposal can appear to be simple, but you could wind up doing more harm than good if you try to do it yourself. To be safe and get the job done right, you should contact one of the professionals at Handyman Connection of Blue Ash.

A professional will not only clear out the clog for you, but they will also be able to let you know if repairs are needed. You can also rely on a professional from Handyman Connection of Blue Ash to give you a competitive price quote to replace your garbage disposal, if that is necessary.

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