Troubleshooting a Garbage Disposal that Won't Drain Properly

A garbage disposal.

Sometimes your kitchen garbage disposal won’t drain well. Though it is very enticing to hire a plumber to deal with the trouble, repairing a garbage disposal that won’t drain properly is astraightforward job. Troubleshooting a garbage disposal is slightly daunting and dangerous if you do not undertake necessary precautions. However, with a little know-how, repairing a garbage disposal that won’t drain is easy.

Safety First

Ensure to make safety your first concern. Then, when troubleshooting an in-sink food dumping unit or a garbage disposal, safety concern is a must. Never put your bare hands inside the unit. Turn off all switches and breakers before fixing your garbage disposal. However, if you’re not 100 percent certain with what you need to do, call a plumber.

Troubleshooting Preparations

After you switch off both the breaker and main switch, unwrap the rubber flap then look inside using a bright flashlight. The waste line may also become clogged by some things that for various reasons make poor drainage, which include grinding coffee grounds, potato, and banana peels, as well as grinding egg shells.

Fixing Your Garbage Disposal

A garbage disposal in a sink.

If your garbage disposal is draining very slow or not at all, then a possible source of the problem is in the drain trap. This is the “P" or "S” shaped pipe that comes after the garbage disposal. To eliminate the clog, disconnect the drain trap first and then clean it out before reattaching it. Be sure to put something down to catch the water that will spill out when the pipe section is removed.

Fixing it Using Cable

Another way to fix your garbage disposal is to use an extended cable to push the clog. You can extend the cable as needed until you feel the clog has been pushed forward. You need to push the cable down in order to shove any clogs that there may be. Or if the garbage disposal is clogged in its trap, you need to extend more cables in order to reach it, or just flush the drainpipe using hot water. Afterward, test if it will drain and flow properly.

Using Auger Solution

Also, check for obstructions or clogs. If there is no clogging object found along the trap, then the clog lies down in the column going into the disposal’s wall or further than the vertical pipe through the wall. This problem calls for clearing the clog using a sink auger. You should try to use an auger which is designed for sink, garbage disposals, and waste lines, for instance a plumbing snake, (also a canister or drum auger) or a sink auger. In all of these, a sink auger is the most preferred for its convenience and clean ease of utilization. For less than $20, the sink auger is already a handy tool for every draining problem except for the toilet. At this point, the unit should be working well.

Garbage Disposal Maintenance

A garbage disposal with food in it.

Just remember to avoid dropping any hard object that could hinder the garbage disposal unit to drain properly. Maintain your garbage disposal by often grinding up pieces of ice cubes and lemon peel. Also, avoid odors by treating it every month with a mixture of ½ cup of vinegar and handfuls of baking soda.