When your garbage disposal clogs up, it's just as inconvenient as having a blocked drain since water backs up in the sink. The problem might even be a clogged drain rather than a clogged disposal. One of the first things your plumber will do is figure out the cause of the clog so the right repairs can be made. Here are some things your plumber may do when your garbage disposal is backed up.
Test The Disposal
The plumber will probably switch on the garbage disposal to listen to how it sounds. If it hums but doesn't make any grinding noises, then there might be something blocking the blades such as a fruit pit. When the blades are blocked, the garbage disposal can't run, but water still usually drains from the sink. If water is staying in the sink, then that means there is a clog somewhere in addition to the jammed blades.
If your garbage disposal doesn't make any noise at all, the circuit might be tripped or there could be a problem with the wiring. If the disposal makes grinding noises as usual, then the clog could be in the drain above or below the disposal.
Use A Drain Snake
If the plumber determines there's a clog in the drain, then a plumbing snake might be used to cut through the clog so water will drain from the sink. If the snake busts up the clog, the plumber will test the garbage disposal to make sure it works okay and water drains freely from the sink.
Repair Or Replace The Garbage Disposal
If there's a problem with your garbage disposal, the plumber has to decide if the disposal can be repaired or if it has to be replaced with a new unit. Something like a jammed impeller can be fixed and the disposal reset. However, more serious problems often require that the disposal be replaced instead.
If you seem to be having trouble with your garbage disposal fairly often, you may want to review your owner's manual and learn about the things you should avoid putting in the disposal. Hard things like pits and bones can damage the disposal, and starchy foods can create a clog fairly easily. You should also avoid sending oil through the disposal because of the risk of it causing clogs in the drain pipe. If you have a septic system, you want to be careful about sending the wrong foods down the disposal. Even if you're connected to the city sewer, treating your garbage disposal carefully helps prevent problems with clogs and jams, and it may even prolong the life of your small appliance.
For more information or assistance, contact a residential plumbing service in your area.
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