With the holidays right around the corner, garbage disposals and clogged drains are on the minds of many homeowners. This year will be no different; in fact, Thanksgiving dinner time (not to mention Christmas and New Year’s too) is one of the busiest times for garbage disposal repair services.
That’s why we’re here to help you avoid a turkey day disaster with our tips on garbage disposal repair and clogged drain solutions.
We’ll give you our 8 best tips on clogged drain and garbage disposal fixes along with a Step-by-Step Guide on How to Repair your garbage disposal.
Don’t worry if you get stuck or have too much turkey, grease, or food waste to tackle after you do the dishes. Call a Rescue plumber today! We’ll Rescue your holiday in less time than the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade! (773) 799-8848.
The 24 Hour Wait Solution: How to break down food waste
The best thing you can do when your garbage disposal clogs on Thanksgiving or after your Christmas or New Year’s party is to wait. But if you’re like most people, you’ll need your kitchen right away after the big holiday meal.
If you can wait, 24 hours will give any food waste time stuck in the drain time to break down so it will flush away more easily.
But if you need to use your kitchen sink sooner, call one of our plumbers for help!
The First Step: How to Avoid Clogs in Your Garbage Disposal
To avoid clogs it’s important not to put down your sink what you don’t finish after your Thanksgiving meal. Whether it’s your first Thanksgiving or your 60th, there’s always a chance for a clog when you don’t want one!
There are many things people try putting down their sink which can cause serious problems including but not limited to: oils, grease, fat, coffee grounds, and egg shells. It doesn’t matter how “flushable” they look, they can and will clog your garbage disposal.
Garbage disposals work by grinding food waste, but it’s also important to remember that whatever you send down the drain pipe also needs to flush out.
Use common sense and things like turkey bones, excessive grease, and large pieces of food like potato skins from making mashed potatoes are challenges that will lead to a garbage disposal clog.
How to Unjam Your Jammed Garbage Disposal
If you find yourself with a garbage disposal that just won’t work, but has power and has a humming sound when turned on, then the motor blades jammed. Be sure to clear all debris in the sink before proceeding with these garbage disposal fixing steps.
If the garbage disposal jammed, you can try using a Garbage Disposal Jam-Buster Wrench .
Check if there are any foreign objects stuck in between its blades. Remove all debris from them before proceeding further!
Once you’re sure the debris is gone, use a long tool and push the blades counterclockwise to see if it will free the blades so they spin freely.
To Be or Not To Be: Chemical vs. Natural Drain Cleaner
Chemical based drain cleaners are not always the best clogged garbage disposal remedy. You should avoid using chemicals if you can or at least use caution when doing so.
These types of toxic chemicals can damage pipes, drains, and your garbage disposal should they get spilled on them and make garbage disposal repair a bit more difficult.
The chemicals designed for drain cleaning can also create toxic fumes which you want to avoid inhaling if you decide to use them. If you smell them, it is a sign you need to ventilate the area.
The Natural Drain Cleaner: Vinegar and Baking Soda
While there are a lot of clogging solutions out there, vinegar and baking soda is one that can be used with ease.
Vinegar helps to break down clogs from the inside while baking soda helps scrub away any grime left behind which may have been causing the clog in the first place.
Steps to using baking soda and vinegar to unclog a drain:
- Pour half a cup of baking soda down the clogged drain opening.
- Carefully follow up with an equal amount of vinegar down the drain. Pour slowly in order to avoid it fizzing too much and creating quite a mess!
- Do not mix the baking soda and vinegar together before putting them into your clogged sink or garbage disposal as this will affect their cleaning ability.
- Wait for about five to ten minutes and let the mixture sit before running more hot water down the clogged drain.
- If it has not been cleared, repeat steps one through three until the clog is gone.
Baking soda and vinegar are a great first step. Another natural drain cleaner is boiling water and ice and salt which will be discussed below.
Boiling water, can it help clear clogs in my sink?
Boiling water is an effective clogged drain repair method when clogged bathroom or kitchen sinks don’t drain properly. Dish soap can build up over time and hot water can help flush it away as needed if running water doesn’t solve the draining problem.
If you slowly pour boiling water to clear out the garbage disposal, it can burn off any grease or grime left behind. Hot water can also help with cleaning and draining your sink. However, use caution as well as there is a risk of burns and severe injury.
A little hot water can make it so your sink drains free!
Steps to Clean & Deodorize a Garbage Disposal With Ice Cubes and Salt
Do you have ice cubes leftover from last night’s party? Throw them in the garbage disposal for clean drains!
You can clean a garbage disposal with simple household items like salt and ice cubes.
What You Need:
- Ice cubes (2 cups)
- Rock salt (1 cup)
- Garbage disposal unit
How To Do It:
- Turn off power at main service panel.
- Shut off water supply under sink
- Put small bowl inside kitchen sink
- Place rock salt into bowl
- Add ice cubes to garbage disposal unit
- Turn on water and run garbage disposal with the cold water running for about a minute.
- Drain sink by opening drain plug under kitchen sink.
When all of the ice has melted, turn garbage disposal back on.
While this won’t unclog your drain but it will clean and sharpen your garbage disposal blades!
How do you unclog a clogged drain with standing water?
It may not have been your first choice to fix a clogged drain on your Thanksgiving, Christmas, or New Year’s holiday, but stuff happens right?
The Plunger Solution to the Clog in My Sink Drain
Plungers are one of the most basic, simple tools that you can use to fix sink or kitchen drain clogs.
Whether it’s your sink clog, a bathtub drain clog, a shower, or tub clog, it helps to have plungers on hand in case something goes wrong!
Steps for using a plunger:
- Put the plunger over the sink drain and make sure it will create a tight seal so it can remove your clogs.
- Run water into the sink after plunging to ensure that there is enough pressure created by the suction of the plunger. Start plunging.
- You can add warm or cold water but avoid boiling hot water as this could affect your rubber plunger causing damage. Plunge as needed.
- If the plunger doesn’t work, you may need more than just liquid pressure.
Will a wire coat hanger solve my clogged kitchen sink problem?
While it’s often thought that a wire coat hanger can be shoved down a drain to unclog it, you risk damaging your pipes or the garbage disposal itself.
Instead, look for a plumber’s snake that is designed for tasks like unclogging a drain. Food waste cannot be broken apart by a wire but a plumber’s snake is designed to snake through pipes, including the p-trap.
Do You Have an Electrical Problem?
Check to see if you have an electrical problem like a blown fuse or need to reset your circuit breaker. If you turn on your garbage disposal and don’t hear a humming sound, your circuit breaker may have shut off.
First, turn off your garbage disposal, flip the circuit breaker switch assigned to the disposal and then try and turn on the disposal with the tap water running. See if that fixes it!
Try the Reset Button
Garbage disposals should have a reset button that will allow you to restart its circuit connection and might enable it to turn back on.
Turn the Flywheel Turning Hole
If you want to go under the sink to see if you can turn the flywheel turning hole, then unplug the garbage disposal, get an Allen wrench and try turning the flywheel to see if it will free up.
This could free the stuck impeller and get it spinning again properly. After using a gentle amount of force, plug in your garbage disposal to see if this helps. This could save your Thanksgiving holiday in seconds!
Removing the Sink Trap to Unclog Your Kitchen Sink
If you think you know where the drain blockage is or dropped a wedding ring or small toy down the garbage disposal drain, the sink trap (also known as p-trap) is your place to look.
The pipes connected to it can be removed so you can unclog them. Sometimes soap scum buildup can be to blame if your drains are clogged.
Be sure to have plenty of paper towels on hand to clean up when you’re done.
Simply put a bucket underneath the kitchen sink drain and remove the p-trap from the attached pipes and let the objects fall out into the bucket. Rinse with hot water if necessary.
The Quick Step-by-Step Guide to Replacing a Garbage Disposal
So you’ve tried all of the above and either can’t unclog your sink or get your garbage disposal working again.
Not to worry. This step-by-step guide on garbage disposal repair or replacement guide will help you in getting you back in top shape and looking like a natural-born Thanksgiving Day Hero!
You might need a trip to the hardware store, but you can always call Rescue Plumbing if you want help right away!
Garbage Disposal Repair/Replacement Steps:
Step One: Power Off Garbage Disposal
To avoid shocking yourself, head to your home’s main circuit breaker and find the switch corresponding to the garbage disposal. Flip it over so that power isn’t being sent through any wires connected with electrical appliances including the dishwasher.
Step Two: Disconnect Discharge Tube
Disconnect the discharge tube. Locate the pipe extending from beneath your sink, which carries water up into a drain pipe to carry away waste products!
A garbage disposal typically has two pipes coming out – one connects with our dishwasher while another leads outside if there isn’t already an exterior connection point nearby (like on newer homes).
This second set can usually be disconnected by pulling or pushing them apart until any securing nuts loosen; give these fixtures a firm tug once free so they don’t leak.
Step Three: Remove Your Old Disposal Unit
Remove the garbage disposal unit’s mounting ring by loosening any bolts on its underside with a socket wrench. The mounting bolts holding the disposal should move easily without too much force. Lift remove your old garbage disposal.
The sink drain opening should be clear at this point with your garbage disposal removed. Easy as pumpkin pie!
Be sure not to discard this garbage disposal before you inspect the bottom base plate.
Step Four: Remove the Electrical wiring
There are usually two screws holding down a cover plate remove them to access the wring. Disconnect the wiring.,
Insert New Garbage Disposal Unit
Now it’s time to put your new garbage disposal in place. Inspect the bottom base plate of your old garbage disposal for screws or clamps holding down the unit. These will be removed with a Phillips-head screwdriver or a socket wrench.
Connect the electrical wiring to the new garbage disposal.
From underneath the sink, you’ll be able to see how your mounting flange fits into place.
Ensure that it is securely fit in and make sure any clamps holding down garbage disposal are secure before reattaching the power supply.
Is it worth it to fix my garbage disposal or clogged drain?
No one likes to be a masochist and we don’t recommend starting during the holidays.
A clogged drain can be a huge problem. It’s always best to fix clogs as soon as possible to save yourself from future hassles and stress!
A clog in your garbage disposal is also something you want fixed before it becomes much more of an issue.
If the clog persists, it may be time for Rescue Plumbing to solve your plumbing drain issue.
How to Fix a Garbage Disposal clog?
Garbage disposal clogs are not the most common clog but they do happen.
If you think your garbage disposal has clogged or needs repair, it’s best to call us right away vs. ruining your holiday party. Thanksgiving Thursday is a busy time for us but we’ll be sure to make time for you to Rescue your national holiday dinner!
You can expect our services to unclog your drains to be reasonable and agreed upon upfront before we begin any work.
Don’t Wait, Save Your Thanksgiving Holiday This Thursday
After a long holiday of cooking and spending time with family, the last thing you want to do is spend your evening fixing appliances.
Our team at Rescue Plumbing has been preparing for just this occasion by making sure we have all the equipment that we might need on hand in case something goes wrong during Thanksgiving, Christmas, or New Year’s dinner.
Give us a call if anything unexpected happens so our plumbers can come and fix it right away!
We’ll get everything back up and running before dessert arrives or even worse – after leftovers are served. If you need help unclogging sinks or repairing garbage disposals, give us a ring today! (773)799-8848