How to Fix a Clogged Garbage Disposal

Posted: 9/28/2012

Click here for a video of this procedure.

If you realize that you have a clogged drain line, do not run to the nearest store and buy chemical drain cleaners. Such chemicals can damage the disposal or even make the problem worse.

  • Disconnect the drain trap, remove it and discharge drain pipe;

  • Check for clogs or obstructions, such as chunks of food. If none are found, the clog lies in the line going into the wall or beyond the vertical pipe going into the wall;

  • Clean the obstruction with a sink auger (this tool is inexpensive can be easily found at hardware stores) - If you don't know how to use an auger, follow the steps below.

 

 

 How to clean an obstruction with an auger:

  1. First loosen the setscrew and then with the lavatory sink stopper removed, extend the auger cable into the drain. When you feel it against the clog, pull out about 12 inches more of the cable and tighten the set screw.
  2. Turn the crank handle of the auger with firm but gentle pressure until you feel the clog. Extend more cable and continue cranking as required until you feel you've worked through the clog.
  3. If the steps above don't fix the problem, the clog is going to require access beyond the sink trap. Place a bucket under the trap to catch the water that will come out once the trap is removed. Remove the slip-nuts at the end of each trap with a pipe wrench.
  4. Extend the auger cable into the flat section of drain pipe. When you feel it against the clog, pull out about 12 inches more of the cable and tighten the set screw. Turn the crank handle of the auger with firm but gentle pressure.
  5. Extend more cable as required until you feel you've worked through the clog. Reassemble and flush the drain with hot water from the faucet to clear any remaining debris.


If the tips above are unsuccessful, you should consult a professional plumber. If you are unsure about who you should hire, do not hesitate in contacting your management team at 773.313.0025. They will be happy to provide you with the contact of a qualified professional that they are familiar with.