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How Can I Fix a Clogged Garbage Disposal?

clogged garbage disposal Browns

Do you have water that stands in your sink and takes forever to drain? Does your sink have a garbage disposal? It could be that the sink pipe is clogged from food. Like most appliances—especially those with moving parts—all kinds of problems can occur. Luckily, most clogged garbage disposal problems are relatively easy to fix, as long as you’re careful.

Common Reasons for a Clogged Garbage Disposal

There are many potential causes of a clogged garbage disposal. Let’s take a look at some of the most common causes of clogs we see at Brown’s and how to fix them.


  • Insufficient water flow– Running water while the garbage disposal is in use is essential. WIthout enough water in the disposal during grinding, you’re sure to end up with clogged food particles. Once a big blockage occurs, water will back up.
  • Putting eggshells and coffee grounds down your disposal- Both eggshells and coffee grounds are no-no’s when it comes to garbage disposals. While they’re small items, they can cause a big problem as they tend to stick to sludge found in the pipes, certainly leading to a clog.
  • Putting potato or banana peels, corncobs, avocado pits, artichokes or chicken bones down the drain– Do not, we repeat, do not put these things down your garbage disposal. Notorious clog makers, they are bound to stop things up and cause some damage along the way.


3 Signs Your Clogged Pipes Could Turn into a Main Sewer Line Clog >>


Items You Should Never Put in a Garbage Disposal

Putting these items down the drain can lead to a clogged garbage disposal or worse.

  • Grease, Oil or Fat
  • Coffee Grounds
  • Eggshells
  • Banana Peels
  • Corncobs
  • Pits (Avocado, Peaches, Plums, etc)
  • Artichokes
  • Carrots
  • Animal Bones
  • Onions
  • Nuts
  • Shells (Nuts, Seafood)
  • Seeds
  • High-Fiber Fruits & Vegetables (Pumpkin, e.g)
  • Rice, Pasta, Grains
  • Potato Peels
  • Chemicals
  • Anything Not Food


How to FIx a Clogged Garbage Disposal

Even if you are extra careful about what you put down your drain, clogs happen. Garbage disposals can be finicky, so be sure to refer to your owner’s manual first. Then try these steps:


  1. Shut off all power to the garbage disposal. Usually located under the sink or on a nearby wall, if you don’t find a switch, turn off the breaker that powers the disposal.
  2. Use a flashlight to look inside the disposal. You might be able to see the object causing your problem.
  3. If you see something, use a pair of pliers to remove it. Never use your hands.
  4. If you don’t see anything, use a long wooden spoon to rock the blade back and forth in an effort to free it up.
  5. Wait 15 minutes for the motor to cool before turning the power back on and operating the disposal again.


Need Help With a Clogged Garbage Disposal?

Not sure what’s going on in your pipes? One simple way to find out is to schedule a video pipe inspection. Using a miniature video camera, our plumbing experts will be able to see what’s really happening in there and clear away any obstructions so your water can flow again!  

Call in the professional plumbers at Brown’s Heating, Cooling and Plumbing at 1-800-741-0694 to clear away your clogged garbage disposal for good! Whether you’re a Monmouth County resident or business owner, Brown’s professional plumbers will make the repair for you as smooth as possible.