One of the most common plumbing problems faced by Americans each year is a clogged garbage disposal. In Los Angeles, where the cost of living is more than 30 percent higher than the national average, calling in a service technician when it is not absolutely necessary can incur painful service charges. As a benefit to the consumers in the area, Rooters On Time has compiled some simple instructions to walk anyone through this simple repair procedure.
- Disconnect the Power – Though it should be obvious not to turn your garbage disposal on while working on it, taking all proper precautions are not always so apparent. You should physically unplug the appliance if possible or, alternatively, disconnect power from it by turning the breaker off. By doing this, you can ensure that nobody can accidentally turn the unit on while you are repairing it.
- Clear the Sink – If your sink is full of water, you may need to force the garbage disposal to drain temporarily by inserting a heavy wooden spoon into the device and manually turning the blades at the bottom. If the sink does not drain at this point, you may need to loosen the pressure screws on the device with a screwdriver and remove it. If this is the case, you should make sure there is a bucket under the device to catch the water.
- Locate the Clog – Once you have cleared the sink and garbage disposal of water, you should look inside to see what is keeping it from draining. Locating an obstruction cannot always be done without tools, however, and you may need to employ the use of a flashlight and something to probe for objects that may be wedged into moving parts.
- Remove the Obstruction – Once the obstruction has been located, it should be removed. This should be done either with needle-nosed pliers or some other tool that gives you extended reach into small spaces. You should never put your hand into the garbage disposal, under any circumstance.
- Clean Up – If you have been forced to remove the garbage disposal to work on it, you should reinstall the unit just as it was before you removed it. If not, you should ensure that any tools used are clear of the appliance.
- Check for Appropriate Operation – After the device has been reassembled, reinstalled, and cleared of hazards, power should be reapplied and it should be run as usual after you turn the water on. You should then check the pipes and connections associated with the disposal to ensure there are no leaks that need to be patched.
As you can see, there is no real mystery to fixing a clogged garbage disposal. All you need are the right tools and the willingness to follow an established repair sequence. Given the cost saving potential of doing this job yourself, there is no reason not to try it. If you are in the Los Angeles area and the problem persists, contact us and we will be happy to send a certified plumbing technician to your home.