Tips for Clearing a Jammed Impeller or Clog in Your Garbage Disposal


When your garbage disposal is clogged or jammed, you might end up with a mess in your sink. Even if the clog isn't backed up, you want to get your disposal working again as soon as possible. Garbage disposals have to be replaced sometimes rather than repaired, but you or a plumber might be able to clear a clog or jammed impeller. Here are some things to try. Just remember to unplug the disposal before you work on it.

Turn the Impeller Manually

A clog can sometimes cause the impeller to get stuck. If you can get the impeller working, it might continue to chop up the food so you can wash it down the drain. You could also use the straight end of a broom or plunger and put it in the garbage disposal. Then, position the end against the impeller and try to force it to move. This might force the bone, pit, or seed to fall out so the impeller works again.

You can also see if your garbage disposal has a reverse switch that tries to reverse the impeller to release the clog. If you still have the Allen wrench that came with your disposal, you can insert it at the bottom of the unit and move it back and forth to try and work the stuck impeller loose.

If your disposal has this problem, it will probably make a humming sound rather than a grinding sound when you turn the unit on. If you try to free the blade with the above methods and don't get results, call a plumber for help. If your disposal is grinding, but it seems weak, the impeller might be bad instead, and you may need to have a plumber put in a new disposal.

Snake Out the Drain

If you run water to move food through the disposal but the water backs up in the sink, the problem might be in the drain on the other side of the disposal. If you have a drain snake and you know how to disconnect the disposal from the drain, you might be able to clear the clog.

You might see the clog when you unhook the disposal, but if not, try using the drain snake. If you don't feel comfortable taking your plumbing apart, call a plumber. Your plumber will remove the clog with the appropriate tools, reconnect your garbage disposal, and then test it for proper operation.

Prevent Future Clogs

Your garbage disposal isn't made to grind up all kinds of food. You may want to read your manual to learn how to care for your disposal. You shouldn't grind up coffee grounds, fatty foods, dairy foods, grease, fibrous foods, seed pits, and seafood shells. These foods can cause clogs in the drain or get stuck in the impeller. Also, put food in a little at a time rather than all at once, and be sure to run water while grinding.


15 April 2020

plumbing mistakes - when to call in the pros

Do you know when to call a plumber? I had it in my head that plumbing was a simple system in my home that I could manage myself, but quickly learned otherwise. After completing a bathroom renovation myself and having a few of the water and drain pipe connections fail, I quickly learned that it was one job that I should have left to a professional. My website offers you simple solutions to small plumbing issues and a short guide to help you determine if your best option is to call in the professional plumbers. Hopefully, my mistakes will help you learn what not to do in your home.