If you've grown tired of sticking your hand into the squelchy netherworld of your garbage disposal to retrieve whatever refuse seems to be clogging your drain, you may be wondering whether to simply get rid of the garbage disposal entirely. While these disposals can be a handy way to get rid of smelly food scraps and other organic waste, they can also become clogged or grease-filled themselves, leading to plumbing problems if you don't intervene. Read on to learn more about garbage disposal repair.
What causes most garbage disposal clogs?
Garbage disposals contain small motors that power sharp blades, pulverizing food scraps and other materials so that they can be easily washed down your drain and into the sewer or your septic tank. However, using garbage disposals for greasy scraps, or worse, pouring grease directly down the sink, can narrow the interior surfaces of your pipes just like eating high-fat food can clog your arteries over time.
This means that when your pipes are already narrower than they should be due to the buildup of greasy scum or debris on the sides of your drainage pipes, flushing food scraps—even pulverized ones—down these pipes can leave them backed up. You may have to remove by hand basically everything you've tried to flush down the garbage disposal each time you run it.
How can you fix a clogging garbage disposal?
In many cases, the solution to this problem can lie both in cleaning (or replacing) your garbage disposal and cleaning your sink pipes. Since replacing your dirty garbage disposal with a brand-new one still won't solve the issue of the grease-caked pipes, you may need to contact a plumber who can use a special jet or auger to scrape all the grease, food scraps, and other contaminants from the sides of your sink pipes, leaving them draining just as well as the day they were first installed.
You'll also want to use a degreasing agent like vinegar or citric acid on the inner workings of your garbage disposal. Removing any slime or scum from the inside of your garbage disposal can minimize bacterial growth, which can ensure that both your pipes and your disposal stay clean and are functioning well for months or years to come.
Finally, you'll want to make an extra effort to maintain your garbage disposal's health by running some degreasing agents through it occasionally to remove grease and keep everything in good working order.