How to Unclog a Sink with a Garbage Disposal

The sink in the kitchen is clogged from food. MidCity Plumbers

Do you have a sink with garbage disposal at home? That’s great! However, there are times when issues with clogging may occur. When you are facing these problems, you’re in the right place! We know exactly how to help with your clogged garbage disposal drain. Find out everything you need to know about unclogging the sink with garbage disposal and the steps needed so you can have a safe and efficient drain for your home. Let’s jump right in! 

Causes of garbage disposal clog 

Before diving into the steps of unclogging, it’s important to understand the different causes of garbage disposal clogs. While most disposals have no issue grinding down food waste, clogs do happen especially after the grinding process. This has a lot to do with food waste reacting to water (or lack of water). Briefly, here are some common causes of garbage disposal clogs that most homeowners get confronted with: 

  1. Grinding banana and potato peels that create a starchy paste that cling onto the drain pipes
  2. Grinding eggshells or coffee grounds create granular waste that may lead to sludge in your pipes, causing major clogs. 
  3. When there is no flushing water or not enough water down the disposal to break down food particles and waste. Consequently, the waste can’t be flushed down and will quickly build up over time. 

Kitchen drain clog with food particles. MidCity Plumbers

Other causes not listed here may lead to garbage disposal clogs. Keep in mind to always ensure that the grinding process is working properly to break down your food waste. Otherwise, this will just do more harm than good. 

Tools and materials you will need 

Here are some tools and materials that you will need to unclog your sink with the garbage disposal. 

  1. Paper towel or some rags 
  2. Bucket 
  3. Scrub brush 
  4. Wire
  5. Drain snake (optional or if needed) 
  6. Bucket 

You can add materials and tools if you deem them necessary and convenient in the unclogging process. This list is not exclusive and is always subject to change depending on the complexity of the clogged sink at hand. 

Steps to unclogging a garbage disposal 

Before anything else, it’s important to first assess the working area and see if you can do the project on your own or you’ll be needing some help from professionals. Either way, we have provided the steps to unclog garbage disposal here for your guidance and convenience: 

Cleaning a sink garburator and p trap in the kitchen sink. MidCity Plumbers

  1. Remove the P-Trap by disconnecting the fittings on the drain trap. Don’t forget to use the bucket beneath the disposal drain trap to collect water from the disconnecting process. This can be messy so always have paper towels and rags around to wipe accidental spills from the trap
  2. Clean the trap and check if there are any clogs or obstructions in the trap fitting. Use a small scrub brush to dig out any debris 
  3. Next is to check the trap arm. Most clogs lie in the trap arm which is the horizontal drain piece that connects to the drainpipe. Clean the inside of the trap arm with a wire or a small brush. 
  4. You can also snake the branch drain if necessary. If the clog is likely located deeper than the P-trap, it’s best to snake the drain. Don’t worry, here are 5 easy steps to use a plumbing snake should it be necessary to do so. 
  5. Reassemble the drain along with the P-trap by tightening the slip nuts. Check the positions of the pieces you’ve dismantled earlier. If you can, tighten the parts further to avoid any leaks. But don’t over-tighten them to avoid damage to the nuts. 
  6. Finally, flush the rain. Run water down the drain through the disposal for several minutes to flush down any waste remnants. You can also add warm water to dislodge or soften any remaining clog particles. 

When to call a professional plumber

If it’s your first time dealing with this kind of problem and you don’t have the necessary tools and expertise for a successful unclogging, call a professional plumber to help you out. More often than not, unclogging sink drains require a professional plumber, especially when it comes to stubborn clogs. If you want to avoid damage costs due to improper cleaning or unclogging, hire a team of certified experts to do the work for you. 

Confused woman in the kitchen with a plunger in her hands.  Kitchen sink clogging. MidCity Plumbers

Are you experiencing clogged sink drains at home? We can help! Our team at MidCity Plumbers offers drainage and water services to all customers in Burnaby and the surrounding area, so don’t hesitate to contact us if you have drainage or clogging issues that can damage your pipes permanently. Our efficient service includes plumbing and drainage services completely right from the inspection through the final stage. Give us a call on 📞 778-772-8676  today, and we are more than happy to help you get rid of these issues in no time!

Recent Post

How to Check and Fix a Water Leak in Your Home

How to Check and Fix a Water Leak in Your Home

As a homeowner, you might have encountered some kind of plumbing leak or problem before. Some might have experienced leaks, frozen pipes, or pipe clogging which are more obvious and easy to detect. However, there are also plumbing problems like loose connections which...

5 DIYs to Avoid in Custom Home Renovations in 2022

5 DIYs to Avoid in Custom Home Renovations in 2022

With the housing market continuing to increase, Vancouver real estate saw sales up 25.3 percent in the 10-year January average last month. The increase in competition for a limited amount of homes has driven up prices to record numbers. The short supply causes older...

12 Common Causes of Drain Clogs Every Homeowner Should Know

12 Common Causes of Drain Clogs Every Homeowner Should Know

Are you experiencing a clogged drain more frequently? Most homeowners are familiar with clogging issues and have run into them at least once or twice. And while a clogged drain may be common, it can be prevented with proper knowledge and cleaning. Here are 12 common...

4 Reasons Shower Drain Cleaning is Essential

4 Reasons Shower Drain Cleaning is Essential

Did you consider regular cleaning when it comes to your shower drain? While most people don’t realize how important this is, we’re here to tell you why. Regular shower drain cleaning has many more benefits than you might think.  One of the best reasons is you get to...

Prevent Plumbing Problems During Heavy Rainfall in Vancouver

Prevent Plumbing Problems During Heavy Rainfall in Vancouver

Are you looking for ways to prevent plumbing problems especially during heavy rainfalls in Vancouver? We can help you! It’s a known fact that heavy rainfall is a friend to no one, especially to your plumbing system. It’s always important to assess if your plumbing can...