Garbage disposers can often be the culprit behind a clogged kitchen sink. This usually occurs when an object has been deliberately or accidentally thrown into the garbage disposer and the garbage disposer will not grind the object. The disposer will become jammed or clogged. Either way, the object is impeding the ability to use the sink drain. We have provided step -by- step instruction on how to determine if your garbage disposer is causing your kitchen sink to become backed up.
Before performing the steps in diagnosing your garbage disposal, please acknowledge all safety precautions. Disconnect power in as many places as you can!
Normally, before a disposer will burn itself out when jammed, the internal circuit breaker, or Ground Fault Circuit interrupter will trip, discontinuing power to the disposer. Before pressing the reset button, you should take steps to determine what caused the interruption in current.
- Disconnect other power sources, to be sure there is no way the power will engage and cause electrical shock, or accidental activation of the disposer, should you clear the blockage.
- After the power is disconnected, use a flashlight and peer into the mouth of the garbage disposal. If you can not get your hand inside the mouth of the garbage disposal, use an object that will allow you to detect an obstruction in the grinding chamber. If you can, remove the object.
- The center shaft has a 1/4″ allan wrench slot beneath the garbage disposal unit. Use a 1/4″ allan wrench and work the shaft to turn the grinding wheel counter clockwise and clockwise to dislodge anything that may be stuck in the disposer.
- If you have the ability to run water without it backing up, turn the water on to help loosen the grinding wheel and flush out the debris as you use the 1/4″ allan wrench.
- Once you have determined the garbage disposer is no longer jammed, restore power and press the reset button located beneath the disposal.
- Activate the garbage disposal and run water. If the disposer makes no unusual sounds, spins freely and does not trip the circuit, congratulations. You have cleared the jammed disposer.
- If the disposer is working but the sink does not drain, you will need to cable the kitchen sink drain line.