Will My Garbage Disposal Affect My Septic Tank
If you use your garbage disposal as directed by the manufacturer and avoid putting in items you shouldnt, then your garbage disposal should not negatively affect your septic tank. Proper maintenance of your garbage disposal and your septic tank will help keep everything running smoothly.
Check out our article All About Septic Tank Cleaning.
For more information on how you can use Liquid-Plumr® products, visit our FAQs page.
What Causes A Garbage Disposal To Not Drain
If you find that your garbage disposal is not draining, there are a few potential causes. First, check to see if there is any food or other debris caught in the drain. If so, remove it and see if the disposal will drain.
If the disposal does not drain after removing the debris, there may be a clog in the pipes. You can try to clear the clog by using a plunger or a plumbers snake. If the clog is not cleared, you may need to call a plumber.
If You Notice Leaking
Every drop of water that drains from the kitchen sink passes through the garbage disposal. Because of that, there is a chance that leaking may occur. Leaks may start as harmless droplets, but they can develop into very serious issues if they are not addressed right away. Youll usually find the source of leaks in these places:
- Gaskets: If there is an issue with the gasket, you will see water starting to leak between the flange and the rubber seal.
- Drain lines: You will know the issue is with the drain lines if you see a leak where the line meets the appliance.
- Split or crack: A split or crack in the body of the disposal is the culprit if water is leaking from its housing.
- Reset button: In rare cases, you will see water leaking from the reset button housing on the bottom.
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How A Garbage Disposal Works
Although disposals can vary, they all have the same basic design structure. The disposal is mounted underneath the sink. When the disposal is on, the impeller plate, or spinning disc, rotates rapidly.
This shreds the food into tiny pieces, which are small enough to be washed away with water through the holes in the shredding chamber. If the sink wont drain unless the garbage disposal is on, your disposal is either jammed or clogged.
Not Washing Away Leftover Waste
After use, the disposal switches to an off mode, only coming back on when it’s time to grind more food. This is the incorrect way to use a disposal. The waste inside the device eventually builds up and prevents water from passing through.
Therefore, the correct way to use the disposal is to keep it on after the food grinding process is complete. During that time, turn on the water and let it run for one minute to clear away waste stuck inside. Then, turn off the device.
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Maintenance To Prevent Future Clogs
It is highly suggested that using ice and kosher salt in your disposal will help remove any loose debris from the serrated walls of the canister. Filling the disposal with ice and Kosher Salt for 10 minutes will allow the debris to solidify due to the cold ice. Once you start the disposal up, the ice and salt will remove the hardened debris from the canister serrations and be rinsed into and out of the pipes.
A garbage disposal lasts about 10-15 years if taken care of properly. This means using cold water, keeping foods bad for the garbage disposal out, and cleaning it with citrus. The citrus is great as an air freshner.
Use A Toilet Plunger For Difficult Clogs
For stubborn clogs, a toilet plunger may do the trick. Place the plunger over the disposal opening, and run enough water over the plunger to create suction. If you have a double sink and one plunger doesnt work, get two plungers and ask someone to help you. Have one person use a plunger to seal off the second sink side while the other person plunges the disposal side.
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How Do You Unclog A Two Sided Sink With A Garbage Disposal
First, if the sink is full of water, youll need to remove that water before you can proceed. Use a plunger or a plumbers snake to clear the drain.
Once the sink is empty, you can begin to unclog it. In most cases, youll need to remove the stopper from the drain in order to access the disposal. Use a flashlight to look down the drain and locate the stopper.
Once youve found it, use a pliers or your fingers to remove it.
Once the stopper is removed, you should be able to see the blades of the disposal. Use a plunger to try to dislodge any debris that may be stuck to the blades. If the plunger doesnt work, you may need to use a plumbers snake to clear the drain.
If you still cant get the sink to drain, its possible that the disposal is jammed. To fix a jammed disposal, youll need to turn off the power to the disposal unit and then use a wrench to removed the disposal from the sink.
Once the disposal is removed, you can use a brush or your fingers to remove any debris that may be causing the jam.
Once youve unclogged the sink, you can reattach the disposal unit and turn the power back on.
Unclog A Garbage Disposal: Do’s And Don’ts: Dos And Donts
- DO: run water while youre running the garbage disposal.
- DO: make sure to put only small food items into the dishwasher to avoid buildup and clogging.
- DO: maintain your drains with Liquid-Plumr® products.
- DO: follow manufacturers instructions found in the owners manual.
- DON’T: put fibrous or starchy foods, grease or oil, coffee grounds, pits or nonfood items down your garbage disposal.
Read more in DIY
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Abc Can Handle Your Plumbing Problems
If trying to dislodge a wall of food in your pipes doesnt sound like an ideal way for you to spend your weekend, call in ABC Home & Commercial Services. Our licensed plumbers can unclog even the most stubborn drains and then give you advice on how to keep them clear in the future. Also, we can install, repair or replace any brand of garbage disposal. With ABCs help, your sink will be running properly again without your having to lift a finger.
Garbage Disposal Water Comes Back Up: What Should I Do
Youre relieved that you finally finished the dishes and then it happensyour garbage disposal water comes back up. To your dismay, water mixed with bits of food is now flowing into your sink, despite just having turned on your disposal, and youre left wondering how and why this occurred.
If you notice water backing up in your kitchen sink, one of three things has probably happened:
- There is a blockage.
- You have been overusing your disposal.
- Your garbage disposal was not installed correctly.
The most likely of these three scenarios is that you have some sort of obstruction. A blockage in your drain is made up of food and other debris that have been slowly building up over time. Before this happened, you may have noticed that your sink had been draining slower than usual. In most cases, homeowners decide to ignore these early signs of a bigger problem because water is still draining.
In some cases, items go down the disposal which are actually better suited for the garbage , which is ironic, given the name of the appliance in question. Bones, potato skin, coffee grounds, eggshells, corn husks and celery stalks are among the problematic food materials that can put a strain on your garbage disposal which can cause it to not work as well as it used to, or even stop working entirely. Likewise, grease and oil can create deposits in your system which can lead to bigger headaches.
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Using A Sink Plunger To Unclog A Garbage Disposal With Standing Water
Another way is to use a sink plunger. In order to use a sink plunger successfully, you should follow the steps below.
Here is a video about unclogging the sink:
Check The Garbage Disposer First
- If the side of the sink that has the disposer doesnt drain, plunge it first to remove the clog or force it down the drain.
- Note: One of the most common causes of a clogged drain is when your garbage disposer is clogged.
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How To Unclog The Garbage Disposal With Baking Soda
Believe it or not, theres one more thing you can do if resetting your garbage disposal doesnt work. What you might think is a clogged garbage disposal may actually be clogged drain pipes beneath the disposal. This can be fixed with drain cleaners made from a few household items.
Heres what youll need before you start:
Try Ice To Clean The Garbage Disposal
Yes, you can use ice to clean a garbage disposal.
Simply empty a tray of ice into it and set it to run, says Jake Romano, the Manager at John the Plumber . ‘As the garbage disposal is running, you may notice all sorts of grime and gunk rise up from the drain. That’s perfectly normal in fact, it’s good. It means that the ice is breaking some of that matter out.’
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Avoid Putting Fog Items Into Garbage Disposal
One of the biggest causes of clogs, leaks, and other plumbing problems is improper disposal of oil and grease. When disposed of incorrectly by throwing it into the drainage system or down your sink or garbage disposal oil and grease will stick to the inside surfaces of the piping system. That creates a solid block that prevents water from draining correctly.
FOG is short for food oil and grease, also known as FOG. This refers to the fat, oil, or grease that is collected in your kitchen when you cook with solid fats such as butter, lard, and meat drippings. When the grease solidifies, it can clog your pipes, leading to plumbing problems including leaks and backups. The accumulation of FOG in your sewer system can lead to costly repairs by a plumber.
Instead of putting the grease down the sink, pour it into the container provided. Keep in mind that containers will only store so much grease, which is not to be put down the drain. Grease should be stored in a cool, dark place until it can be disposed of in an environmentally friendly manner.
Use only cold water when running the garbage disposal. Cold water helps the fats, oils and grease in food go down the drain instead of sticking to the walls of your pipes where they can cause clogs. When you use hot water, the FOG turns into a thick, pasty substance that sticks to pipe walls. Its difficult for your garbage disposal to pulverize this sticky substance.
Baking Soda And Vinegar
An effective DIY remedy is baking soda and vinegar. This fizzy foam combination that cuts through food clogs and cleans the unit. This solution is especially good for unclogging grease, fat, and oil and for deodorizing a smelly garbage disposal.
- Begin by pouring baking soda into the garbage disposal.
- Next, pour vinegar down the garbage disposal.
- Then, wait 20 minutes for the fizz to break down the clog.
- Last, wash away the mixture and food waste down the pipe with hot water.
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Check The Power Source
If your garbage disposal will not turn on, there may be an issue with the power source. Make sure your disposal is properly plugged in and the switch is in the on position. You can also check to see if the circuit breaker has been tripped on your electrical panel, in which case a simple reset will typically fix the problem.
There is also a reset button, typically found on the bottom of your garbage disposal . If the button is sticking out, you may have tripped the units internal circuit-breaker. Pressing the reset button until it remains depressedwhich may take more than one tryshould solve the issue. In order to prevent this problem in the future, be sure not to overload your garbage disposal.
If your garbage disposal will still not turn on, the motor may have burned out or the unit may have broken entirely. You may also be looking at bad or faulty wiring or switches requiring the expertise of an electrician to fix.
How To Unclog A Kitchen Sink With A Garbage Disposal
If you have a garbage disposal in your kitchen, you probably send a wide variety of things down the drain every day. Food scraps in small quantities can usually make it down without incident. But send a larger portion through, and youll likely encounter a problem.
When clogs occur, a natural reaction is to grab a chemical drain cleaner from a big-box store and use it to solve the problem. However, chemical drain cleaners can corrode and damage your pipes. And if you have a garbage disposal, the chemicals can do irreparable damage to the plastic components and metal blades within the unit.
Think twice before pouring a chemical cleaner down the drain, and do this instead.
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Troubleshooting: Steps To Diagnose The Problem
Clogs and improper drainage are the most common causes. If your sink isnt working properly, you dont have to give up right away and call a professional.
The first step in fixing a clogged sink that wont drain unless garbage disposal is on is troubleshooting. Most jams are caused by seeds and other hard materials. Take the following steps if the garbage disposal sink is not draining. Complete each step, and proceed to the next if it still isnt working.
Some Ways That Home Owners Contribute To Clogs In The Garbage Disposal Are:
- Lack of water You need to use enough water when the disposal is grinding. If not, it will clog.
- Eggshells or coffee grounds: When ground up by a disposal, egg shells and coffee grounds can make very tiny granulars and they will stick everywhere, including the pipes. A build-up of these will become a clog. It is okay to run the coffee grounds in the disposal here and there but not all the time.
- Potato peels: These should always go in the garbage can and not the disposal. This is because when they are ground up, they make a starchy paste and clog the drain.
- Banana peels: These are like the potato peels and add stringy fibers that can clog.
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