Several problems requiring repair commonly crop up with garbage disposers or disposals. They can jam up when objects bind the impeller blades inside the appliance. The drain fittings can loosen and cause leaking beneath the sink. Or, the drain connecting the garbage disposal to the rest of the sink’s drain trap assembly can become clogged and cause water to back up into the sink basin where the disposer is installed.
In a double-basin sink, when it’s only the disposer basin that backs up with water, the likelihood is that the drain fitting on the disposer is clogged.
Causes of a Garbage Disposal Clog
A disposal generally has no problem grinding most food waste, but it’s what happens after the grinding that can cause a clog. Often this has to do with how ground food waste reacts to water (or lack of water) after the disposal unit grinds it up and sends it on its way toward the drain line. When a garbage disposer clogs, you will often find the problem in the drain trap assembly located on the waste discharge side of the disposal.
Disposals also can back up over time because the waste line or trap gets coated and eventually obstructed with food waste. If your garbage disposal is draining very slowly or not at all, the problem is most likely in the drain trap—the U-shaped plumbing fitting that is located downstream of the disposal discharge pipe.
Here are some of the most common ways that users create garbage disposer clogs:
- Lack of flushing water: Not putting enough water down the disposal when it’s grinding is a sure way to get a clog. Without sufficient water, the waste can’t be flushed through the pipes and will quickly build up. Once a full blockage occurs, water can’t flow at all.
- Grinding up eggshells or coffee grounds: Food items like eggshells or coffee grounds are a bigger problem than you might imagine. When ground up by a disposal, eggshells and coffee grounds create very tiny granular waste that will stick to any sludge found in the pipes, quickly becoming a clog.
- Grinding potato peels: Potato peels are notorious clog makers and should not be put in a garbage disposal. Once ground up, they form a starchy paste similar to mashed potatoes that will quickly clog the drain.
- Grinding banana peels: These are a similar problem to potato peels, except they also add stringy fibers to the mix.
The simplest way to prevent a clog is to make a habit of flushing the disposal with plenty of water when it is running and for several seconds after you turn it off.
Watch Now: How to Repair a Clogged Garbage Disposal
Source: The Spruce