A garbage disposal is a relatively simple appliance that generally operates trouble-free for long periods of time. Unfortunately, however, garbage disposals do break down entirely. Sometimes, you can handle most repairs yourself by simply pushing the garbage disposal reset button. Other times, there may be a clog you need to clear out. But what causes a disposal to clog?
Most often, clogs caused by how the ground food waste reacts to water or lack of water after the disposal unit has ground it up and sends it on its way into waste line. When a garbage disposer clogs, you will often find the problem is in the trap found on the waste discharge side of the disposal. This is also known as the P-Trap where the pureed food can push through to the waste system while also trapping any sewer gasses that might try to come into the home through the pipe.
The waste line may become clogged by a number of things that for different reasons promote poor drainage, including grinding egg shells, potato peels, banana peels and inadequate water supply.
Why Garbage Disposals Clog
Disposals clog because over time the waste line or trap get coated and eventually obstructed with food waste. Here is a quick rundown on the most common causes of clogs:
Lack of Water
Not putting enough water down the disposal when it’s grinding is a sure way to get a clog. Over time the lack of flushing water does not carry the waste material fully through the drainage system and it builds up in the drain lines.
Grinding Egg Shells or Coffee Grounds
These items may not seem like a problem but are a big problem. Grinding egg shells create very tiny granular waste that sticks inside the pipe and quickly create a clog.
Grinding Potato Peels
Potato peels are notorious clog makers. Once ground up they form a starchy paste similar to mashed potatoes and 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 avoid a clog is to make sure you flush the disposal with plenty of water when it is grinding and for 30 seconds afterward. Maintain your disposal by regularly grinding up pieces of lemon peel and ice cubes.
If these DIY tips don’t rectify the issue, you may need to enlist the help of a plumbing professional. Our experienced plumbing professionals are available when you need them the most.