A clogged garbage disposal: causes and solutions

A clogged garbage disposal can be caused by many factors, including food particles and kitchen utensils...

A clogged garbage disposal can be caused by many factors, including food particles and kitchen utensils that can become lodged in the drain. Sometimes, you can clear the disposal yourself, but occasionally, calling a plumber is a safer and more effective alternative to clearing your drain.

Causes of clogs

Chunky meats, nuts and other items that are hard for the disposal's blades to cut are prime candidates for clogs. Fibrous vegetables, such as celery and corn husks, can also contribute to clogs, as well as liquids that contain fat.

Cutlery and utensils can also get trapped in the garbage disposal, if you're not careful.

Safety first

Always exercise caution when dealing with the sharp blades of the disposal unit. Before attempting to troubleshoot clogs, turn off the power to the disposal at the breaker box. Never insert your hands into the disposal. Use a flashlight to look down the drain, and if you locate an object, use tongs or needle-nose pliers to retrieve it.

If you can't remove the object, it may require more extensive troubleshooting measures performed by a professional. If this is the case, consider calling an Atlanta-area plumber to provide professional troubleshooting assistance.


To keep the disposal running smoothly, don't cram a lot of food into it at once. Add a few items at a time, and allow the disposer to process the food before adding more. In addition, let water run in the sink during the disposal process, to help flush the food through your plumbing.

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