Few things are as frustrating as a clogged pipe. In some circumstances,
you may notice a buildup along the way; in other cases it may be an instantaneous thing.
No matter how big or small, when a clog occurs, your first instinct may
be to grab a chemical drain cleaner to solve the problem. However, chemical
drain cleaners can corrode or damage your pipes, which can cause irreparable
problems down the road. And in a kitchen sink with a garbage disposal,
the chemicals can also immediately impact the plastic components and the
metal blades within the unit.
To avoid damaging your garbage disposal, do these few things instead.
Start by unplugging the garbage disposal – never work on a unit that
Use a natural drain cleaner consisting of ¼ cup baking soda, followed
by ½ cup white vinegar. Allow it to fizz for a few minutes. Then
run the faucet with very hot water over the drain for two to three minutes.
Repeat as necessary until the clog is removed.
If you still have a clogged drain, shine a flashlight down to see if you
can find the clog. Is there a foreign object in the drain – a meat
bone or even kitchen utensils have been known to cause severe problems.
If you see the potential problem, reach in with a pain of tongs or a needle
Run water and turn the garbage disposal on. Does the water run clear? If
its still clogged, continue to the next step.
If you have a dishwasher, locate the drain pipe underneath the sink that
connects up with the garbage disposal. Close the end of the dishwasher
drain line where it enters the disposal by placing a clamp over the nozzle.
The clamp will prevent the hose from popping off the disposal nozzle as
you plunge the sink drain.
Put the plunger over the drain in the sink – make sure the drain basket
is covered by the plunger bell. Turn on the faucet so that the top of
the plunger is covered with about half an inch of water. Plunge the drain
for about 20 seconds.
Lift the plunger and check the water flow. If still clogged, repeat this
process a few times to see if you can release the clog. Once the water
flows, run hot water for a few minutes to clear any residue.
If you still have a clog, its time to call in a professional.