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Garbage Disposal Problems
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Blog 07/22/19

Garbage Disposal Problems

How to Unclog the Garbage Disposal

There are times when you may forget to not put bones, coffee grounds, eggshells, bread, fibrous or stringy fruits and veggies, grease, and oil down the garbage disposal.  When this happens, you may be met with a clogged or ineffective disposal. Continue reading to discover a few tips to keep your garbage disposal in tip-top shape and how to unclog it if need be. 

Garbage Disposal Maintenance

Garbage disposal maintenance is very important. First things first, it is important to remember to not use your garbage disposal as a trashcan.  To keep prevent any garbage disposal problems, limit how much food you put down the drain. Remember, food that you put down your drain could potentially cause drain problems, like clogging, in the future.  If you are cleaning off your plate, scrape your food scraps into the trash can.  Rinse your plate in the kitchen sink of whatever is left, run the garbage disposal with the water running and turn off the garbage disposal unit.  It is best to leave the water running for a few extra seconds to fully clear the drain.  Hard or fibrous food waste such as bones, shells, fruit pits, coffee, celery or artichokes should not be put down your garbage disposal at any time.   Additionally, it is important to not put too much food waste down the drain at one time. Doing so may clog the drain. 

To help keep your garbage disposal and drain clear, thoroughly rinse both with hot water every day.  This will help clear the drain of the soapy water and food down the drain and prevent clogging in the future.  Once a week, fill your kitchen sink up with cold water completely, pull the drain stop and allow the water to drain.  Again, this will help keep your garbage disposal unit in good shape and drain free of debris.  

How to Unclog a Garbage Disposal

First and foremost, do not use chemical drain cleaners. Using these abrasive drain cleaners can damage or corrode plastic elements or the metal blades within the garbage disposer itself.  Doing so may fix the garbage disposer unit temporarily but would shorten the lifetime of your garbage disposal units and may void the warranty.  A less harsh solution is to use two items commonly found in most households – vinegar and baking soda. First, pour ¼ cup of baking soda into the sink drain.  Then, follow it up with ½ cup of white vinegar.  Allow the two to work together and fizz for 5 minutes.  Once the five minutes has passed, run the faucet using the hottest water down the drain of your sink for 2 – 3 minutes. If you have noticed an unpleasant odor coming from your garbage disposal whenever you ran it, this may help eliminate it as well. 

If the vinegar and baking soda solution does not clear the clog, it may be time to call the experienced technicians at Bill Howe for garbage disposal repair.  First, the plumbing technician will unplug the garbage disposal.  From there, the plumber will test the drain by running water through it.  After taking a few precautions to ensure that the lines to your dishwasher are in good condition, the plumber will then use a snake to attempt to clear the drain line. If More often than not, this will eliminate the clog.  If that is not the case however, the plumber can then move on to additional strategies such as using a hydro-jetter or sewer camera inspection to determine a solution and fix the problem.

Call 1-800-BILL-HOWE to schedule an appointment with a certified plumbing technician to repair common garbage disposal problems and make sure your garbage disposal is in optimal condition.


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What David says about us

Service for new garbage disposal. My ancient garbage disposal quit working, went online to get Bill Howe’s number, immediately received and accepted chat to describe my needs. Prompt call back to schedule an appointment, service tech Allen was out same morning, which was important to fit my work schedule. Job estimate was clear, work done fully to my expectations, area left clean, and price was very fair.
I was not surprised — I have used Bill Howe plumbers for several other tasks in the past. I have always found their staff to be helpful, attentive, and the plumbers very courteous and capable.

January 2020


What Michelle says about us

I have been using Bill Howe since the late 1980’s, their service has always been excellent, plumbing, heating and restoration. I am most impressed by the integrity of their employees, not only do they know their work/skill, they do not waste time, they are so efficient, they are so helpful and they are a true “service”!

February 2020


What Mira says about us

Bill Howe never fails us! We had a drain overflow, and Scott came (on a Saturday) to look at it and offer solution. He was punctual, professional, and extremely helpful. I should also praise the main office for always being helpful and always finding solutions. Very grateful to have you in San Diego!

February 2020

Restoration & Flood

What Ed Gohlich says about us

Cory was our technician on this job. We had a time sensitive repair issue and Bill Howe understood and assisted with getting the job done quickly.
Cory was on time to start the job and finished it quickly. Upon his leaving our home he’s was courteous, very knowledgeable, explaining what the problem was and how he fixed it. Very good communication and this is the way it’s has always been when we use Bill Howe plumbing.
Great company to work with.
Thanks Cory.

August 2019

Heating & Cooling

What Eric says about us

I had a shower that would not drain. The employee arrived on time and fixed the problem quickly and effectively at a very fair price. I was very happy with everything. Thank you and I highly recommend your plumbing service.

January 2019


What Bridgett says about us

I am extremely happy with the service we received from Bill Howe Plumbing. We were given an incorrect diagnosis of our main sewer line from another vendor, but Bill Howe’s servicemen came out for a second opinion, correctly diagnosed our problem and resolved our back up issues. We will continue to use Bill Howe for all our future plumbing needs!

Thank you Bill Howe Plumbing.

July 2019