how to unblock a waste disposal unit

It’s every homeowner’s worst nightmare – your waste disposal unit is blocked and you don’t know what to do! But never fear, we have the perfect guide on how to unblock a waste disposal unit. In this blog post, we’ll provide step-by-step instructions for identifying the problem, gathering your tools, unblocking the unit and testing it afterwards. So if you’re looking for an easy way to get rid of that pesky blockage in no time at all – look no further than our helpful guide on how to unblock a waste disposal unit!

Table of Contents:

Identifying the Problem

It’s never fun when your home or garden appliances start to malfunction. A blocked waste disposal unit is one of the most common problems that can occur in a kitchen sink, and it’s important to know how to identify the signs so you can take action quickly.

Humming Noise

One of the tell-tale signs of a blocked waste disposal unit is an unusual humming noise coming from the sink area. This sound indicates that something has gone wrong with the motor, usually due to food particles becoming stuck in its blades. If you hear this type of noise coming from your sink, then it’s time to investigate further and unblock your unit as soon as possible.

Water Not Draining Properly

Another sign that there may be an issue with your waste disposal unit is if water isn’t draining properly down the drain after use. This could mean that either food particles have become lodged in the pipes or they are clogged up by grease and other debris which needs removing before normal drainage can resume again. In some cases, this problem may require professional help but often simply unblocking your appliance will do just fine.

Unpleasant Smells

The last sign that something might be wrong with your waste disposal unit is unpleasant smells emanating from around it – particularly when running hot water through it for cleaning purposes. These odours indicate bacteria build-up inside which needs addressing immediately otherwise more serious issues could arise such as mould growth or even health risks associated with contaminated air being released into living spaces nearby. Again, unblocking should solve this problem quickly and easily enough; however, if not then do not hesitate to call out a professional plumber who will be able to diagnose any underlying issues causing these smells too.

Now that you know what the issue is, it’s time to gather your tools and get started on fixing it.

Key Takeaway: The key takeaway from this article is that if you notice any of the following signs: humming noise, water not draining properly, or unpleasant smells – it’s time to unblock your waste disposal unit.

Gather Your Tools

fixing the sink

When it comes to unblocking a unit, the right tools are essential. Whether you’re dealing with a sink, bathtub or toilet, having the right equipment is key to getting the job done quickly and safely.


A wrench is an absolute must-have when it comes to plumbing projects. It’s used for loosening and tightening nuts and bolts of all sizes. A good set of wrenches should include both metric and imperial sizes so that you can handle any type of project.


Pliers are another essential tool for plumbing projects. They come in various shapes and sizes but most commonly feature long handles with curved jaws at one end which can be used for gripping objects such as pipes or fittings securely while applying pressure to them in order to loosen or tighten them up. Needle nose pliers are especially useful as they have thin tips which allow access into tight spaces where other types may not fit easily.


Screwdrivers are also necessary when working on plumbing fixtures as many require screws in order to secure parts together properly before use or after repairs have been made. You’ll need different types depending on what kind of screw heads you’re dealing with; Phillips head screwdrivers work best on crosshead screws while flathead screwdrivers work better on slotted screws (and vice versa). Be sure to get yourself a good quality set that includes multiple sizes so that you can tackle any task.

Pipe Cutters

Pipe cutters are great for cutting through copper pipes without damaging them too much. They usually consist of two blades mounted onto a handle, which allows you to apply pressure evenly along the length of the pipe while rotating it around until it is completely severed cleanly from its source material or whatever else needs cutting. This makes pipe fitting jobs much easier than trying to do them by hand using traditional methods like hacksaws.

Once you have the necessary tools, it’s time to move on to unblocking the unit. Read on for tips and advice.

Key Takeaway: Having the right tools is essential for unblocking a waste disposal unit. Wrenches, pliers, screwdrivers and pipe cutters are all necessary to get the job done quickly and safely.

Unblocking the Unit

Make sure that you turn off the power before attempting any repairs or maintenance on your unit. Once this is done, you can begin to remove any debris from the drain and check for clogs. If there are any blockages present, use a wrench to loosen them up so they can be removed easily.

Next, inspect all of the pipes and connections in order to identify where the blockage may be located. If necessary, use a plunger or snake tool to dislodge anything that might be stuck in one of these areas. Be sure not to force anything as this could cause further damage.

Once everything has been cleared out, run some water through each pipe and connection in order to make sure that nothing else is blocking them up again. You should also take this opportunity to clean out any dirt or grime buildup around these areas with an old toothbrush if needed – just make sure it’s dry before putting it away.

Finally, test your unit by turning on the power and running it for several minutes at different settings (e.g., low/high). This will help ensure that everything is working properly after being unblocked and give you peace of mind knowing that no further problems will arise from whatever was causing the initial issue in the first place.

Once the unit is unblocked, it’s important to test and maintain it regularly in order to prevent future blockages. In the next section, we’ll discuss how you can properly test and maintain your waste disposal unit.

Testing and Maintenance

It is important to test the unit after unblocking it in order to ensure that it is working properly. To do this, you should turn on the water supply and check for any leaks or blockages. If there are no issues, then your unit should be ready for use.

In order to maintain your unit, you should clean it regularly with a mild detergent and warm water solution. This will help prevent any further build-up of dirt or debris which could lead to another blockage in the future. You can also use a brush attachment on your vacuum cleaner hose to remove any dust or particles from inside the pipes if necessary. Additionally, make sure that all drain traps are kept clear of debris as well as check for potential signs of corrosion around joints or fittings over time.

Finally, always remember to never pour grease down drains as this can cause major problems later on. Grease solidifies when cooled so even small amounts can eventually clog up pipes leading to more serious issues such as flooding or sewage backups in extreme cases.

FAQs in Relation to How to Unblock a Waste Disposal Unit

Will baking soda and vinegar unclog a garbage disposal?

Yes, baking soda and vinegar can be used to unclog a garbage disposal. The process is simple: first, pour 1/2 cup of baking soda down the drain followed by 1/2 cup of white vinegar. Allow the mixture to sit for 10 minutes before pouring boiling water down the drain. This should help break up any clogs or debris at your disposal and clear it out. Be sure to run cold water while using this method as hot water could cause additional damage to your garbage disposal.

Can you plunge a clogged garbage disposal?

clogged sink

Yes, you can plunge into a clogged garbage disposal. It is an effective way to dislodge any debris that may be stuck in the blades or drain pipes. To do this, make sure the power is off and use a plunger with a cup-shaped end over the sink’s drain opening. Apply firm pressure and move the plunger up and down several times until water begins to flow freely again. If plunging does not work, then it may be necessary to remove the disposal unit for further inspection or repair.

How do you know if your garbage disposal is clogged?

If your garbage disposal is clogged, you may notice a few signs. Firstly, the sink will take longer to drain than usual. Secondly, there may be a strange smell coming from the sink or garbage disposal unit itself. Finally, when running the garbage disposal it may make unusual noises such as grinding or humming instead of its normal sound. If any of these symptoms are present then it’s likely that your garbage disposal is clogged and needs to be cleared out in order for it to work properly again.

Can you pour Drano down a waste disposal unit?

No, you should not pour Drano down a waste disposal unit. Doing so can cause serious damage to the unit and potentially create hazardous fumes. It is best to use specialised products that are designed for cleaning out your garbage disposal. These products are usually safe to use and will help keep your unit running smoothly without damaging it or creating any dangerous fumes.


We hope our guide on how to unblock a waste disposal unit has been very helpful. Although it’s not the most glamorous job, unblocking a waste disposal unit is important to keep your home running smoothly. With the right tools and following our step-by-step guide, you can easily unblock a waste disposal unit yourself. Taking care to regularly test and maintain your unit will help prevent future blockages and keep it working optimally for years to come.

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