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How to Fix a Garbage Disposal on Your Own

Garbage disposals theoretically make your life easier. They can get rid of the light debris from dishes and utensils, saving you the hassle of picking it off by hand and carrying it to a trash receptacle. They also make dishwashing easier. But a lot can go wrong with these common kitchen appliances.

For example, putting too much food and the wrong kind of waste into a garbage disposal can clog the kitchen drain. You may be able to repair it yourself, though. Here's what you can try if you run into problems with a clogged garbage disposal:

Turn the disposal off - but still be cautious with your hands

Most disposals have a shutoff switch under the counter or the nearest wall. Always turn the disposal off before attempting any repairs. Even with the device off, keep your hands out of the disposal, since the switch could be defective.

Use pliers and a flashlight

Once the disposal is off, use a flashlight to search for obstructions. A pair of needle-nosed pliers or thin tongs may also be handy for reaching into the drain and fishing out objects such as pieces of silverware or food buildup.

Wait for the disposal to recover

After a jam incident, it's a good idea to let the disposal cool down for at least 15 minutes so the motor can recover. You can then try the reset or overload protector buttons to start up the garbage disposal again.

A professional plumber can also help you repair your garbage disposal if the issue is more complicated, or even install a new one. Make sure you call your local Overland Park Roto-Rooter when you need assistance with your kitchen plumbing.

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$thisState Counties: Douglas, Jefferson, Johnson, Leavenworth, Miami, Wyandotte

MO Counties: Buchanan, Cass, Clay, Jackson, Johnson, Lafayette, Platte, Ray

KS Counties: Douglas, Jefferson, Johnson, Leavenworth, Miami, Wyandotte

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Overland Park, KS 66212
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