Ever had the misfortune of smelling a God awful odor while having a nice family dinner? Ever called guests to a party and felt embarrassed by the noise emanating from the disposal unit? Ever felt agitated by the unseemly mess caused by your waste? Or, felt sickened by the mixture of clogged water and refuse in the drain? Chances are your garbage disposal unit is plugged.Here are a few tips to avoid this problem as well as fix your disposal unit.

What not to dump
Even the best garbage disposal unit has limitations. Generally, the manual provided with the disposal unit should contain details of food items not to be dumped. Leftovers such as corn cobs, artichokes, any kind of pits, chicken or fish bones, and grease are a big no with regard to disposal units.

Smaller granular leftovers, such as coffee grounds and egg shells, are also dangerous, as they tend to build up in the unit and cause plugs. Potato peels are disastrous when it comes to disposal units, as they form a starchy complex in the unit causing serious blockages. Banana peels cause similar clogs compounded by fiber tissue.

If you drop your wedding ring or kitchen utensils by accident, it may be the cause of such a plug.

What not to do

Dumping leftovers, all at once in the sink are another cause for plugs. Insufficient water supply to the pipes adds to the issue. Ideally, a good amount of water should be poured down the drains during and after the disposal of waste. When faced with clogged garbage disposal, the use of chemical drain cleaners poses a hazard, as it corrodes the piping, and should be avoided.

What to do

Make sure the power supply to the disposal unit is turned off. Use a pair of pliers or tongs, and patiently remove the clogged material from the drain. Under no circumstances should you put your hands into the disposal unit, even when the power is off as the blades are sharp. Often the cause of the clog is located deep in the piping. In such a scenario, use a probe to push debris down the pipe.

What to dump

Cleared the drain but still getting the smell? Dice a lemon and throw it down the disposal unit. The acidity of the lemon helps clear away small clogs and food particles. The refreshing aroma of the lemon will also improve your mood. Crushed ice cubes have a similar effect.

Despite these steps if you are unable to resolve the situation then the clog must be out of your reach as such using an auger may help solve the problem. However, this is a risky venture and may end up damaging the pipes. Rely on the help of expert plumbers if you find yourself in such a tricky situation.

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