RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA TV) - Thanksgiving is a time where your stomach, and plumbing, are working in overdrive. Your garbage disposal may quit on you if you don’t take care of it properly, like keeping things out of it that don’t belong. Here are a few tips to keep in mind if you run into any trouble.
The chambers in the garbage disposal cut up food and turn it into smaller particles that will fall underneath, getting washed out when water is added.
According to Western Dakota Tech Plumbing Program Director Walter Cline, turkey bones, wedding rings, toys, watermelon rinds, and olive pits are some things to avoid stuffing down the sink. These items will easily get stuck and it'll be up to you to fix it.
The first step is to locate the reset button, often times a little red square.
"Now if you press that, flip the switch and it still doesn't do anything, you might have something jammed in there," Cline said.
The next step is to look for a spot where you can manually break the item loose.
"So right here in the center, there's a little spot for a wrench. This is just an Allen wrench. I wanna say its either a quarter inch or a 5/16, not hard to come by if you don't have the one that came with it," Cline said.
"Now, the first thing I do is I'd reach over and unplug it from the wall. Safety first because if it does fire up or your buddy wants to play a trick on you or your wife just doesn't like you and flips the switch on, that things gonna spin around and smack you in the face. and it's not a good time."
Next, rock the wrench back and forth until the obstruction comes out and you'll eventually be able to spin it around with ease.
Some garbage disposals require a different type of tool that goes down into the appliance, but the process is about the same. After that's complete, plug it back in and you should be all set.
"At the end of the day, the garbage disposal is an appliance to help you out. It's not something that's there to say, 'I don't have to walk over to the garbage can and scrap this out anymore.' So, if you remember that you'll have some pretty trouble-free use."
If you don't have the tools to get your garbage disposal going, stop using your sink and dishwasher. Don't let anything drain.
Take a second to gather your thoughts. You can cause more damage by reacting to the situation right away instead of thinking with a level head.
Don't forget! There are some plumbing services open 24/7 that can provide help even on the holiday.