How To Fix Glass In Garbage Disposal


Finding glass in your garbage disposal can be frustrating and potentially dangerous. However, with the right approach and tools, you can safely address this issue and restore your disposal to proper working order. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the steps to fix glass in your garbage disposal, ensuring both safety and efficiency.

Understanding the Problem: Glass in Garbage Disposal

garbage disposal under sink

Having glass in a garbage disposal can lead to a multitude of problems. These issues could range from damage to the blades that are responsible for grinding up waste to strain on the motor that powers the unit and even clogging of the system, which could lead to ineffective waste management. This could occur due to various reasons, such as a glass item shattering in the sink and the shards falling into the disposal, or perhaps dishware that was washed down the drain inadvertently. No matter the cause, addressing this issue promptly is of utmost importance. If not dealt with in a timely manner, it could result in even more severe damage to your garbage disposal unit. This damage could potentially require expensive repairs or even a full replacement of the unit, which would be considerably more costly than addressing the problem at its initial stages.

Assessing the Damage

assessing damage to garbage disposal

Before you begin the process of repairing the glass in your garbage disposal unit, it’s of paramount importance to assess the extent of the damage caused. The first step in this process involves conducting a visual inspection of the disposal unit. By doing this, you can get a preliminary idea of the extent of the damage. Listen carefully when you turn on the unit. Any unusual noises could indicate that something is not right, possibly due to the presence of glass fragments. In addition to these steps, it’s also crucial to determine whether the glass is obstructing the normal operation of the blades. The presence of glass could hinder the rotation of the blades, which is vital for the disposal unit to function correctly. Furthermore, the glass may also be causing damage to the interior structure of the unit, which could lead to further complications if not addressed promptly. Therefore, a detailed assessment is essential before proceeding with any repair work.

Steps to Fix Glass in Garbage Disposal

fixing glass in garbage disposal

1. Prioritize Safety by Turning Off the Power

The first step in dealing with a garbage disposal unit, particularly when it’s damaged by glass shards, is ensuring your safety. It’s crucial to disconnect the power supply to the garbage disposal unit before you start working on it. By doing so, you eliminate the risk of accidental activation while your hand or tools are inside, which could lead to serious injury. You can usually accomplish this by locating and flipping the circuit breaker switch that controls the disposal, or directly unplugging the unit from the power source if it’s a plug-in model.

2. Carefully Remove Any Visible Glass Shards

Once the power is off, proceed to extract the visible glass shards. Using a pair of sturdy tongs or pliers, reach into the disposal unit and carefully remove any large, reachable shards of glass. It’s important to avoid using your hands for this step, as the risk of getting cut by the shards or the disposal blades is too high. If some glass pieces are too deeply embedded or difficult to reach with your tool, don’t worry – you’ll deal with those in the following steps.

3. Flush the System with Cold Water

After you’ve removed as many visible shards of glass as possible, it’s time to flush out the smaller pieces. Turn on the cold water and let it run into the garbage disposal unit. The flow of water will help dislodge any remaining glass fragments and flush them out of the system. Don’t rush this step – let the water run for several minutes to ensure it catches and carries away all the small, hidden fragments.

4. Employ the Use of a Shop Vacuum

Some glass fragments might be particularly stubborn and resist your flushing efforts. In such cases, a shop vacuum can be your best friend. If you have a narrow attachment for your vacuum, it can reach into the disposal unit and suction out any remaining glass particles. The vacuum’s strong suction power should be able to remove even the most stubborn shards.

5. Use an Allen Key to Manually Turn the Disposal

If, after flushing and vacuuming, you still hear resistance or unusual noises when you try to turn the disposal, it may be due to remaining glass fragments or debris stuck in the grinding mechanism. In this case, use an Allen key or a wrench to manually rotate the disposal’s grinding mechanism. This action should help dislodge any remaining fragments.

6. Test Your Garbage Disposal

When you feel confident that all glass fragments have been removed, it’s time to test your garbage disposal. Restore the power supply to the unit and briefly turn it on. Listen for any unusual noises or resistance – these could signify that there are still glass shards in the system. If everything sounds normal and the disposal runs smoothly, then congratulations – you’ve successfully cleaned your garbage disposal of glass shards!

Preventive Measures

preventing damage to garbage disposal by scraping food into trash

In order to avoid the unfortunate occurrence of finding glass in your garbage disposal in the future, implement the following precautionary steps:

  • Always scrape dishes thoroughly before rinsing them in the sink.
  • Use a sink strainer to catch any large debris before it enters the disposal unit.
  • Avoid putting glassware, ceramics, or other breakable items directly into the garbage disposal.
  • Schedule regular maintenance checks to ensure your garbage disposal remains in optimal condition.

Professional Assistance With Workhouse

Dealing with glass in your garbage disposal can be a daunting task, but with the right approach and tools, it’s entirely manageable. However, if you encounter difficulties or prefer professional assistance, don’t hesitate to contact Workhouse Plumbing. Their expertise can ensure that your garbage disposal receives the care it needs to keep your kitchen running smoothly. With these steps and precautions, you can effectively address glass in your garbage disposal and maintain its functionality for years to come.