It happens all the time—you’re doing dishes and the glass you’re holding slips, hitting the sink and shattering into a million pieces in your garbage disposal.
While it may feel like a shock when it happens, the good news is that glass can be removed from your garbage disposal with just a few household tools.
Here’s everything you need to know about safely and effectively cleaning glass out of your garbage disposal system.
Safely Dealing with Broken Glass in the Garbage Disposal
A garbage disposal can be dangerous if handled improperly. Here are a few things to keep in mind before working with a disposal system.
- Make sure the power is off (and the circuit breaker is flipped).
- Never stick your hands down the disposal.
- Don’t put your face or hands directly above the disposal when testing it.
Supplies You’ll Need
Here’s everything you need to start safely removing glass from your disposal. While a flashlight isn’t necessary for the removal process, it can make it significantly easier to see what you’re doing.
- Rubber gloves
- Flashlight or headlamp
- Needle nose pliers
- Hex key
- Shop vac
How to Get Glass Out of Your Garbage Disposal
Once you have all the tools you need, you’re ready to remove the glass from your garbage disposal. Follow these steps for safe glass removal.
Turn Off the Garbage Disposal
Before you begin any work on your disposal system, you must turn off the power at its source. This means that in addition to turning off the garbage disposal itself, you should flip the circuit breaker on your electrical panel to cut power.
Use Pliers to Remove Big Shards of Glass
Once the power’s completely shut off, it’s time to put on your gloves and grab the needle nose pliers. Aim the pliers into the garbage disposal and carefully grab as many large pieces of glass as you can. Normally, these larger pieces will be concentrated near the top of the garbage disposal, making for easier removal.
Clear the Remainder with a Shop Vac
After removing the larger pieces of glass with pliers, go back in with your shop vacuum to remove any smaller pieces of glass. It’s best to use the long-head attachment on your vacuum for this process.
Turn the Blades with a Hex Key
Even after vacuuming, you may still see some bits of glass left behind in your garbage disposal. To get rid of these, take a hex key to the underside of your garbage disposal, and use the tool to manually turn the blades.
After turning the blades an inch or two, use the shop vac to clear out any remaining debris. Repeat this process as many times as you need to remove all of the glass from the disposal.
Turn on the Power
Once you’ve removed all of the glass, you can restore power and test out your garbage disposal. Make sure you’re standing a few feet away from the garbage disposal when you first turn it on. Any glass left in the system could fly out and injure you if you’re standing too close.
Do I Need to Call a Plumber?
In some cases, you may need to call a professional plumber to remove the glass from your sink. This is especially true if you don’t have all of the tools you need or you’re not able to remove all the glass on your own.
You should also call a plumber if your garbage disposal won’t turn on or you’re hearing strange noises, even after the glass has been removed. This is usually a telltale sign that your disposal system needs repair.
Get Your Disposal System Up and Running Again
If you have broken glass stuck inside your garbage disposal, Rooter Ranger Plumbing is here to help. Our experienced plumbers are fast and reliable. We solve your plumbing issues so you don’t have to!
Let us help you get your day back on track. Call 480-597-4227 for Phoenix drain cleaning service.