Len The Plumber breaks down everything you need to know about safely removing broken glass from your garbage disposal in this helpful guide. We’ll cover:
- Safety hazards to avoid while removing broken glass from the garbage disposal
- Equipment you’ll need to remove the glass safely
- How to get the glass out of your garbage disposal step by step
- When to contact a plumber for garbage disposal repair
If you’ve ever broken a dish in your kitchen sink, you understand the nightmare of having shards of glass stuck inside your system. Removing broken glass from your garbage disposal can be a hazardous process if you don’t take the proper safety precautions.
Before getting started, it’s important to understand what you’ll need and what the process involves so you can restore safe system operation in no time.
Safety Hazards To Avoid When Removing Glass From the Garbage Disposal
First things first — it’s important to know what not to do when attempting to remove broken glass from your garbage disposal. Be sure to avoid the following safety hazards during this process:
- Don’t leave the power on: When removing anything from your garbage disposal, you must first cut the power to your system. Leaving the power on while removing glass from your system can increase your risk of injury.
- Don’t stick your hands down the disposal: Never stick your bare hands down the garbage disposal when removing broken glass. This is a surefire way to get a nasty cut. Instead, rely on other tools to carefully remove what’s clogging your system.
- Don’t hover over the disposal: After you’ve removed everything from inside your system and restored power, don’t make the mistake of hovering your hands or face over the unit. You could have missed small pieces of glass that could shoot up out of the disposal and injure you.
What You’ll Need To Remove the Broken Glass
Before beginning, you’ll need to assemble the proper tools. These include:
- Thick rubber gloves
- Needle nose pliers
- Shop vac with a long-headed attachment
- Hex key
Step-By-Step Instructions for Removing Broken Glass From Your Garbage Disposal
Now that you’re properly equipped and know the safety hazards to avoid, it’s time to get the glass out of your garbage disposal. Here’s how to do it the safe way:
1. Turn Off the Disposal
As stated before, you must turn off all power to your system before beginning the process.
Not only should you turn off the disposal itself, but you should also switch off the breaker at the service panel as well for good measure.
2. Remove Larger Pieces of Glass With Pliers
Using your needle nose pliers, begin pulling out as many glass pieces as you can find hiding in your garbage disposal.
Most of the larger shards will be located toward the top of the drain’s opening.
3. Remove Smaller Pieces With a Shop Vacuum
You’ll need to use your shop vac to remove the smaller pieces of glass. Use the long-head attachment to begin sucking out the glass from the drain opening.
Depending on how large the pieces are toward the bottom, some shards may need to be sucked out individually if the nozzle isn’t wide enough to capture them.
4. Use the Hex Key To Turn the Blades
After vacuuming, there may still be remaining bits of glass. To remove these, use the hex key underneath your disposal to turn the blades.
Continue to suck up any remaining glass with your shop vac. Repeat steps three and four as many times as necessary to eliminate the shards.
5. Restore Power to Your Disposal
Once you feel confident that all the glass has been removed from your disposal and sink, restore power to your system by switching the breaker to the “on” position in the service panel and turning on the unit.
When To Call a Plumber for Help
It’s important to know when to call in for professional help. Consider calling a plumber to remove the glass from your system if:
- You don’t have the proper tools.
- Your system won’t turn back on after attempting DIY glass removal.
- You hear strange noises from your system after removing broken glass.
Len The Plumber has delivered the fast, reliable garbage disposal repair and clog removal services that families have trusted for over 25 years.
Our expert team can efficiently restore your garbage disposal to working condition in no time.