Tip & How-To about Plumbing

How to unclog a garbage disposal

Before you tackle this problem, you should understand how to use your disposer so you'll probably never have to deal with a clog again. You can easily use put a sinkfull of waste down your disposer without a hitch. It's all about controlling the amount of water mixed in with the waste. Your disposer is designed to break waste down to pieces a little smaller than a BB. This is efficient but without much water, the pieces will clump together right where the disposer connects to the drain line, and will cause a clog. Never turn on the disposer without a full flow of cold water. Cold water not only helps to cool the motor, but keeps any fat solidified so that it doesn't build up on the walls of the pipes. The full flow of water will allow the disposer to mix the waste in and it'll go right down the drain. The second thing you must control is the amount of waste that goes in the disposer. It's really a bad idea to put more than like half a cup of waste in the disposer without it running. Ideally you'd turn on the water first, then start the disposer, then feed the waste in. Listen to the disposer running with waste in it. It sounds different when the waste inside is gone. Use this to get yourself used to keeping up with its pace. The problem with any disposer is that they work so fast, they can grind the waste faster than the water can carry it away.

Whatever you do, don't use a chemical unclogging product. Over time, this can damage the metal components of the disposer, and if you have to call a plumber, they will charge you extra because these chemicals make their equipment wear prematurely and can burn the skin.

If water doesn't drain, make sure the problem isn't fixed by simply turning the disposal on. If the water just swirls around, you'll probably need a plunger. When you want to use a plunger to unclog your disposal, the easiest way is to use suction more than pressure. When you push down on the plunger, the pressure from it will cause the backed-up waste to compress even further and make it impossible to push water down. You want to push the plunger down so that it "leaks" water out, and, when the plunger can be pushed down no farther, make sure it then has a good seal on the disposal's opening, and yank the plunger up pretty hard. This will pull the backed up waste back, mixing it with the water and will probably unclog the unit in only a couple strokes. Be careful not to soak yourself when pulling up on the plunger. In a pinch, a full soda can will actually form a seal and can be used in place of a plunger for disposals that have a splash guard made of one piece. If water is backed up into the other sink bowl, that means the clog is in the trap and not in the disposer itself. One way to fix this is to make sure the other bowl(s) of the sink are firmly stopped up. If you use a stopper you'll most likely have to push down hard on the stopper while plunging the disposer to form a good seal. If none of this helps, you may need to take apart the sink trap. This can be done by loosening the two nuts on the part of the drain pipe assembly shaped like a "U". You then may be able to clean the clog directly out of the u-bend or you may need to snake the pipes. If you take the pipes apart, have a bucket under there to catch the large amount of that will gush out.

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when dishwasher is emptying it is backing into sink

there is probably nothing wrong with Dishwasher itself.
Your Sink drain is stopped up or your Garbage disposal is clogged.
usually, dishwasher drain is connected to the Garbage Disposal, but if the dishwasher empties the water into the Garbage disposal, if its clogged then water will come out of the sink. Same if sink is clogged between sink and sewer.

If you fill up your sink and then water drains away, then you know your sink itself is not the problem. If its only the Garbage disposal side that does not drain, its the garbage disposal that is clogged.

Dec 22, 2013 | Dishwashers

1 Answer

garbage disposal quit and both sinks are clogged , disposal won't work at all , is it a clog in the trap or is it the disposal

Clog is probably the trap.
Bail out as much water as possible, get some towels, and put bucket under trap and tubular pipes.
Remove two nuts off P-trap or S-Trap and drop trap down, and sinks will drain.
After clog is cleared, check disposal.
Check reset button on disposal.
If disposal is stuck, use wood boomstick to wedge open the cutter disk, or use allen wrench in slot on bottom of disposal.
If disposal will not work, check circuit breaker.
There are no repair parts for disposals.

For additional information about replacing disposal and permanently fixing tubular pipes:

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Feb 20, 2011 | Ace Hardware InSinkErator Badger 5, 1/2 HP...

1 Answer

Beko Dishwasher DE3542F is not draining away and when i open the door it all floods out. I cleaned it through with a wash aid and cleaned filters and put boiling water in to clear away but it is still not draining away - any help please?

It could be several things--- a clog, a jammed or broken drain pump iimpeller, a burned out drain pump motor, or the control is not sending power to the drain pump.

If you can hear the drain pump running (you might have to get down on fhe floor), then you should try something simple first. The drain from the dishwasher is probably a rubber hose that connects to the side of your garbage disposal. It might be clogged right there. Loosen or remove the clamp that holds that hose to the disposal. Put a stick in the hole and wiggle it around. Do the same in the hose. Put the hose back on and try it again. If this doesn't fix it, you will again have water in the dishwasher to deal with. :(
If you can't hear the drain pump running, it just might be a pretty quiet motor, or the problem will take a little more doing.

Apr 07, 2010 | Little Giant - 3-MDQX-SC Inline Pump

2 Answers

Garbage disposal spouting water after turned off

Hello, turn on the disposal without water and pour hot water into disposal. Be careful not to let it splash back on you! If this doesn't help you have to remove the drain and drain trap and clean them out. If you need more help let me know. Good luck.

Jan 23, 2009 | GE 24 in. Profile PDW7800 Built-in...

2 Answers

how do you unclog the hose to a whirlpool gold dishwasher? It overflows into my sink. I have checked the hose and there doesn't appear to be a clog.

I had this same problem and solved it. The black rubber hose leading from my Disposal to the overflow vent on the sink corner was clogged. You will need to remove the hose via 2 hose clamps and scrape out the nasty gunk inside. Did I say Nasty???? I meant NASTY! I used a straight piece of 1/2" conduit to scrape the inside walls and then pushed a piece of rag through it again and again till it was clean. Don't forget to check the disposal nipple which leads into the grinding chamber. That thing was nastily clogged on mine. Had to use a knife or something (I don't recal) to scrape out the walls of this 2-3" deep opening. Works like a charm now.

I'll save you some trouble.....I took apart the vent and the dishwasher hose all for not! They were clean as a whistle. It was that dang disposal cauding all the problems.

Good luck! Hope this helps!


Aug 09, 2008 | Whirlpool Gold 24 in. Built-In Dishwasher...

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