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Unclogging a Garbage Disposal

Unclogging a garbage disposal can be a nasty job. This is a guide about unclogging a garbage disposal.

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November 28, 2010 Flag
5 found this helpful

My garbage disposal is clogged after putting down a handful of frozen turkey. It spins, but will not drain. Where is the clog and how do I unstop it?

By Alice from Glen Allen, VA

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August 7, 20160 found this helpful

Yay! It worked for me, too! I didn't have baking soda, but used vinegar and plunged several times. Eventually, the clog unlodged and the water ran free. Whew!!

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August 25, 20160 found this helpful

where is the trap located?

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December 24, 2013 Flag
12 found this helpful

After deciding to send potato peelings and carrot peelings down the drain, I immediately regretted it. They had gone past the disposal, but had clogged the pipe. I was home alone with 2 kids under 3. I happened upon this post and saw the baking soda and vinegar as well as a plunger tip.

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So I took the plunge. I plunged the sink a couple times and got the clog loose. Then for good measure I did the baking soda with vinegar, let it sit while a kettle of water boiled. Then poured that down. Works like a charm!

As soon as I tell my husband, he is sure to say "I told you so" about the peelings going down the drain. But I fixed it myself. You live, you learn.

March 18, 2010 Flag
4 found this helpful

My waste disposal is jammed. The blades are going around because the water is spinning, but it won't drain. Any ideas?

By Rebecca from TX

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November 18, 20130 found this helpful

I had no idea about the potato skins! After reading about the vinegar, baking soda and hot water, tried it and Zappo! No plunging needed, less than a minute my drain was totally clear. Thanks a million.

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July 25, 20160 found this helpful

My disposal is spinning but the water doesn't drain

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October 14, 2011 Flag
0 found this helpful

My wife put carrots and potato peels in the disposal and it is just a plugged up mess. It spins, but will not not drain. Any suggestions before I call the plumber? The disposal sits in the middle of the sink; it's not a divided sink.

By Scott

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Anonymous Flag
January 10, 20160 found this helpful

This is UNBELIEVABLE!!! 6 potatoes, 12 carrots, thought for sure RotoRooter was in my future. 2 rounds didn't work. Let it sit with vinegar and baking soda while I boiled a FULL kettle of water (took 25 min!). Turned on disposal, poured with eyes closed and prayed. Nothing for 15-20s and then some gurgling and all of a sudden- WHOOSH! Total miracle worker. THANKS SO MUCH!

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Anonymous Flag
January 21, 20160 found this helpful

I had to repeat the process 3 times but it worked great!! Thanks

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November 14, 2011 Flag
0 found this helpful

Like a dummy, I put tangerine skins with seeds into my garbage disposal. I turned it on and the light over my sink died as well as the disposal power. I turned the power off and let the water drain from both sinks. Then I used rubber gloves and cleaned all the mess. I used a flashlight and it looked quite clean.

I turned the power back on, pushed restart button, but the blades did not turn, only humming. Will baking soda, white vinegar and hot water help? I am a woman and do not know what else to do except call a plumber. By the way, I can turn one of the blades manually with my finger, it seems quite loose. Many thanks for any suggestions.

By A B

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Anonymous Flag
November 7, 20150 found this helpful

she didn't say that. Whoa, are you an idiot?

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July 2, 20160 found this helpful

I agree!! I fix EVERYTHING in my house. My husband just says "throw money at it" but I want to fix it myself and I know I can. My kids see this and that makes me feel good.

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January 4, 2015 Flag
0 found this helpful

Disposal apparently disposed of about 14-16 egg shells. However, the sink then began to fill with water and dirty grit. About a week earlier, I had about 3 ft. of cast iron drainpipe in the basement removed because it was badly cracked and repeatedly filled with pumber's epoxy. The dishwasher drain had been improperly connected into the cast iron pipe years before, so the plumber had to do a new connection into the new plasic drain pipe. I'm not sure whether I had run the disposal between the repairs and when the grit started filling up into the sink. But I had run water into the sink, the primary sink side I usually use. It has now been about 2 days of not letting water go down that sink, so I assume the disposal is empty. What should I do to ensure that dirty grit isn't filling up into my sink through the disposal? I'm worried that perhaps a lot of cast iron pipe fell down into the pipe when that section was removed. I don't have a picture and the water has now gone down. There is only grit on the surface of my sink.

By Beverly

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January 5, 20150 found this helpful

Appears you should have a plumber check your pipes and disposal again for any new problems.

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January 9, 20150 found this helpful

It is not uncommon to get a back up in your sinks when you have a disposal. I have some questions for you - does the disposal sink run water easily now? If so, I think your problem is solved. Is the dirty grit sand or ground up egg shells or something else?

I would seriously doubt that replacing a pipe in the basement would affect your disposal. If it is ground up shells, and these are still there, your trap may be plugged. What I used to do is run water in both sinks. Work the plunger in the disposal sink. If it is the trap, the gunk will rise up in the other sink. Plug that sink with something; another plunger is the best thing. Then plunge vigorously in the disposal sink to dislodge the plug. If this doesn't solve your problem, call your plumber back. Do not use any caustic cleaners in your disposal sink.

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January 14, 2013 Flag
0 found this helpful

My disposal still runs, but water won't go down drain.

By Pam

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August 30, 20130 found this helpful

So I put lettuce down the garbage disposal a while ago, and it clogged it up. It would spin, but not drain. I put about 1/2 cup of baking soda, 1 cup of vinegar, let it sit for about 15 min, then put a pot of boiling hot water in it. I started to see bubbles rise, turned on the garbage disposal and it went down like a charm! no need to plunge. I guess I wont be putting lettuce in the garbage disposal for a while lol

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September 6, 20130 found this helpful

If you have a dishwasher attached to the main line by the garbage disposal - run it. It unclogged my garbage disposal from too many potato peels, when all the other suggestions wouldn't.

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July 25, 2010 Flag

When using my kitchen sink it fills up with water and I have to run my garbage disposal to get the water to drain. Even then it doesn't drain all the way out. Can anyone tell me what's going on and how do I fix this problem?

By mytroubleswontgodownthedrain from Washington, DC

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July 19, 20130 found this helpful

Stupidly garbage disposed the remnants of two whole (cooked) artichoke peels, resulting in a very, very clogged disposal. Tried the 2 cups vinegar (only had apple cider vinegar), 1/2 cup baking soda trick, and turned switch on, only to find it didn't work. Attempt #2: 2 cups vinegar, 1/2 cup baking soda, switch on, and while doing so poured in kettle full of boiling water. And guess what? It worked. Now I have a fixed garbage disposal. Awesome.

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March 7, 20150 found this helpful

The Baking Soda + Vinegar + boiling water worked for me! Thank you! Having a party tomorrow. After cooking all out, all day the garbage disposal stopped draining about 10:00 pm. Thank goodness for Google and all you good people who share. Based on an earlier post, I let the baking soda and vinegar sit for about 15 min. Then I added the big pan of boiling water. For about 15 seconds nothing happened. Then all of a sudden it drained all at once with a big whoosh! Luckily I didn't have anything in the other sink basin.

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