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Garbage Disposal Won't Drain

Category Plumbing
When your garbage disposal won't drain it is typically the sink plumbing that is the culprit. You need to clear the plug. This is a guide about garbage disposal won't drain.
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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

By 4 found this helpful
March 18, 2010

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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March 19, 20100 found this helpful
Best Answer

I have had it happen. I put dishwasher on rinse cycle and as water pushes up into sink. I plunge like crazy with a plunger and the force of the water can unclog the blockage further down in the pipe. Give it a try before you call the plumber. It has worked for me a couple of times.

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March 20, 20100 found this helpful
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Needs to be cleared this is correct. As a plumber I see many people put things in their disposal they would never put in their drain. NO citrus, No hard vegetables etc. Remember this stuff just gets chopped up and goes in your drains (which no-one values until they don't work)

Put 1/2 cup vinegar in there (without much water bail if you need to) follow with 3 tbs baking soda. Now boil water pour a bit down at a time. this clears your drains naturally and eco friendly.

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However if you suspect there is something hard in there...loosen the joint with a bucket (under the sink) it. and get a hand auger from your hardware store. now you have a valuable tool that is only 8 dollars.

If the blades are not turning after remember there is a reset switch (usually red) on the bottom you may need to press. If you do need to disconnect the tailpiece ensure it is straight and only hand tighten (careful not to cross thread) this will ensure you have no leaks. take your time use your logic you will be fine.

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October 10, 20130 found this helpful

My disposal spins and the water goes down, but it comes right back up like a tornado. I tried a plunger. What is wrong with it and is there a simple solution? Thanks.

By Dee

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October 12, 20130 found this helpful
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It sounds like you have a clog. Most disposals are in a double sink, and you have to seal one off and then use the plunger on the other one. I find that two plungers (and two people - one on each plunger) work the best. Seal off the second sink with the first plunger, fill the disposal with water, and plunge away with the second. Disposals are usually plugged with ground up food, like potato peels.

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November 13, 20160 found this helpful
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I used the suggestions provided with baking soda, vinegar, boiling water and a plunger. It worked!

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January 14, 20130 found this helpful

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

By Pam

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January 16, 20130 found this helpful
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The clogged drain sounds like the problem ... using the plunger may open it up. Then boil a huge pot of water, pour about 1 cup baking soda in the disposal and then 1 cup vinegar. Let that sit about 15-20 minutes then pour the boiling water down the drain. Be sure you know what you can and cannot put in a disposal. Good luck!

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March 18, 20100 found this helpful

My garbage disposal doesn't drain the water out but the motor is working. Any suggestions?

Kate from PA

Answers:

Garbage Disposal Won't Drain

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Before you call the repairman: My friend had this same problem and called the repair guy. He came out and unscrewed the drain part that connects into the disposal and out rolled a mangled whole radish, a $70.00 radish mind you! Just turn the power off and unscrew that part of the drain, maybe you have a radish or something similar to that lodged in there. Good luck. (01/08/2009)

Garbage Disposal Won't Drain

This was a godsend. Thank you! (01/08/2009)

By MM

Garbage Disposal Won't Drain

I have never had good luck with a garbage disposal in, 2 separate kitchen sinks, so we simply took them out. Toss the garbage in the trash. The septic tank does not need garbage. (01/10/2009)

By Beth

Garbage Disposal Won't Drain

Once you get your disposer unclogged, once a day or more run a gallon of water into the disposer, this will constantly keep solids moving. What I do is cut the top off of a gallon milk jug, leave on the handle. I put this jug in the sink under the faucet and let it catch water from rinsing things, washing hands, etc. When it gets full, I pour it in the disposer. (01/12/2009)

By smartfell-r

Garbage Disposal Won't Drain

Using a plunger is good, as long as you haven't put a chemical cleanser in there first. Don't want splash back. Taking the pipes apart, under the sink, and clearing them out can also help. My husband has used a straightened wire hanger to help pull out the clogs.

When my daughter moved into her new house, it was within a week her kitchen sink stopped up and she and her husband tried everything. Finally, they had to call the Roto-Rooter guy. Of course, with all their tools, he cleared it in no time.

The guy did tell them to NOT put old pasta (of any kind) down the sink/garbage. The starch in it makes the pasta (spaghetti is the worst) stick to the sides of the pipes like glue and eventually, closes off the pipes. Don't put any cucumber or similar veggie peels down there either. Make sure after turning off the disposal, continue to run water to make sure whatever you ground up, goes down.

Hope this helps. (01/12/2009)

By KJ

Garbage Disposal Won't Drain

Awesome, you guys are life savers. The dishwasher is working right now. Thank you, thank you! Cover the one side and plunge the other. This saved me a plumber visit. Thank you. (01/12/2009)

By theresa

Garbage Disposal Won't Drain

Plunger. (01/21/2009)

By katie

Garbage Disposal Won't Drain

The trick to plug one side of the sink then plunge the disposal side worked wonders. I loved it! I had been working on it all day and then this took literally 20 seconds. I am so grateful. Thanks so much! (01/27/2009)

By Mindee

Garbage Disposal Won't Drain

Excellent! I read through the responses, and the method that advised to plug up one side of the drain and plunge the side with the garbage disposal worked fantastically. Thanks! (01/31/2009)

By Nancy

Garbage Disposal Won't Drain

This worked perfectly to stop up the other side of the sink and plunge the disposal side. Took less than 1 minute. Thank you so much! (02/10/2009)

By MOLLY

Garbage Disposal Won't Drain

Here's a piece of advice: Don't run pineapple cores through the disposal. Even the plunger won't help you. I learned this the hard way. This morning I had to take the trap apart to drain it. (02/26/2009)

By Tom

Garbage Disposal Won't Drain

After my mom spent money buying an auger and a wrench, I found this site and the plunger worked in two seconds. Thanks. (04/20/2009)

By momshelper

Garbage Disposal Won't Drain

Sept. 2009 and the plug-one-side, run-the-disposal trick is still working. My husband was sure I had put something untoward down that hole and said I could fix it. Well, I did - thanks to this dandy site. Thanks, you saved my bacon! Hubby was truly impressed! (09/02/2009)

By DBJ

Carrots in the drain!

Hubby peeled the carrots for dinner, bless his heart, but then before I caught him, he turned on the disposal. Oh no! We fussed around for an hour, ground up carrots and water everywhere. Then I googled it, while he was looking for wrenches. Five seconds later...no more clog! Block the plain drain and plunge the disposal side, so simple and so effective! Thank you so much for sharing this tip! It's probably a plumber's best kept secret. (11/05/2009)

By rahube

Garbage Disposal Won't Drain

I just googled to this site for help on my garbage disposal that would not drain. With the solution right here; I was compelled to send my thanks! I tried the first suggestion listed--"plunge it." I covered the drain opposite the disposal and plunged the drain with the disposal. So easy, quick, and I am sure it saved me money and stress! Thanks for your helpful hints on Thrifty Fun. (11/16/2009)

By ElizabBa

Garbage Disposal Won't Drain

Hey, I didn't think something so simple (plugging the flowing side and plunging the clogged side / garbage disposal side) would work! I'm glad I checked online before calling a plumber. Many thanks to the author! (02/03/2010)

By EliaY

Garbage Disposal Won't Drain

I just want to give a big thanks to the tip provider! And it really works! (03/17/2010)

By orange88

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January 8, 20090 found this helpful

My garbage disposal is stuck. When I turn it on it works fine, it grinds and everything. However, when the water is running and the disposal is not on, the water doesn't go down. I tried drain-o, and the little thing on the bottom of the disposal but it still gets stuck when it's not on.

Please help.

Thanks

Answers:

Garbage Disposal Won't Drain

Hello,
I have a disposal that will NOT run if I put even the peel of even one carrot down it! When my disposal gets stuck we use a plunger. Good Luck.(03/12/2005)

By Lisa

Garbage Disposal Won't Drain

First, never use Drain O in a garbage disposal. Chemical drain cleaners cause lots of disposal problems. Doesn't sound like your disposer is stuck, rather it (or the related drain) is clogged. There are products available for cleaning your garbage disposal and the drain, which you should use every 1 to 2 months to keep things running smoothly. You can often find these at your local grocery or even at Walmart. Make sure they are for disposals.
(03/13/2005)

By judymill

Garbage Disposal Won't Drain

Is your sink a double one? If it is, plug the side without the disposal, turn the water on, and run your disposal. This has worked for me. (03/13/2005)

By Audrey

Garbage Disposal Won't Drain

I just compost my food scraps and rarely have to use my garbage disposal any more! My plants love the compost. (03/13/2005)

By guest

Garbage Disposal Won't Drain

Audrey's post on 2005-03-13 worked like a charm! I had first made a mess taking the pipes apart, and also sticking my hand down the drain trying to move the blades, etc. I hooked it all back up and still that side of the sink would not drain. I put a stopper on the other sink's drain and then ran the disposal. The water bubbled a bit and then I pushed on the stopper a few times and then the disposal side sucked right down, and now it works like it's supposed to. Thanks! (06/05/2006)

By Trina

Garbage Disposal Won't Drain

Putting a stopper in the other sink running the water and the garbage disposal, then removing the stopper while the water is still running worked perfectly. Thanks! Wish I would've done it 3 days ago. (12/23/2006)

By Remy

Garbage Disposal Won't Drain

I can't believe it worked. I was getting ready to take the whole sink apart until I read this post. I put the plunger over the sink side to block it and turned on the disposal. It gurgled and then drained. Mine also was not grinding. Once the water started to drain the blades started working as well. (07/12/2007)

By Shandamanmorgan

Garbage Disposal Won't Drain

Wow, I can't it worked. Closing the other drain did the trick! Thanks everyone. Having company for dinner tomorrow night, one less thing I have to worry about now! (01/01/2008)

By Jan

Garbage Disposal Won't Drain

It is valentine's day and I have been quite stressed because our disposal was clogged causing havoc in the kitchen. As I started getting ready to go out to dinner, I decided to do another quick search, ran across this suggestion (to close the other sink and plunge), and it worked. Thank you. (02/14/2008)

By Njackson-Davis

Garbage Disposal Won't Drain

Wow, plugging the other side of the sink and then running the water really does work. My husband thinks I am so smart. Thanks! (02/17/2008)

By LaSonja

Garbage Disposal Won't Drain

Oh my, it actually worked! I assumed, like everything else, this would not work for me. That I would have a complicated problem that would require a plumber at $1,000 per hour, but this worked. I closed the other side and plunged the disposal side (several times) and down it went (leaving a yucky sink). Amazing. Thank you, thank you, thank you! (03/18/2008)

By PflugervilleMOM

Garbage Disposal Won't Drain

That thing about plugging the drain side and then plunging the disposal side is genius. I thought I was going to have to pay for a plumber to come fix it, but I tried this trick and it worked. Thanks so much! (04/18/2008)

By Liz

Garbage Disposal Won't Drain

Wow, thanks so much. I just tried plugging up the other drain, running the disposal, and plunging it. It worked! (05/02/2008)

By Vicki

Garbage Disposal Won't Drain

Wow... I've spent over 9 hours total on everything from Drano to snaking and could not get the water to go down. I found this solution, of course, after all that time and decided, what the heck..I'll try it.

Sure enough, 30 seconds later, it worked. The force was enough to blast through the clog and needless to say, all that hard work was for nothing and this saved me hundreds. Thanks so much! (05/25/2008)

By Randy

Garbage Disposal Won't Drain

It took lots of plunging, but it worked. Thanks much! (06/09/2008)

By renfrue

Garbage Disposal Won't Drain

Thanks so much everyone! The water was just swirling around and not draining. It took a lot of plunging in the other sink before the water started to go down and stay down. Actually after the water started filling up in the sink, I just turned the water off and kept plunging the other side while the disposal kept running. The water finally got down to the bottom of the disposal and when I turned the water back on it was draining again! This website is a blessing! (06/12/2008)

By Ira vH

Garbage Disposal Won't Drain

WOW! This actually works, and quickly. Thanks so much. Saved me money! What did we do before the internet? Spent money I guess. (06/26/2008)

By Elyse

Garbage Disposal Won't Drain

Thank you a million times. I am renting this house and I didn't want to call the landlord nor put damper on my husband's Saturday. I didn't know if this was going to work because it's 2 sinks and a garbage disposal sink. I plugged up the 2 sinks and started plunging. Then I closed the garbage disposal and plunged, first one sink, then the other. It became obvious which sink was plugged. Now it's working, the sink is clean and I've got a Saturday back and I didn't have to spend the security lease money dealing with this. I am so impressed. Just google it! (08/09/2008)

By Karen

Garbage Disposal Won't Drain

This works! Saved me quite a few bucks paying a plumber, too. All I did was cover the opposite drain, plunge the drain to the disposal for maybe 10 seconds, then ran it and voila. Afterward I used some disposal cleaner which I left in overnight to help remove the smell and hopefully some grime. (08/16/2008)

By Shaun

Garbage Disposal Won't Drain

Seriously, if you need to go out to the store and buy a plunger, do it. This works miracles. My husband tried everything and then I found this, ran to get a plunger, came back, tried this once and TA DA! No more clog. (08/18/2008)

By Ashlee

Garbage Disposal Won't Drain

You're advice was awesome! It worked immediately. Now my girlfriend can buy the pants she was going to get before the disposal broke. Giggity Giggity Goo! (09/01/2008)

By Happy Camper.

Garbage Disposal Won't Drain

Bless all of your hearts. We are retired and on a fixed income and I thought we were going to have to pay a plumber to come out. I tried your instructions and it worked like a CHARM! Thank you so very much! (09/07/2008)

By Donna

Garbage Disposal Won't Drain

Thanks everyone for the great advice! Took some elbow grease (lots of bailing water from one sink to another and many reps on the plunger) but all those clogging carrot bits were finally freed up and the sink with the garbage disposal unit is draining once again. Best of all, no money for a plumber. How thrifty is that! Word of caution - don't run your dishwasher if your sink isn't draining or you'll have flooded floors - (caught that one just in time). Thanks again all. (10/26/2008)

By Doing It Myself

Garbage Disposal Won't Drain

Closing the other drain worked for me too! I've been trying to fix my disposal all afternoon. I took the whole thing apart, had water everywhere, and all I had to do was close the other side to get it to drain. THANKS! What a huge relief after so much aggravation. (10/27/2008)

By MG

Garbage Disposal Won't Drain

Yeah, it worked! I put a plug in the non-disposal side of the sink, filled the disposal side with water (this was the side that was clogged) and plunged like crazy. It took a lot of plunging but I cleared the clog. The key was plugging up the other drain. (10/28/2008)

By HAC

Garbage Disposal Won't Drain

We bought a plunger, plugged the other side of the sink, and it worked. Thanks! (11/01/2008)

By nickden01

Garbage Disposal Won't Drain

It worked! Cover the overflow valve with an upside down cup (it will squirt out water all over the kitchen). Plug the non-disposal side with a plug, and plunge out the disposal. You may have to plunge pretty hard - but it works. (11/10/2008)

By super mom

Garbage Disposal Won't Drain

Just talked my wife through it over the phone, now she's a plumber :) (11/26/2008)

By Tom

Garbage Disposal Won't Drain

I have one sink, how do I get the water to flow down? (12/07/2008)

By Claudia

Garbage Disposal Won't Drain

Awesome. Did what you said and it worked great. Thanks. (12/22/2008)

By Z

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