Unclogging a Sink With a Garbage Disposal

The water will not drain out of my kitchen sink, but the disposal is working. I did the vinegar and baking soda, but that didn't do it. What to do?

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By Connie from Kirkland, WA

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February 18, 20130 found this helpful
Best Answer

In spite of all the people who will tell you otherwise, vinegar and baking soda is very inaffective in unclogging a sink. I suspect that your drain has something like potato pieces stuck in it. That is what used to clog up mine. I am assuming that you have a double sink, and that the disposal side is draining. If so, get two plungers. Cover the disposal with one, and seal it off. Then plunge the other side. I found that the types of clogs produced by the disposal were able to be cleaned out with a plunger.

If that is not working, you could try an actual drain cleaning product like Drano -- but you don't put that in the disposal. You must be sure the other side is clogged with something like congealed grease or something like that.

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No plunging after you have used a draincleaner product. You could cause splashes with that caustic substance, which could be dangerous. (My mother splashed Drano or similar on her fancy coffee maker, and now has discolored splotches all over it. Looks terrible. Luckily, she didn't splash it in her eyes.)

Hot water works sometimes because it melts stuff like bacon fat that is clogging your drain. Vinegar and baking soda produces bubbles of carbon dioxide. I have never known that to work. Baking soda and hot water sometimes work as that is a mild solution similar to drain cleaners -- which are very strong base solutions.

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February 20, 20130 found this helpful
Best Answer

When my disposal sink will not drain, it's usually because of vegetable peelings stuck in the u-bend under the sink. I find that a plunger works best (baking soda and vinegar will not remove peelings).

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  • If you have a double sink, close the drain on the non-disposer side, then plunge on the disposal side.
  • After a few plunges, turn on the disposal and see if the water drains. Give it a few tries.
  • If all else fails, you will have to remove the u-bend section from under the sink and clean it out.
I have used disposals for many years and never had a problem with vegetable peelings, but either the new plumbing or the disposers are not what they used to be because I frequently have to resort to the plunger to get my sink to drain.

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February 18, 20130 found this helpful

Keep trying the vinegar and baking soda for a few days. Use very hot water with it and let it set overnight.

Also when you boil water for tea use the remainder of the hot water to pour down the drain.

When my sink was clogged I was able to force the water out of the sink by running the garbage disposal. I finally got the drain open by using the vinegar and baking soda. It was a few days.

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Roto Rooter sells a good product to unclog a sink and also to use on a regular basis to prevent the sink from clogging.

Sometimes the clog is far beyond the sink and you have to get a plumber to run a router through the outlside pipe.

Good luck.

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