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Water Backing Up in Dishwasher and Disposal

We bought an older home with a new dishwasher and disposal. We are constantly having problems with the system. Using the disposal for anything causes debris to come up in the other side of the sink and we also have water that backs up into the bottom of the dishwasher, I assume from the disposal.


A plumber adjusted the clear drainage hose that goes from the disposal to the dishwasher, but I can see dirty water and black stuff in the hose. I have checked under the sink and all parts seem to be in place and installed properly. Any suggestions for fixing the issue so I can use both appliances without the hassle?



Water Backing Up in Dishwasher and Disposal

I can understand your frustration. Sounds like you have a real problem here to deal with.

I am not a licensed plumber, but I think with what info you gave it sounds like a restricted or under sized drain between your sink/dishwasher and the main drain. You could try Roto-Rootering it, but at best, it might be a temporary fix. Really sounds like a new section of drain is needed.

Now, the good news. The problem with the water draining back into the dishwasher can be fixed by installing a "Dishwasher Air-Vent" which can be purchased at any "Big Box" store.


Water Backing Up in Dishwasher and Disposal

I'm not a licensed plumber either, but sounds like the drain pipe needs purging. Your drain line is likely filled with "disposal debris" or if you have galvanized pipe, it's likely blocked with rust. Have the hubby clean the system chemically or with a "snake". I too have an older home (money pit). A hot solution of TSP (Trisodiumphosphate) can work wonders on cleaning disposal drain systems. Read the directions; it can stain metal.

By Cajun62234

Water Backing Up in Dishwasher and Disposal

I don't think your problem has anything to do with your appliances. I think the problem is with your plumbing system further down the line. Good luck.

By carol in PA

Water Backing Up in Dishwasher and Disposal


I had this problem a few years ago myself. The plumber said disposals can't handle red meats. It shreds it and then if it's not completely flushed out from lines it will eventually cause a blockage in lines. I had already cleaned the trap and did my own snake job on it, but didn't have a long enough snake like he had. He cleaned mine out and it looked awful with the other stuff all tangled in it, haven't put meat scraps down it since and haven't had the problem since.


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August 1, 20170 found this helpful

I hardly ever use my disposal. The only thing I put down it is an occasional cut up lemon (from my tree) and one pot of boiling water every morning. All my meat scraps, potato peelings, etc. go into my "Yard Waste" can to be turned into compost by the people who pick up the "Garbage", "Recycle" and "Yard Waste" . I actually have more Recycle stuff than Garbage. This service is available where I live in California.

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