How to Fix a Clogged Kitchen Sink + Garbage Disposal

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Clogged sinks are common plumbing issues that homeowners face every day.

Most people don’t realize that clogged drains are caused by food debris, soap scum, and other materials that collect inside drain pipes.

These blockages can cause water to back up into the kitchen, leading to expensive repairs and wasted water. 

Garbage disposals are one of those things that most people don’t think about until something goes wrong.

But if you’ve ever had a problem with your garbage disposal, then you know how frustrating it can be to try to fix it yourself.

So What Do You Do When Your Garbage Disposal Stops Working?

Step 1:Turn off the power switch.

This is the first thing you should do when you notice any kind of issue with your garbage disposal.

Step 2: Mix Baking Soda & Vinegar

clogged kitchen sink with garbage disposal

Mix 14% baking soda and 12% vinegar to make a natural cleaner. After rinsing it, soak it in hot water for a few moments. Next, run water for a few seconds to clear out the clogged trash disposal. Repeat this process several times.

Step 3: Look Into The Garbage Disposal Unit

If the clog persists, you can try looking into the garbage disposal unit with a flashlight after a few attempts. It’s common for foreign objects to be found in drains, such as bones, coffee grounds, and utensils. To clear the garbage disposal clog, you will need to use needle-nose pliers if you cannot reach the item using tongs or pliers.

Step 4: Turn On The Garbage Disposal

clogged kitchen sink with garbage disposal

Turn on the garbage disposal by plugging it in again, running water, and turning it on. If the problem persists, a plunger can be used for loosening it. In addition, you can prevent the disposal nozzle from popping out when you plunge the sink drain. Clamp the end of your dishwasher drain line to the point where it enters the garbage disposal drain.

Step 5: Add Water To The Sink

Place the plunger over the drain of the sink. Make sure to add water to the sink to cover the plunger’s lip completely. For one minute, plunge the drain vigorously.

Step 6: Check The Water Flow

clogged kitchen sink with garbage disposal

Lift the plunger to check the water flow. If the clog persists, you can repeat the process multiple times. If the clog is gone, you can run hot water for several minutes to remove any residue.

And If The Problem Is With Your Garbage Disposal…

1. Remove the cover plate. The cover plate is located under the countertop where your garbage disposal sits.

2. Disconnect the water supply. To disconnect the water supply, turn off the valve located near the kitchen faucet.

3. Clean out the sink. Use a brush and soap to clean out the sink.

4. Replace the cover plate. After cleaning out the sink, replace the cover plate.

5. Test the garbage disposal. Once you’re done cleaning out the sink, test the garbage disposal.

6. Reattach the water supply. Now reconnect the water supply to the garbage disposal.

Once you’ve followed these steps, you should see your garbage disposal running smoothly again.

If this doesn’t work, contact a professional plumber. They may need to take apart your garbage disposal to repair it.

How To Keep Your Kitchen Sink Unclogged

clogged kitchen sink with garbage disposal

1. Check for debris buildup. When you first get your new kitchen sink, there might be some small pieces of food stuck inside the drain. You can easily unclog your sink by removing all the items from the drain.

2. Add a little bit of bleach. Bleach is an effective way to keep your sink unclogged because it kills bacteria. Soak a cotton ball in 1/2 cup of bleach solution, then place the cotton ball in the drain. Let it sit for about 30 minutes before flushing it down the drain.

3. Try a plunger. A plunger works excellent for clearing the drain of large particles like hair and other things that don’t dissolve in regular liquid. Place the plunger directly above the drain opening and push down firmly. It helps to have someone else help you hold the plunger while you do this.

4. Run warm water. Warm water is more likely to dislodge larger chunks of food than cold water. So fill the sink with warm water (about 120 degrees) and let it run until the clog clears.

5. Flush with vinegar. Vinegar has been known to loosen clogs in sinks. Pour 2 cups of white vinegar into the sink and let it sit for 10-15 minutes. Then flush the sink with clear water.

6. Use baking soda. Baking soda will also help to break up the clog. Put a half teaspoon of baking soda in the bottom of the sink and pour boiling water on top. Let it sit for 15 minutes, and then use a plunger to flush it away.

7. Use Drano. This product contains phosphoric acid, which dissolves most types of clogs. Just follow the directions on the box and add three tablespoons of Drano to the sink. Wait 5 minutes, and then flush the sink with clear tap water.

8. Use a snake. A snake is a long flexible tube used to clear drains. Snakes are available at hardware stores or plumbing suppliers. Make sure you buy one made specifically for drains.

9. Call a pro. If none of these methods work, call a professional plumber. He or she can remove the blockage without having to dismantle your garbage disposal.

10. Don’t forget the filter! The filter needs to be cleaned regularly to keep the drain free of debris. To clean the filter, run hot water through it.


clogged kitchen sink with garbage disposal

Q: How often does my garbage disposal need to be replaced?

A: Most garbage disposals last between five and seven years. However, if you live in a humid area, your disposal could wear out much faster.

Q: What happens when I replace my garbage disposal?

A: After replacing your old unit, you should turn off the power and wait 24 hours before using it again.

Q: Can I put a dishwasher in my kitchen sink?

A: Yes, but make sure that the drain line is not blocked.

Q: Do I need to replace my faucet handles?

A: No, unless they become loose or rusted.

Q: How do I know if my sink is leaking

A: There are several ways to tell if your sink is leaking. First, check the underside of the sink. Look for any cracks or holes. Also, look under the sink cabinet for leaks. Finally, try pouring a few drops of food coloring into the sink. If there is no color change, then the leak isn’t too serious.

Q: How do I fix a broken pipe?

A: You may need to hire a plumber to repair the damaged pipe.

Q: Is it safe to leave the garbage disposal running?

A: Yes. But remember to shut off the switch when you’re finished.

Q: How often should I clean my garbage disposal?

A: Cleaning your garbage disposal once every two weeks should prevent buildup.

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