Household Tip – How to Stop Disposal From Backing Up Into Other Sink

Because your disposal breaks up food and other debris, it is not uncommon for a drain to become clogged.
If running your garbage disposal causes water to back up into the other sink, you may have a clog in the drain lines. You should fix this as soon as possible because food material and debris will eventually begin to smell as it sits in the drain. The material trapped in the drain builds

up until the pipe is fully blocked, causing the water to back up through the drain pipe that the sink and the disposal share. The good news is that unblocking a garbage disposal drain is a task you can do yourself, without an expensive call to a plumber.

1.      Fill the sink opposite the disposal drain with about 3 to 4 inches of water. If it has water in it, bale some out into a bucket until you have about 3 or 4 inches remaining.
2.      Plug the garbage disposal drain and center a sink plunger over the opposite drain. Do not use your toilet plunger to do this job. Toilet plungers have a neck protruding from the end. Sink plungers have a flat bottom that fits over the drain to create a vacuum effect.
3.      Pump up and down on the plunger rapidly several times. As you pump, you should feel the suction between the plunger and the drain. If you do not feel this, reposition the plunger and plunge again.
4.      Remove the plunger and unplug the garbage disposal drain. Plug the drain you just plunged and run water into the garbage disposal drain. If it does not flow down, repeat plunging on the garbage disposal side of the sink. If this does not clear the clog, plunge each drain once more.
5.      Repeat plunging each sink if you cannot clear the clog the first time. If this does not clear the clog, it may be too far down the drain for plunging to be effective.
6.      Clear out the contents of the cabinet beneath the sink and place a bucket under the drain pipes.
7.      Loosen and remove the threaded plug from the underside of the sink trap using pliers or an adjustable wrench. The trap is the U-shaped pipe connected to the tailpiece under your sink drain.
8.      Loosen and remove the elbow that connects the drain to the garbage disposal. Check this piece for clogs and rinse the debris from the elbow if necessary.
9.      Remove the vertical tailpiece that runs down from the sink drain if the elbow is not the source of the clog.
10.  Remove debris and rinse the tailpiece. If there is no clog in the tailpiece, remove the trap from the main drain pipe that protrudes from the back wall of the cabinet.
11.  Insert a plumbing snake into the drainpipe. Push the snake into the pipe while you crank the handle clockwise until you feel resistance. Continue to turn the snake until you push through the clog.
12.  Turn the handle counterclockwise and pull the snake out of the pipe to remove the blockage. Empty the debris on the end of the snake into the bucket.
13.  Replace the trap, plug, tailpiece and elbow and tighten all connections with an adjustable wrench.
14.  Run hot water into both drains to clear any remaining debris and to check for leaks.
And, if this fails to work, you of course can contact The Homeowner’s Helper and we can help find you an excellent contractor/business to address your nasty drain clog!
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