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Question DetailsAsked on 12/13/2015

what causes garbage disposal back up into second sink

when I use the garbage disposal water backs up into both kitchen sinks and then drains slowly out

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1 Answer


Almost always clogging in the trap - the gooseneck portion of the piping usually below the sink side without the garbage disposal, just before the pipe leaks into the wall and down to the sewer. Looks like this -

If you are a bit home handy not hard to undo unless the fittings are real old or corroded metal, which you might want to leave to a plumber - but if plastic pipe, usually easy to unscrew - keep an eye out for the nylon slip washers in the fittings and which way they face - they are beveled on one side usually - commonly stay on the pipe stub but can come off with the nut and fall out. Have a couple gallon bucket under it because the trap is full of gunk and water. Undo the nuts on each side of the trap, dump trap contents into bucket, clean out with paper towels spiraled up and twisted through it, clean off the fittings and threads and stub pipe and bevel washer, reassemble firmly full hand-tight - or if weak handed, snug but NOT real tight with a pair of channel lock pliers. Go easy at first so you don't crack the plastic fittings - you can always snug down a bit more after it is together if it drips. Leave paper towels under it for a day to see if dripping.

If not up to DIY, get a Plumber for probably $75-150 - and watch how he does it so you can do it next time.

Most common cause - frequent garbage disposal over use, especially on fibrous vegetable stuff and egg shells. Garbage disposal is not intended to dispose of food waste, but rather to grind up plate washing debris to easily washed through particles so they do not get caught or settle as large solids in the trap and pipes. All plataes and pots and such should be scraped into garbage before rinsing off/washing.

Answered 4 years ago by LCD

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