My Garbage Disposer Won't Drain

A garbage disposal grinds waste material that goes down the drain to prevent clogging.

Garbage disposals are attached to the underside of the sink drain.Garbage disposals are attached to the underside of the sink drain.
Unfortunately, garbage disposals are easily clogged. A clogged garbage disposal won't drain and will cause water to fill the sink. A foul smell may arise from a clogged garbage disposal, too. Often, this is not a problem with the disposal itself but a clog farther up the system. Turn on the disposal before attempting to remove the clog so you can listen to see if the motor is working. If there is no sound, the engine may have burned out or the power source may be faulty.

Turn off the electricity that goes to the garbage disposal. Flip the socket for the kitchen to be safe.

Reach into the garbage disposal using a pair of pliers to remove any visible material from the garbage disposal. Turn on the power and test.

Turn off the power to the garbage disposal again if the clog isn't removed.

Set up a flashlight under the sink so that it points toward the bottom of the garbage disposal.

Insert an Allen wrench into the bottom of the garbage disposal and turn it both clockwise and counterclockwise until it can make a full revolution to remove the clog. Turn on the electricity and test again.

Stuff a rag into the overflow hole for the sink if it still will not drain. Place a plunger over the drain hole and plunge 15 to 20 times. The sink should drain.

Things You Will Need

  • Pliers
  • Allen wrench
  • Rag
  • Plunger