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Dec 10 2023

How To Unclog A Garbage Disposal With Standing Water

Are you ready to tackle the dishes, but your garbage disposal has other plans? Standing water in the sink is a clear sign of a clog and can turn a simple chore into a frustrating puzzle. At Rooter Hero Plumbing & Air, we offer reliable services for local clients, including garbage disposal installation, repair, and replacement. Read below for tips on how you can deal with this common issue and when it's best to call a qualified plumber for help.

Safety Tips

When dealing with garbage disposal units, you should always make sure that the power is turned off so the disposal does not turn on when resolving the clog. This does not mean simply turning the switch off. You'll need to unplug the unit or shut off power to the area at your breaker box. Skipping this step could lead to further damage to your disposal or personal injuries.

Sink Plunger

Sometimes, the solution is as simple as using a sink plunger. Cover the overflow hole or adjacent sink drain with a damp cloth to ensure better suction. Place the plunger over your disposal drain and give it several firm plunges. This action can often dislodge clogs and get your disposal back in working order.

Drain Snake

For stubborn clogs, a drain snake, also known as a plumber's auger, can be your best friend. Feed the snake down the disposal until you feel resistance, then twist and push to break up the clog. Slowly pull it out, and you might just bring the culprit of the clog with it. This method can reach deeper than your average plunger and can tackle more stubborn blockages.


Sometimes, the cause of a clog is visible and within reach. Use needle-nose pliers or a similar tool to remove any visible obstructions. Be careful not to damage the grinder blades. This hands-on approach can be very effective for items that are stuck in the disposal.


The P-trap, that curved pipe under your sink, is often the first place to check for clogs. Before diving in, ensure you have a bucket handy to catch any water or debris. Gently loosen the slip nuts and remove the P-trap. Inspect it for any blockages and clean it out thoroughly.

When to Call a Plumber

While plunging is often a simple enough task for most homeowners to perform themselves, utilizing tools like snakes or pliers can cause damage to disposal parts if done incorrectly. Likewise, removing and reinstalling the P-trap can be an advanced project for those without a lot of experience handling plumbing issues. If you feel uncomfortable performing these tasks, then it might be best to invest in a professional plumbing service. Experienced plumbers can inspect your unit and your pipes and determine the source of your backups.

Do You Need a Dependable Plumbing Service?

Whether you have a minor blockage, need a garbage disposal repair, or have a more serious drain line problem, the team at Rooter Hero Plumbing & Air is here to help you overcome your clogged sink quickly. We specialize in making your plumbing worries disappear, ensuring a smooth-running kitchen is not just a dream. Contact our office for more details or to schedule a time for your next garbage disposal installation, replacement, or repair service.

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