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SuperMouse's avatar

Plumbing emergency! Draino or a plunger?

Asked by SuperMouse (30785points) April 21st, 2009

I put some noodles down my garbage disposal and clogged the drain. I tried to reset the disposal but it didn’t work. What should I use to unclog it? Should I pick up some Draino or break out the plunger?

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13 Answers

frankielaguna's avatar

I prefer to bust out the plunger, nothing like the good ol’ plunger.

jrpowell's avatar

You could try filling the sink with water to the top. Water is about 8 pounds to the gallon. Sometimes that is enough to push a clog out given some time as the food starts to dissolve. Let it sit overnight. I would probably start with filling the sink about half way and going to work with a plunger.

I have had luck putting the end of a wooden spoon down the drain to get the blade to spin again. Take the end of the spoon and try to spin the blade. If you can get it to move try the reset again and see it it helps.

Lupin's avatar

Are you saying the drain is clogged? Or is the disposal not working?
If it is the disposal, look at the bottom of the unit right in the center. You should see a spot for a hex wrench. Now look around the cupboard and probably taped to the side or on the door you will find the right size hex wrench for that socket. With the unit turned off, put the wrench in and turn it a little by hand. That will free up the gunk.

SuperMouse's avatar

When I turn on the disposal it doesn’t seem to spin, but bubbles come up from the drain. Does that indicate whether it might be a clog or the disposal?

jrpowell's avatar

Try to get the blade to spin. Don’t use your hand. If you can get it to spin hit the reset button.

Does the sink have two tubs?

SuperMouse's avatar

It has two tubs. I was able to get it to spin all the way around using an allen wrench on the bottom.

jrpowell's avatar

Sounds like it is plugged. Pasta is an easy “chew”. Carrots are a different story.

I would just go with a plunger in a sink that is half full. Draino isn’t all that great.

alossforwords's avatar

Plunger… Drano and other chemicals are so bad for your pipes.

buster's avatar

Some newer U traps have twist on connections. If your trap has these you will be able to unscrew them and take the trap off. If the clog is past the disposal you should be able to clean it out and put it back together. Some U traps even have a cleanout on the bottom of the U. Unscrew it and clean that out if it has one.

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

Plunger first before spending any money. @alossforwords is correct, those chemical are terrible for your pipes. That’s a last resort before calling a professional sort of thing.

Lupin's avatar

You mentuioned the blade does not turn. That’s why they put the hex socket in the base and supplied an allen wrench. Usually the allen wrench comes in the bag when you bought the disposal but you probably have one in your tool box. Use a mirror to see if you can find the socket. Most of the time all it takes is a twist or two.

You already know how to reset the disposal, right? You need to do that if the unit is overheated from trying to run.
Turn off the disposal. Twist the allen wrench to turn the blades a couple of truns and then try it again. If you don’t have liquid plumber then try some liquid dish soap and let it sit for a while.
Don’t worry, you did not and will not break anything. Give it a try. I do not recommend turning the blades by reaching inside the disposal. It’s disgusting, the blades are sharp, and you might have the switch in the wrong position. Find the allen wrench. It’s there someplace.

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