The other day I washed some onion peelings down the kitchen sink disposal and ran it for a few minutes. It sounded normal and water was running into it normally when I shut it off. I assumed the onions had all gone completely through without incident.
Hours later, however, water wouldn’t flow out of the sink through the disposal, and it (the sink) quickly filled up. Then turning on the disposal only produced a hum, and I quickly shut it off.
I let the water slowly drain out overnight – which shows there was at least a little tiny bit of flow through the output pipe. Then the next day, the disposal sounded like it was turning / running, maybe a little roughly, but running, when I turned it on. But water still backs up immediately in the sink.
It’s a condo with perhaps shared lines; obviously the line directly from the disposal feeds into something collective. It’s possible that someone else plugged up the main line somewhere and this is one byproduct…but nothing else in our unit seems to be backed up, and based on the timing, I’d assume it was the onion skins, and that the problem is related to either the disposal teeth being jammed somehow or the line that runs from it to the main being plugged.
What can I do about this myself? I’m not a very handy guy, but I’m also reluctant to call a plumber.
I assume that I cannot just dump Drano into the disposal…heh.
The sink should be drained by tonight; I can try to remove the disposal myself. We have a manual plumbing snake tool that I could then run into the pipe.
There isn’t a way to unplug the disposal – the electrical cord runs from the wall right into the machine. But I can throw a circuit breaker. Is that the best way to attempt this safely?
Does anyone here have theories as to what might be the problem and what I might need to try? Anyone faced something like this before? How did it go?
Yes, I’ve already been told by my wife not to run onion skins (or other tough, fibrous things) down the disposal any more.
Thanks in advance for any advice you can offer,