Clogged kitchen sink/disposal

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by rpod83, Feb 6, 2014.

  1. rpod83

    rpod83 New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    New Jersey
    Last night I peeled and trimmed a bunch of carrots, so there were carrot shavings and chunks in the sink. Usually my garbage disposal eats right on through that kind of food so I turn it on, turn the water on, and shove it all down.

    The disposal starts doing its thing but gradually slows down and I realize the water is not draining, and it starts to back up. I turn off the disposal. When I turn it back on, I can hear the hum of the motor, but the blades are not spinning. Still no water drainage.

    I have had the experience of the blades being jammed and needing to manually free them with a hex wrench under the disposal unit, but this is not that. The blades move freely, both with a hex wrench and when I stick my hand down there and spin them. I can't feel anything clogging jamming anything with my hand.

    One interesting detail is that if I turn the disposal on, and I hear the hum but there is no blade movement, I can get it doing by putting a wooden spoon handle down there and manually spinning the blades. If I do it fast enough, it's like the blades pick up and and start spinning on their own.

    Overnight the water did not drain. I'm at a bit of a loss on what to try next. Even if the disposal broken the water draining must mean there is a clog somewhere, right? Should I try something like Liquid Plumber?

    Any ideas on what's happened to my disposal? Or suggestions for next steps? Thanks!
  2. asktom

    asktom Member

    Messages:
    529
    Location:
    Victor, MT
    Do not put chemicals in, they won't help and may ruin the unit. You need to get the carrots out of the diposer and manually clean the drain with a snake.
  3. Reach4

    Reach4 Active Member

    Messages:
    2,105
    Location:
    IL
    I think your disposal failed, and it needs to be replaced.
  4. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,903
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    Most disposers are only good for eight years of use.

    You will need to uppack the carrots. My sisters did that on Thankgiving one time. It took a snake to clear it the next day. Even with a good disposer, you need plenty of water to wash it down.
  5. rpod83

    rpod83 New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    New Jersey
    Thanks for the responses so far! I was able to unclog it with a plunger and run a lot of water through. The disposal unit is still acting the same though: motor hums, but I can get the blades going manually. So I guess I will have to replace it. It is almost 7 years old. Here is a picture of under my sink:

    http://imgur.com/a/FKYyb

    I would like to not have to cut/move any pipes. Are the positions of the openings fairly standard across different disposal units? If I got a brand other than Insinkerator Badger could I expect it to fit? Could I even expect a different Badger model (like the higher horsepower model)?

    Thanks again!

    Attached Files:

  6. Reach4

    Reach4 Active Member

    Messages:
    2,105
    Location:
    IL
    http://www.insinkerator.com/en-us/Household-Products/Garbage-Disposers/Badger/Pages/Badger5.aspx says
    I think they are saying that yours is a more entry-level grade, but I don't know how that would relate to reliability.

    The Evolution Essential and yours seem to both be 12-5/8 inch overall. I have no experience with either.
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