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I put an avocado skin down my garbage disposal, and since then, the sink doesn't drain well. If I run water for 10+ seconds, it fills up the disposal a decent amount, and will drain if I turn on the disposal or turn off the water.

I've reached in to the disposal, and found nothing that I could feel obstructing things. Any ideas on where my obstruction is, and how to remove?

  • 1
    Try putting something chunky down, like an onion or carrot. That should clear the avocado skin. In general, avoid anything fibrous, as it will tend to wrap around and get stuck. – Chris Cudmore Oct 11 '12 at 14:54
  • 4
    Ice Cubes can work well for that too. – DA01 Oct 11 '12 at 17:27
  • Possible duplicate: unclogging a garbage disposal – BMitch Oct 11 '12 at 20:09
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+50

Sounds like the chewed up gunk from the disposal has largely blocked the drain pipe. Try a plunger first (block all other connected drains) but that may or may not be effective depending on how far along the clog is.

If the simple solution doesn't work, you'll have to open a clean-out (or the U-trap) and use an auger to break it out. You can rent a "snake" from Home Depot that attaches to a power drill.

As @Chris Cudmore said, avoid fibrous material. Corn husks are the worst.

Important: If this happens again, you may have a plumbing problem! Disposals are often connected to existing plumbing that is not sufficient to handle them. The drain should be 2" pipe with limited slope (or vertical) and must be the direct path to the main sewer with any other connections merging into the pipe from above. Otherwise, you get places where the gunk can stick for a moment and have water move back along the other path giving time for the gunk to stick even more until you basically have concrete blocking your pipe. I'll give you 3 guesses as to how I know this... and the first two don't count.

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I had similar issues with some items in the disposal. I removed the output and saw that something was blocking the exit tube. It turn out the exit tube itself was rusted and in bad shape. Since my disposal was older I just replaced it and it has been working well since.

I never would have thought the exit tube would be deformed from the rust. It was blocked over 50%. Other than the blocked tube the disposal worked well. It just seemed like it clogged a lot.

If clearing your disposal doens not seem to solve the issue you might want to check the exit tube and the drain.

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Plunging may not help since the clog is past the point where the sink and disposal tie together. The pressure the plunger generates is vented into the disposal. If your disposal has a rubber drain plug have someone hold it firmly in place while you plunge. This is most effective with water in the sink and the disposal. Since the water won't compress like air does, more force is directed at the clog. If you have a dishwasher make sure the door is shut so you don't vent the plunge pressure into the dishwasher. I have had luck with inserting the disposal plug, shutting the dishwasher door and sucking the sink side with a big shop vac. Cleaning the vac after is no picnic but it's better than climbing under the sink

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