Fixing a Clogged Disposal

When you have a clogged disposal which won't drain water from the sink, check here for troubleshooting tips.

Written Directions

There are different solutions to use depending on if you have a single-bowl sink or multiple bowl sink.

Materials Needed

Plunger or plumber's helper



  • If the clog is far down in your plumbing, you may need to contact a licensed plumber. 


Free the clog.

Use a plunger or plumber's helper to free the clog. If you have a double sink, place a stopper to block off the other sinkhole opening.


Fill the sink with four inches (10cm) of water.

Fill the sink with four inches (10cm) of water. Place the plunger over the disposal opening and press down slowly and gently. Then, pull the plunger upwards quickly using your strength. Repeat this pulling action several times.


Clear the disposal of any debris.

When the clog is dislodged, run the water and the disposal for a minute or two.

Still Not Working?

If the disposal continues to clog, it may need service. If the problem with your disposal is due to defects in materials or workmanship, InSinkErator ma​y pay to have an authorized service center service the disposal in your home at no charge to you.

Tips For Success

  • Run disposal along with a moderate flow of cold water. Continue to run cold water for a few seconds after grinding is complete.
  • Avoid using hot water when grinding food waste. It is OK to drain hot water into the disposal between grinding periods.
  • Never pour grease or fat into your disposal or drain.

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