Can I Run My Dishwasher If My Sink Is Clogged? What To Do

Probably the most irritating thing while doing the dishes is a clogged sink. We usually do not care about the things ranging from food particles to even hair that cause the blockage of the sink unless or until our sink gets clogged and our kitchen becomes home to stingy smells and dirty dishes.

Can I Run My Dishwasher If My Sink Is Clogged?

No, you cannot as it indicates a blockage in the drainage system. The dishwasher runs through the sink’s disposal. Your dishwasher will be unable to drain properly if your disposal is blocked. Before washing dishes or doing anything convoluted with the dishwasher, make sure to check to see if the sink is clean.

A working dishwasher is indeed a blessing that we usually take for granted until it stops working suddenly. However, the clogging of your sink and dishwasher isn’t too uncommon. Both get clogged from time to time.

You can get it back to work simply by fixing the underlying problem. 

Major Reasons Why Your Dishwasher Gets Clogged:

Whenever food waste, hair, or something else gets stuck in the pipes, they eventually get clogged, resulting in a clogged sink or dishwasher. Listed below are the most potential reasons that lead to the clogging of your dishwasher:

Installing A Garbage Disposal

If you get to install a new garbage disposal unit, make sure to check if the drain plug cover has been removed correctly. The improper removal restricts the water flow through the pipes leading to the clogging of your sink or dishwasher.

Pump Issues Or Faulty Motor

Pump and motor are two of the most essential parts of your dishwasher. Accumulation of waste in the pump assembly may block the wash impeller which ultimately leads to the clogging of dishwasher. A fault in motor also hinders the normal functioning of dishwasher.

Clogged Filter Baskets

Filter baskets in the dishwashers are connected to the drains and prevent pieces of food or other particles from entering the pipes. If these filter baskets are not cleaned properly, the particles get deposited in the holes and clog them.

Signs Your Dishwasher Is Clogged

Here are some of the signs due to which your dishwasher can get clogged,

  • If your dishwasher is unable to complete a full wash cycle.
  • Food gets stuck in the filter.
  • Also, shaking, or abnormal gurgling sounds during washing indicates that water is not finding the path to flow; mainly due to a blockage in sewage line. 

How To Unclog Your Dishwasher?

Can I Run My Dishwasher If My Sink Is Clogged

Now that you know about the signs and reasons why and how your dishwasher gets clogged; lets try to fix the problem, but before this, you should be familiar with some tools you may need, which include:

  • Auger
  • Screwdriver (to remove drain grates)
  • Bucket
  • Baking soda and vinegar
  • Gloves

Following are some possible ways to get rid of a clogged sink and dishwasher:

You Can Unclog A Sink Physically

First, make sure to power off your dishwasher and garbage disposal. Thoroughly examine the drain to find out where the blockage lies. Put on your gloves and carefully remove that blockage.

DIY Plumbing Projects At Home

Find out the drain grate after removing all the racks from the unit and remove the grate with a screwdriver.  With the help of an auger, clear the waste from within the pipe. Clean the pipes with a solution of vinegar and baking soda. After cleaning, reattach the parts of the unit and turn the dishwasher on. Run a cycle to check out if the issue is resolved or not.

When To Contact A Plumbing Expert:

After trying your level best, if you are still not able to resolve the issue, then you should contact a plumbing professional. Surely, he would have the right gadgets to fix the problem. Being a professional, he will identify the right point of obstruction and afterwards try to remove it accordingly.

Other Ways To Unclog A Sink Or Dishwasher

You can try some other effective methods to unclog the sink before contacting a plumber:

The Snake Method:

This method of clearing out the clog is quite complicated and time taking. For this purpose, you will require an auger (snake) which is a metal cable having a hook at the end. Feed the hooked end of the auger into the pipe. The end will hitch with the clog or obstruction and remove it upon retrieval.

During this process, water may leak from the pipe. Use a bucket to collect this leaking water.

Disposal Suction Method:

This is a quick and easy method to unclog the sink. If your sink drain has a garbage disposal and both sides of your sink are filling up with water, you simply need to clog one side of the sink. While doing so, you would have to press the drain plug tightly and then turn the disposal on with running boiling water down the sink drain. This tight pressing of the plug creates a vacuum which helps to clean out the clogged pipes.

Related Questions:

What If The Garbage Disposal Clogs Frequently?

Sharp blades of the garbage disposal prevent the frequent clogging of sinks. The shapes can be made sharp by grinding up a handful of ice. The addition of lemon or vinegar freshens up the insider of disposal.

How Do You Unclog A Sink With Standing Water?

Try to remove standing water from the sink with the help of a cup. After that, pour baking soda and push the powder down with the help of a spatula. Pour one cup of white vinegar into the drain opening. To seal the opening of the drain, place a stopper or a cover on it.

Does Boiling Water Unclog Drains?

Boiling water helps to unclog the drains but if you have PVC pipes, this method would be harmful as heat could melt the pipes or damage them.

Can You Run The Garbage Disposal While The Dishwasher Is On?

Yes, you can, if your dishwasher and garbage disposal are properly installed. However, if any one of them is damaged or broken, or if not properly installed, running both at the same time may cause a problem.

Final Verdict

A dishwasher to the kitchen is just like an organ to the body. It is indeed one of the most important parts of your household.

So, whenever it gets clogged, it will be super uncomfortable for you. Most of the time it is easy to fix, but sometimes the obstruction is out of your business and you need to contact a plumbing professional.

To avoid such a problem, it would be good enough if you keep an eye on the kitchen sink drain. Efficient plumbing and proper cleaning of the pipes can reduce the chances of sink and dishwasher blockage.