Can You Run Garbage Disposal While Dishwasher is Running? (2023 Update)

While garbage disposals and dishwashers relieve the stress of washing every cutlery piece by hand and removing food litter, they can pose a few nuisances, just like any other helpful device. One of the users’ most typical issues is when the kitchen sink backs up as the dishwasher operates.

It’s gross and takes a toll on your seamless schedule. There are some easy home fixes for this issue. Similarly, there are some expensive routes where you must call and invite a professional.

But before you opt for the latter, let me tell you the plausible reasons why your kitchen sink is backing up and what you can do to fix it. Let’s get into it.

Can You Run Garbage Disposal While Dishwasher is Running?

Technically, you can run the garbage disposal while the dishwasher is running, but I have to say that it’s not recommended.

The reason is that both appliances typically share the same drain line. Running both at the same time could cause a backup or slow draining.

When I do draining repairs, I have seen this is the most common cause for many problems USA households have in their kitchens.

It’s best to wait until the dishwasher has finished its washing cycle and drained entirely before running the garbage disposal. This will help prevent any potential clogs or backups.

Additionally, if you notice any issues with slow draining or backups, it’s important to address them right away to avoid any damage to the appliances or plumbing system.

Why Does My Sink Back Up When My Dishwasher Runs?

Mainly there are four possible causes of kitchen sink backups. The fault could be in the air gap, the sink, or the dishwasher. And searching to find the correct error zone is your first job.

Before I dive more into the causes and effects, here’s a disclaimer for you. You must always switch off the power that runs through the garbage disposal and dishwasher.

We’re all familiar that water and electricity don’t mesh well when in contact. Thus being safe while fixing the issue should be your priority. Unplug all the devices and turn off the water supply too.

Problems in Garbage Disposal Drainage Plug

One of the many possibilities for the kitchen sink issue could be due to the garbage disposal’s drainage plug. It is designed to conceal the dishwasher wastage drain’s opening or mouth, which also leads to garbage disposal.

If you want the dishwasher to drain wholly and adequately, the plug must be removed after installing the garbage disposal.

If all the leads trace back to this issue, you must call a professional technician to remove the drainage plug.

Block In Air Gaps

Air gaps in the kitchen sinks are designed next to the sink faucet. The main aim of air gaps is to prevent wastewater from backing up and filling up the sink.

During a jam or clog within the sewer line, it can also be beneficial as the wastes are kept at bay and from coming back up and polluting the dishes and dishwasher.

For clear signs of a clog, check the sink for a water overflow that might be coming in from the air gap. Additionally, for blocks and jams as you can eradicate the air gap covers, including the protective caps. Once removed, the dirt and debris gathered should be reasonably visible and easier to fish out.

Clogged Sink

A significant reason for sink clogs is throwing every kind of food residue in the garbage disposal. There are specific do’s and don’ts for garbage disposal. Shoving every bit of food waste into all the garbage disposal models is a big “No.” Hence, you ought to play by the rules.

During a disposal clog, you need to clean and unclog the junction to retreat the old functionality of the entire setup.

Dishwasher Blocks

Lastly, stagnant water is also an indication of possible clogs or jams in the dishwasher drainage lines. Inspect the dishwasher’s drain hose and drains to confirm any blatant obstructions.

Hint: You should continually monitor the number of detergent cleaners used in the dishwashers. Often, these detergent deposits build up and form clogs.

Can Dishwasher Cause Sink to Back Up?

Undoubtedly, dishwasher clogs are dreadful trouble that can also link multiple chained issues. Dishwashers are prone to clogs, especially within their drainage lines.

You must also comprehend that the drainage line for your kitchen sink and the dishwasher is the same. Therefore, blockages or clogs within the original sewage or drainage line can also be responsible for the kitchen sink to back up and to overflow.

Here’s what you can do to alter this stressful situation.

  • Turn on the garbage disposal for a few seconds before you run the dishwasher. This ensures that any remaining food debris is appropriately drained.
  • Utilize sink cleansers to unclog the kitchen sink drains. It can also effectively get rid of grease and bacteria buildup.
  • Invest in a kitchen sink snake to clean the sink drains quickly. If the former options can’t get the job done, this will make a lot of difference.

How Do You Unclog a Kitchen Sink With a Garbage Disposal and Dishwasher?

Even though it might seem like a good idea, if I were you, I would think long and hard before pouring down chemical drain cleaners into the garbage disposals and dishwashers.

Instead, I have a better method that can assist you in unclogging the garbage disposal and dishwasher drains. Check it out.

  1. Start by unhooking the garbage disposal from its electrical power.
  2. Before running water or other cleaning agents down the drain lines, you the passage for any visible blockages. If you notice any hardy food bits stuck in the channel, you can use pliers or tongs to fish them out.
  3. Use 1/4 cup of vinegar and 1/4 cup of baking soda as a natural cleanser. Mix the concoction until the fizz settles down.
  4. Next, run hot water through the drains and pour down the mixed cleaning agent.
  5. Allow another few minutes of the hot water to run through the drain lines.
  6. Repeat the process as required.

Users have also seen tremendous positive results with the plunger, snake, and disposal suction method. These methods are just as quick to eliminate any potential obstructions that could be clogged drainage lines.

What Do You Do When Your Garbage Disposal Backs Into the Sink?

Here’s the good news, you can fix the garbage disposal by backing up the sink in a few simple steps and all by yourself.

Before calling an expensive plumber, you can give this a shot. I’m sure that it will work out for the best. This is what you can do when your garbage disposal backs up.

  1. Fill your kitchen sink with approximately 3-4 inches of water.
  2. Plug in the garbage disposal drainage and set the plunger at the center of the drain.
  3. Begin pumping with the plunger in an upward and downward motion rapidly for a few minutes. You should be able to feel the plunger sucking into and out of the drains.
  4. Next, remove the plunger when you’re happy with the process, and unplug the garbage disposal.
  5. If you don’t see any evident change, repeat the process until you get the desired results.

If this method fails you, then it’s clear that the clog is even more deep-seated than you might’ve anticipated.

At this point, you can opt for the snaking method on your own. You can also measure out the depth and cause of the clog by taking out the tailpiece with an adjustable wrench and pliers.

However, if you feel intimidated by these methods, don’t hesitate to call a professional who can do the job precisely for you and save you from all the trouble.

Final Words:

So, you see, there are multiple way-outs when your garbage disposal backs up during the dishwasher runs. You don’t have to be an expert in effortlessly carrying out these effective remedies.

Take proper precautions with each of the methods and during all the steps. Remember, you’re dealing with a valuable machine that runs on electricity and water. Having said that, I believe you’re now ready to take on this challenge and ace it!

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