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Unread 12-07-2010, 11:43 AM
 
Location: The Middle
5,101 posts, read 6,345,529 times
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Default Sink fills up with water when dishwasher is running

I noticed something new with my dishwasher. Twice now in a span of several months, I noticed when the dishwasher is running one side of my sink starts to fill up with dirty water. Not a lot but enough to cover the drain. I run the garbage disposal and it goes down. We have been in the house a little over a year and the first time I noticed this was 3 months ago and today I noticed it again.

Ideas on what might be the problem? The house is 15 yrs old. The dishwasher is about 5 years old. Thanks.
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Unread 12-07-2010, 11:55 AM
 
Location: Simmering in DFW
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Your drain is partially clogged. Go to the hardware store and get a really strong drain cleaner or --for a quick fix -- just throw baking soda and vinegar down the drain at the same time, wait 15 minutes and run really hot water. But I'd get a strong drain cleaner before it escalates and then you'll have to call a plumber with a snake to do drain clean out.
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Unread 12-07-2010, 12:43 PM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
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One thing that can help and won't hurt is to pour some hot, nearly boiling water through the offending drain. Be careful if you do this of course, it's possible that the drain might "spit" back - rare but it does happen occasionally.

I like to stay with the biological type drain cleaners, they are slower but won't hurt pipes and won't hurt you if you splash on yourself.

A hint - garbage disposals are a bad idea. Compost or put into the trash what you would wash down the disposal.

Is your dishwasher getting the water hot enough? Are you putting a lot of oily/greasy stuff in there?

You are on a septic IIRC - in that case I think the disposal is a *really* bad idea. Just use it to assist the sink when it gets a bit clogged, but don't actively wash food debris into it.
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Unread 12-07-2010, 12:52 PM
 
Location: Cary, NC
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Probably there is enough crud in the disposal to prevent the dishwasher water to drain quickly. A quick flip of the disposal switch grinds up the crud and then the water goes down. It doesn't sound like you have any problem except to make sure you run the disposal anytime anything solid goes down the drain.
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Unread 12-07-2010, 12:59 PM
 
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Likely your house is plumbed so that your dishwasher empties into the disposal and then drains out.

Added to the suggestions above about flushing with hot water and using a product to unplug your drain: I'd unplug the disposal and fish around in it to see if there is something stuck inside it that is not allowing your water to drain.

Disposals do need bulk to work properly and from time to time put some orange or lemon rind down it to keep it fresh and clear. Run your water long enough after use and the disposal is clear to push any contents through your drain lines to the main sewer.

Be certain your pipe cleaner is disposal safe (it should state so on the label).

You might also run some dishwasher cleaner through your dishwasher in case it is not draining and/or disposing of food reminates properly.
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Unread 12-07-2010, 01:44 PM
 
Location: Elsewhere
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The baking soda/vinegar/boiling water combo really works. We do that to all our drains about once a month.

Another thing to grind through the disposal occasionally is a handful or two of ice cubes. They help clear the drain and keep the blades sharp.
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Unread 12-07-2010, 07:51 PM
 
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If you can handle DIY, go out and buy a drain snake. Go under the sink and disconnect the drain pipe from the wall (place a bowl underneath to catch water and stuff). Put on some rubber gloves and stick your fingers in the hole and pull out anything you can touch. After this is done snake the drain all the way down until it stops and then pull it out. Put it all back together and run hot water only full blast for a few minutes (also check for leaks and re-tighten pipe nuts). If nothing comes back then run a dishwasher cycle.

As for the disposal unit do the following:

How to Sharpen Garbage Disposal Blades | DoItYourself.com
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Unread 12-08-2010, 09:07 AM
 
Location: MA
134 posts, read 197,899 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dedratermi View Post
Probably there is enough crud in the disposal to prevent the dishwasher water to drain quickly. A quick flip of the disposal switch grinds up the crud and then the water goes down. It doesn't sound like you have any problem except to make sure you run the disposal anytime anything solid goes down the drain.
This is the response I vote for.

If its only happening occasionally the disposal is just partially clogged, just run it while using the hot water.

Do an internet search for what does and doesn't belong in a disposal, I've made a lot of money off of renters and new home owners who believe its a wood chipper.
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Unread 12-08-2010, 09:27 AM
 
6,040 posts, read 5,166,057 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Squirl View Post
Your drain is partially clogged. Go to the hardware store and get a really strong drain cleaner or --for a quick fix -- just throw baking soda and vinegar down the drain at the same time, wait 15 minutes and run really hot water. But I'd get a strong drain cleaner before it escalates and then you'll have to call a plumber with a snake to do drain clean out.
It might not be the drain, it could be the vent. If the vent is blocked, things aren't going to drain very well.
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Unread 12-08-2010, 09:33 AM
 
Location: The Middle
5,101 posts, read 6,345,529 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skydiveintohell View Post
This is the response I vote for.

If its only happening occasionally the disposal is just partially clogged, just run it while using the hot water.

Do an internet search for what does and doesn't belong in a disposal, I've made a lot of money off of renters and new home owners who believe its a wood chipper.
Thank you. I think this is correct. I realized last night that when my husband was washing the dishes (we hand wash our pots and pans) he does not run the disposal like I do. I never put anything larger than crumbs down our disposal but those crumbs from the cookware do add up, so I run it after washing the cookware. Realized last night hubby does not. We have not had a dishwasher in many years so I get concerned when things seem off with it (the motor went on it after we moved in so I guess I get a little paranoid )

I had to laugh at your comment about a disposal being a wood chipper. LOL. My husband has been called by relatives quite a few times on de-clogging disposals. His BIL put a pound of burnt hamburger down it. Then called my hubby asking what could be wrong. Have no idea why he did not use the trash can. Hubby's sister dropped a shot glass down hers and didn't feel like fishing it out so she just flicked it on hoping the disposal would just magically grind up glass.

Thanks all for the comments. I am starting to think hubby just wants to get out of washing cookware.
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