How to Unclog a Garbage Disposal With Standing Water

A garbage disposal is designed to break down food so that it may easily pass through the plumbing in your house and exit to the sewer. Garbage disposals are capable of grinding many types of items, including meat, bones, vegetables and egg shells. If the garbage disposal becomes too full, it will clog and automatically shut itself off. When this happens, water will remain in the disposal and possibly spill over into your sink. To unclog the garbage disposal, you must remove the contents and reset the disposal.

The garbage disposal unit is located below the sink.

Step 1

Press the "Reset" button on the bottom of the garbage disposal to reset the system. Attempt to turn on the garbage disposal.

Step 2

Check the garbage disposal power cord under the sink to ensure that it is securely plugged into the wall. Also, check the garbage disposal breaker in your service panel to ensure that it has not tripped.

Step 3

Look into the garbage disposal using a flashlight. If you can see any objects clogging the disposal, remove them using tongs. Press the "Reset" button on the bottom of the disposal and attempt to turn the disposal on again.

Step 4

Insert a hex wrench into the hex slot on the underside of the garbage disposal. Turn the hex wrench back and forth to loosen the clog. Continue until you can easily turn the wrench 360 degrees without obstruction and the standing water drains from the sink. If necessary, have a partner insert a broomstick handle into the top of the garbage disposal from the sink and attempt to turn the grinder arms. Remove the object from the disposal using tongs, then press the "Reset" button.