Does A Broken Garbage Disposal Affect A Dishwasher? (Find Out Now!)

Hannah DeMoss
by Hannah DeMoss

Many people are familiar with the idea that a broken garbage disposal means a broken dishwasher. However, many might not know whether or not this statement is true. Does a broken garbage disposal affect a dishwasher? Are they connected in a way that would cause a dishwasher to break if a disposal was also broken?

A dishwasher can still be used with a broken disposal, but issues can arise if the device is not fixed. These issues can include drainage problems, further breakage, and a slow system. With these potential issues, it is always a good idea to fix a broken garbage disposal rather than trying to operate one without it functioning.

Read on to learn more about the connection between a broken garbage disposal and a dishwasher. Though a broken system does not mean a broken dishwasher, there are still ways that they can impact each other.

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Does a Broken Disposal Affect a Dishwasher?

A broken disposal can affect a dishwasher, but not in a way that is extreme enough to warrant concern. They are still separate entities and have different systems, despite sharing a way of drainage. However, there are a few ways that a broken disposal can affect a dishwasher.

A broken disposal can impact a dishwasher by:

  • Lessening the ways it can drain
  • Raising the risk for breakage with clogging
  • Slowing down the system with too much food

These are all ways that a broken disposal can impact a dishwasher.

If you are careful, none of these are a cause for concern. We will discuss measures to keep your dishwasher safe as the disposal system experiences repairs and how the two are connected. This information will help you out in the future if this ever happens to you in your kitchen.

How Are the Two Items Connected?

You might wonder how a garbage disposal and a dishwasher are connected. After all, they are two different appliances that have varying functions in a home. You might be surprised to learn that there is one thing that they share which can be critical to their operation.

In a typical home, the dishwasher does not have its system when it needs to drain. Instead, it uses the garbage disposal drainage system to rid itself of any liquid or waste in the washing process. This operation is where the misconception came from and what allows it to stay around.

Can You Still Use Your Dishwasher?

The big question remains – can you still use your dishwasher if your garbage disposal breaks? The simple answer is yes. You can still use your dishwasher even if your garbage disposal breaks. You can still wash your dishes even with a damaged sink.

It might seem impossible to use your dishwasher. After all, the drainage system is connected. Nevertheless, it is still possible to use your dishwasher with a broken garbage disposal.

The two main reasons why you can still use your dishwasher include:

  • It is an independent system that can run by itself
  • The drainage system is still intact, though partially clogged

Both of these reasons are proof that you can still use your dishwasher with a broken disposal.

It might not make much sense, but if you are careful you can use this device with each other. These pieces work in a unique way that permits operation simultaneously, so feel free to use your dishwasher. We will talk about a few preventative measures you can take next.

Actions to Prevent Further Breakage

Of course, there are actions you can take to prevent your dishwasher from breaking down along with your disposal. By keeping these in mind, you will have the capacity to keep one appliance working even while the other one is down. Prevention is always better than taking action after the fact.

The best two ways to prevent further breakage with your dishwasher include:

  • Washing plates ahead of time and getting rid of big chunks of food that could clog the system
  • Minimizing the runs you do to reduce the chances of a damaging clog that could break the system

Both of these are great ways to prevent further breakage between your two devices.

Keep reading to learn more about these two actions. By putting them inside your head, you can reduce damage and continue the operation of your kitchen as you would on a typical day. One broken thing does not have to mean that your entire space cannot operate.

Cleaning Plates

Cleaning plates ahead of time is your best defense when preventing your dishwasher from breaking down like your disposal. Since they share the same drainage system, washing off large chunks of food before using the device will prevent the pipes from clogging up.

If something is stuck to a plate that looks like it would clog a pipe, put it in the trash can before you attempt to clean it any further. A little extra work with your dishes will save you quite a bit of money down the line. It might seem annoying to

Using Minimal Runs

If you limit the amount of work that your dishwasher has to do, you can prevent damage from overworking the system. Load your dishwasher as full as possible to get as much in at once as you possibly can.

Try not to run the dishwasher with only a few dishes inside. This action will help your system to work longer if one-half of it breaks down.

Related Questions

What does a broken garbage disposal sound like?

A broken garbage disposal typically sounds like someone has jammed a fork down into the system. It is a definitive grinding noise that you will recognize right away.

Why is my garbage disposal not draining?

If you cleared your garbage disposal and it is not working, you likely have a deeper blockage on your hands. You should call someone to come help you as soon as possible.

How much does a broken garbage disposal cost?

If you need to fix a garbage disposal, you might wonder how much it costs. According to, it can cost around $250 to fix a garbage disposal. Sometimes it is cheaper to replace it.

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A broken garbage disposal can be frustrating, and the situation is only more frustrating if you cannot use your dishwasher. Luckily, that rumor is only partly true. Since these items use the same draining system, make sure your dishwasher items are clean before you place them inside. Use it minimally until the disposal works again.

Just because your disposal breaks down does not mean that you need to stop using your dishwasher. These items work together, but they are not the same thing. Your kitchen life does not need to stop with the breakdown of a single appliance. You can be smart and continue to wash your dishes while getting repairs for your disposal

Hannah DeMoss
Hannah DeMoss

Hannah DeMoss has been a writer for nearly a decade. Her passion for writing began years ago has continued to grow. Her expertise at home involves furniture restoration and other small DIY tasks. When not writing, Hannah enjoys the outdoors with her husband and pups, as well as traveling.

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