Can You Run Dishwasher If Garbage Disposal Is Broken? (Explained)

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You can run your dishwasher even when the garbage disposal is broken. But before you put your dishes in the dishwasher, ensure that you clean all the large food particles from them. Usually, the dishwasher drains through the garbage disposals; therefore, if food accumulates, it may clog the pipe.

Full loaded Dishwasher machine. Integrated Dishwasher with white plates front vew.

Are Garbage Disposals and Dishwashers Connected?

Garbage disposals and dishwashers are essential devices in every kitchen. These two work hand in hand with each other such that during most installations, they will be hooked up together. Typically, most dishwashers will rely on the garbage disposal drains for purposes of draining debris.

Now, while the two machines have some close relationship, does it mean that they are connected? Most kitchens do not include a drain line for the dishwashers, which is helpful for them to drain away from food particles.

For this reason, you will find that most installations for dishwashers are generally under the sink cabinet.

While it is here, it can easily connect to the garbage disposal, which helps in the draining process. So, the garbage disposal and the dishwasher normally connect through the drain hose under the sink cabinet.

Therefore, in some way, the dishwasher and the garbage disposals are usually connected.

When the dishwasher finishes cleaning, it will discard the dirty water and food particles through the drainpipe to the garbage disposal. In disposals, there is usually a plastic part that you open up to connect the drain hose pipe of the dishwasher.

Also, in the garbage disposals, they will come with a place where you can hook up the dishwasher, of which the process is pretty easy, and you can do it yourself.

Once you connect the dishwasher pipe to the inlet on the garbage disposal, you can effectively use the dishwasher without water overflowing in your sink.

The garbage disposal parts also have an air-gap fixture that ensures that no debris overflows into the dishwasher. Therefore, you can easily use these two machines altogether, and connecting them is pretty easy as long as you first install each one well.

Sometimes, people will prefer to connect the garbage disposal and the dishwasher using the plumbing code. It may not be necessary and may even have problems with the machines, and you may not connect them yourself.

Also, by combining the dishwasher and the disposal using the plumbing code, you will be violating the plumbing code rule.

Furthermore, it may be impossible to connect these two machines through their electrical outlets. Therefore, it is only safe to stick to connecting them using the drain pipe.

But sometimes, you do not need to join them, and they will still function effectively.

For instance, you may not need to use the garbage disposal to grind the food particles from the dishwasher so they can comfortably use the dishwasher without needing the garbage disposal for grinding.

But it is always important to connect them for convenience and to minimize the chances of dishwasher flooding.

Can You Run Your Dishwasher If Your Garbage Disposal Is Broken?

The dishwasher does not necessarily need the garbage disposal for it to function. It is a whole machine on its own and will carry on its functions even when the garbage disposal is broken. So you can always run it even when there is an issue with the garbage disposal.

Even though you can use the dishwasher, it is always important to remember that you usually hook it up to the garbage disposal.

In most cases, when using the dishwashers, the debris it usually releases goes to the garbage disposal. For this reason, there is always a need to connect these two.

So, the main problem is where the debris will go, which is in the garbage disposal. If it is broken, then it will affect the flow of waste from the dishwasher to it.

Also, It plays a crucial role in reducing the large food particles too small ones in the process of grinding.

Once it reduces the food, it can now easily flow through the plumbing pipes. When it is not in a position to reduce the food particles, then food particles may not flow out of it, which means that it will probably flood the dishwasher.

You may find that only a part of the garbage disposal is broken; for example, it may only be the motor with an issue.

This part will not prevent the dishwasher from working. The only problem that it may pose will be on the garbage disposal itself; for instance, it may make it not able to grind up the wastes.

Furthermore, if the issue affects the drain line, then the dishwasher may not function. Usually, this part connects the dishwasher and the disposal, and if the disposal is broken, it still connects to the drain line.

I say there is clogging in the drain line; then, the garbage disposal may not be able to grind up particles which will, in turn, affect the dishwasher.

Waste disposal leak under a sink, broken garbage chopper

Can You Run the Dishwasher if the Garbage Disposal is Leaking?

The garbage disposal leaking is pretty standard in most kitchens, and it is easy to notice such. There will be water below the sink if the disposal is leaking. So, this may leave you wondering whether or not it is okay to continue using the dishwasher even when the garbage disposal is leaking.

Even though you can use it, it does not mean that the dishwasher will function well. You can run the dishwasher even when the garbage disposal is leaking, and of course, it is prone to leaking.

But depending on the leak, it may not send dirty water back into the dishwasher; therefore, your items will still be clean.

The main issue with the disposal leaking is that the leak is prone to expansion. If you continue using the dishwasher, it means that it will still be draining water to the garbage disposal. The more water the dishwasher sends to the garbage disposal, the leak even becomes more.

If the garbage disposal is leaking, it is essential to seek professional help to fix the issue to help minimize the leak.

If you are yet to fix it, you can still use the dishwasher just as you usually do since the leak will not affect the dishes in any way.

How Do You Bypass a Dishwasher with a Garbage Disposal?

When connecting a dishwasher with a garbage disposal, start by unplugging the garbage disposal from its electrical outlet.

But if you are installing a new dishwasher, you may not necessarily need a garbage disposal. So, you will need to bypass it when installing the dishwasher, and it will function normally.

However, if you bypass the garbage disposal, you will need to include an air gap in the dishwasher to function based on the local regulations. To begin the process, turn off the main water supply switch and the circuit breaker.

Then, disconnect the faceplate of the dishwasher to get to the connection points, after which you can position the dishwasher to where it should go.

Drop an air gap inside the hole present on one corner of the sink, push it up the counter, and secure it using a nut and wrench. Then attach the hose piping to the air gap’s piping using a screwdriver and a hose clamp.

You should then locate the drainpipe and remove it from the trap, after which you should fix a Y fixture along the drain and the web.

Ensure you check all the connections to ensure there are no leaks before turning on the circuit breaker.

You can now turn on the dishwasher and have it running for some time to examine how it performs. You can now push it into its position and attach it to the lower side of the counter.


There is no big issue with using the dishwasher even when the garbage disposal is broken. Even though these two are closely connected, a leak in the garbage disposal will not limit the functioning of the dishwasher.

Also, you can always use the dishwasher without garbage disposal by the use of air gaps.