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thanksgiving day disposal and drain care

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  • thanksgiving day disposal and drain care

    this is the busiest holiday for plugged up drains especially kitchen sinks.

    i always inform my customers about the proper use of a garbage disposal, especially around the big food holidays and guest in the kitchen.

    for those homeowners reading this too late, then you'll know next time the right and wrong way of using your disposal.

    first off, a garbage disposal is not a trash can. only what is left glued onto the plate should be washed down the disposal. not the entire contents.

    when preparing food and veggies. use the strainer and move it over into the disposal opening. that way all the debris will be stopped by the strainer and water will still drain. before removing the strainer, scoop up 99% of the debris and trash it or compost it.

    don't fill the disposal and turn it on. treat the disposal as a human. meaning feed it slowly like you're eating. use plenty of water before, during and after. just like you drink and chew and drink to wash down your food.

    once again, if it can be thrown out or composted, especially rice, pasta and stringy veggies, do that before using the disposal.

    the drain pipes are like your veins and arteries in your body. they will fill with cholesterol. and just like your body, you can lower your cholesterol and prevent plugged pipes.

    if you do plug up the sink, just 1 side, you can still drain the other side. if both sides are plugged or come up when you turn on the disposal, then your dishwasher is typically going to be out of commission too. as most dishwashers drain into the disposal via the air gap.

    if your home is in the warmer climates, look for an outside cleanout just behind the sink on the outside wall and remove the cap. if it drains, then your stoppage is downstream and you're back in service with just a mess outside. if you remove the cleanout cap and the sink still has standing water, your stoppage is close to the sink. the diverter tee is common and so is the trap and trap arm. even the san tee in the wall is common with older plumbing.

    a common trick is to use the stopper on the strainer side of the sink, assuming you have a 2 compartment sink. hold the stopper down with force, or screw it down if it's a strainer with a screw. bail out the majority of water in the disposal side to lower the level to about 1'' in the sink. then turn on the disposal for a few seconds. if you're lucky, the spinning action from the disposal will wash the stoppage away. this only works on local stoppages and sometimes will backfire. a slip joint fitting or tubing might fail and spill all the waste water inside the cabinet. so take precautions if the tubing looks worn, rotted, old or already dripping.

    if all else fails, try hot water into an empty sink. not drain cleaners. especially into a disposal or standing water. some of those cleaners are very caustic and will damage the disposal and possibly the sink and plumbing if they sit too long.

    if you can wait for the plumber until the actual holiday is over, you just might save triple time that some companies charge during a holiday.

    of course, you can always post your questions, and photos are a bonus. there are plenty of us that would rather help you than charge you and be away from our family for the holidays.

    have a happy thanksgiving and keep your pipes flowing.

    phoebe it is

  • #2
    Re: thanksgiving day disposal and drain care

    Rick Rules!...keep them tips and tricks and shortcuts coming!


    • #3
      Clogged kitchen sink or disposal

      good one Rick.

      hopefull this will help someone who has a clogged kitchen drain and is in the middle of
      preparing their Thanksgiving dinner and can't wait or can't get anyone to respond in time.
      Last edited by Bob D.; 11-22-2012, 08:49 AM.
      "It's a table saw, do you know where your fingers are?" Bob D. 2006


      1/20/2017 - The Beginning of a new Error


      • #4
        Re: Clogged kitchen sink or disposal

        Garbage Disposals are a plumbers best friend. They create a lot of work for us. Best to not use it at all.