Drain & Sewers

The most common plumbing breakdown during the holidays is blamed on the garbage disposer. This is partly because when the drain line serving the kitchen sink is clogged, it backs up through the garbage disposer.  In very few cases a worn out garbage disposer is to blame.  More often, the user has caused the problem.

Proper Use: Garbage disposers, and the drain lines to which they’re connected, are not intended for use in disposing of fat, grease, large hard (T) bones and extremely fibrous materials like cornhusk silks and artichokes. These items have a tendency to plug up the drain line causing it to back up and create a stinky mess in your kitchen sink.

Place fat and grease into cans or bottles for disposal through your solid waste trash. Place T bones and other large bones into a plastic zip lock type of bag and dispose of through normal household trash. If you have a compost heap, consider recycling cornhusks, artichokes and other fibrous wastes there, or again, throw them out with your regular trash.

Run plenty of COLD water while you are using the disposer to eliminate food wastes.  If you are using it to eliminate a substantial amount of food waste (1 pound or greater), when you’ve completed using the disposer, turn it off and plug the drain for the sink. Fill the sink with cold water to approximately ¼ of its depth. Pull the drain plug out and turn the disposer on. This should thoroughly wash the drain line free of any garbage that might cause a partial stoppage, which could eventually lead to a complete stoppage.

Although it is tempting to use hot water during the operation of the disposer, this will almost definitely cause a stoppage further downstream. Using cold water helps to keep grease and fat in a solid form where it can move down the drain line, and not coat the line over a period of time, which would eventually cause it to become blocked.