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Dear NH,

First, congratulations on your new status. Second, try to convince your better half not to grind potato peels and other grabage in the sink. So called “garbage disposals” have been a pet peeve of mine for years. They encourage people to believe it is OK to dispose of solid chunks of waste into kitchen sink drains, which are at most 2″ diameter lines (quite a few are merely 1 1/2″).

NtP’s spouse has been asking for years that I install one in our kitchen sink. I’ve refused, and installed a fine staineless steel strainer instead, insisting that when it gets loaded with debris it should be pulled out and emptied into the small grabage can we’ve got under the sink cabinet. It’s worked fine for the past ten years in our home. Not one single drain clog…

If you have a clogged kitchen drain due to sludge created by a garbage disposal, you need to snake out the drain. While doing so, you might want to be sure that the drain lines are properly plumbed. I’ve seen several homes where the drain fittings were “reversed,” leading to blocked lines.

In my opinion, the only thing garbage disposals are good for is providing an easier connection for adjacent dishwashing machines. Even then they are not really needed, as most modern dishwashers have built-in “garbage disposals”…though you shouldn’t rely on them as anything more than a back-up. Rinse the gross crud off your dishes and pots & pans before you run them through your dishwasher.

Thus Spake NtP

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