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Kitchen Sink Drain Basics

Why is it that we can throw everything but the kitchen sink at a problem...but what happens when the problem IS the kitchen sink? More specifically, the drain in the kitchen sink.

When the drain backs up, so do dishes, meals and blood pressure! Let’s cover some kitchen sink drain basics.

  • Some things are better composted or thrown away instead of being ground up and carried down the drain. Things that are big and fibrous, starchy, greasy or boney for instance.
  • If it’s a question of should I run it or shouldn’t I? The answer is “Yes, you should.” Run it more frequently. Don’t wait until it’s overloaded with potato peels before you flip the switch.
  • If the disposal is on, the cold water should be running too! Always! Without the water running to carry the ground-up debris away, it will end up looking like the puree clinging to the walls of your food processor.
  • Listen for the sound of your disposer to say “all clear.” It sounds like a whirring motor and not a chopping, grinding, “I’m working” kind of sound.
  • Continue to run the cold water after you turn the disposer off. Running the water for 10 seconds longer will let you start with a clean slate for the next round.

Kitchen Drain BasicsAnother problem that can surface when the disposer isn’t run enough is the dishwasher backing up and flooding or water leaking out of the dishwasher’s air gap. This is because most dishwasher drains are plumbed into the garbage disposal (see illustration). So if there’s a back-up at the disposer, there will also be a back-up at the dishwasher.

99% of the time, your sink, disposer and drain will perform like the champs they were designed to be. For the other 1% refer to this article or give us a call to check it out.

If you have questions about this or other household products and services or suggestions for future columns, please email us.


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