Kitchen Sink always backs up!

The Wife threatens to call a plumber. I just had a look under the sink and I have a garbarator on the right sink with the dishwasher comming into it at the top of the garbarator. The garbarator has to be used excessively to clear the cloggs and slow drainage. When the dishwasher is used it envaribly backs up into the left sink and sometimes into the right. What if I took out the garbarator altogether? Is there a better plumbing system or size? It must be clogging at the cleanout, the size is a stantard sink copper one and 1/2 if my ruler is correct.
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snipped-for-privacy@James.ca wrote in

Try this first: * Run the water until it's really hot. * Plug both sinks and fill them as full as you can with the really hot water. * Turn on the garbage disposal. * Remove the plugs. Use some tongs if you like the skin to stay on your hands.
The hot water will help melt grease and other gunk. The disposal will give the water a small push down the drain, helping to break loose any small clogs. Do this every month or two. If only the disposal side is slow, you can just hold the plug down on the other side instead of using the water.
If this process doesn't help, take the drain apart and put it back together, looking for clogs.
Run some ice cubes through the disposer once in awhile to clean it out. Follow up with lemon or lime rinds to get rid of smells. Baking soda works well, too.
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Steve B.
New Life Home Improvement
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There are many possible factors that we can't see. The size of the drain is right. What we don't know, is there grease buildup? Is there garbage buildup? Is the pipe pitched properly? Is the disposal partly clogged?
Good practice is to run the disposal before doing the dishes to clear out any stuff in there and the hot water from the DW will usually keep the drain lines clear of grease buildup.
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Hello James, Here's my suggestion because plumbing is my worst skill. I'd had the same problem including the wife on my ass. I called a plumber and not one of those huge company's and had it taken care. I paid the $150 and had the lines cleared and my problems all went away and have not returned. FYI: I didn't have to replace any plumbing or the garbage displosal. Good luck.

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on 5/4/2008 1:29 PM snipped-for-privacy@James.ca said the following:

I don't have a garbarator , but why is the dishwasher draining above that garbarator? Can't the dishwasher drain be placed below the garbarator thing so it is not so close to the sinks?
I had to look up garbarator, and found it is the Canadian spelling for disposal. I see that at least one Canadian municipality wants to ban them because of the extra debris that is being discharged into the wastewater system. Some other areas have already banned them in new construction. I can see their point.
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Bill
In Hamptonburgh, NY
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snipped-for-privacy@James.ca wrote:

Hi, How about removing P trap plug first and see?
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Unlikely you need one if you have simple to work with PVC pipe there.

Yup, common enough. Have same here.

In the configuration you mention, you shouldnt run water into the sink with the disposal at the same time as the dishwasher is draining. The pipe can't handle both.

Too bad it's copper but all is not lost. You've probably got a buildup at the other end of the disposal sink on the left and before the main drain on the one to the right. Replacing your disposal will not fix that. If you get backups even when not running the water at the disposal sink, you have a partly blocked pipe. Lets see if the configuration is what I think it is. There's a 1/2 inch or so flexible drain from the dishwasher plugged in at the top of the disposal. At the lower end of the disposal, there is an outlet pipe that should be about 1 or 1.5 inches diameter. This outlet pipe also connect at the other end to the other sink then has a drain that leads 'away'.
If this lower outlet pipe is only 1/2 inch, you may not have a clog but instead have a substandard size. You'd have problems with slow draining sinks on both sides and have always had that problem though you may be used to the slower draining so not noticed it or 'thought it normal'. It will not help to increase the size of this lower pipe that runs between both sinks, if the bottom most portion that leads 'away' (to septic or city sewer) is also 1/2 inch unless you replace both. I'm guessin gthough that you reported only the size of the smaller drain just from the dishwasher to the top of the disposal and the other pipes below are bigger. If I am right, you have a partial clog along the pipe between the sinks since normally only the sink with the disposal is affected. If both sinks are normally equally affected, the clog is in the 'drain pipe that leads away to the septic/sewer'.
Sorry if i'm a bit verbose, but this one can be very expensive if you replace a disposal when there's nothing wrong with it.
Suggestion? If you are handy with a bit of plumbing, replace the copper with PVC. It's much easier to work with. For reasons irrelevant to this post, we had that done. Last week or so, we had the same buildup causing us to at first think the disposal was at fault then I recalled a post some other person had made and thunked myself on the head. Don fixed it in 15 mins flat because the PVC type we have, can just be hand unscrewed at the right junctures. Yup, that 1.5 or so inch PVC was partly occluded with buildup. We just used a bottle cleaner brush and put it back up and all is well.
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Thank you Gentlemen all very good info. I didn't have to call the plumber yet. It looks good when I flush the "Disposal unit" with hot water before the dishwasher starts, no back up at all. I am thinking of removing the "disposal unit" out of the system and it will please the Wife.
Thanks again.
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Grin, glad to help James. The hot water trick means there is some level of build up, probably in that pipe I mentioned between the 2 sinks.
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