I have twin kithen sinks, the right with a garbage disposal. I had a
pot of plain (no sauce etc.. ) cooked pasta that I decided to get rid
of. I ran water while running the disposal unit, but then I noticed
that the water was starting to block up. I removed all the ground up
pasta from the unit, but still the water will not drain. The left
kitchen sink is draining fine.
I tried a toilet plunger, but( and here's the big clue probably), the
water squirts out of the aerator. I opened the cap of the aerator. It
has a central copper pipe, but the water ( when I use the plunger
slowly ) is welling up on the outside of the copper pipe, not from
Help from the pro's please ... what do I do? Any easy way out of this?
I'm "house repair" challenged !!
If the 2 sides of the sink share a common drain (most likely),
then there will be a TEE fitting between them. The TEE has a
baffle plate inside which will often clog with pasta.
Suggest taking the TEE connection apart as a first step.
This always happens to me while peeling potatos. When it does, I have to
take the top of the little silver air relief and cover it with a wet rag.
That is the little silver that sits there and does nothing. Then I use a
plunger on the disposal. That works for me.
Why is it always potato peelings?
If you don't have it unclogged yet, get Liquid Plumber (drain cleaner) and
follow directions. Now for the cause of the problem. Today's sink faucets
have flow restrictors and don't really let enough water flow to make a thin
enough slush to go down the drain. The solution is to "spoon feed" the
disposal to make sure each small batch is completely through before adding
more. It took 4 clogs in 2 weeks before I finally convinced my wife after
remodeling the kitchen. That was 2 years ago, and not a single clog since.
Kitchen sink isn't a toilet- it really isn't up to handling that much mass,
even pureed by the disposal unit. The drain lines are SMALL. Stale food and
vegetable peelings should go in the TRASH- plastic grocery bags are great
for keeping the smell down until you carry it out to the can. The disposal
is really only good for handling the residue stuck to dishes and plates when
you rinse them off to stack in the other side of the sink before washing.
(IMHO, of course, based on many years of unjamming many different disposals
for relatives and friends and tenants of companies I worked for.)
But to fix the instant case- time to pull the trap(s) and go fishing. Make
sure to unplug the disposal first, and have a bucket and several towels to
catch the flood of crud. If disposal is jammed, you may need to drop it to
unjam it, unless reverse-rotation with a broom handle frees it up.
By that logic, you might as well not even have a disposal unit. Pasta
and potato peelings should be no problem as long as the water is being
ran at full force. At my previous residence, we didn't have a
disposal, and I was constantly on the lookout for larger pieces of
food that my wife would rinse off of plates and such, and fortunately
the drain (protector?) would catch all of it. But we routinely rinsed
plates off (after scraping them in the trash) directly down the drain.
There was never a problem. Since we moved into our house (with
disposal) there came a Monday where I had to clean the fridge. Trash
didn't run 'til Friday, so I flushed quite a bit down the 'ol
disposal. Old chunky spaghetti sauce, some thick slices of a beef
roast that was getting ripe, cooked potatoes, you name it. Not a
problem. I always continue to run the disposal for a minute or so
afterwards with the water at full blast, and it drains just as good as
it ever has. I've heard that ice cubes are good to run through them on
occassion. However, celery is discouraged. The strands wrap around the
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