Improving flow through a garbage disposal

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Old 01-11-01, 07:05 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Lake Murray, SC USA
Posts: 1,461
Many people think you can put most any kind of food through a garbage disposal. Fibrous food, like banana peels, can be particularly troublesome for a garbage disposal, and plug the drain ports on the side of the disposal.

A garbage disposal is like a "rotary food grater". It has holes on the sides with spurs sticking out, that actually grind up the food. However, these holes, or drain ports easily become clogged with food particles. This is why you always run water, to flush away the ground food particles. However, when the drain ports become clogged, the common drain clearing techniques do not normally work. Drain cleaners don't work, because they just drain out the bottom of the disposal, without ever contacting the food pluggage in the ports on the sides of the disposal. Plungers don't work well, because a few open ports will allow all of the pressure generated by a plunger to vent. So, what can you do?

You need to clear the discharge holes of old food particles. The easiest way to do this is to fill the garbage disposal with ice cubes (no water running and disposal turned off). When it is full of ice cubes, turn on the disposal first, and THEN THE COLD WATER. It will make a lot of noise, but the chopped up ice will act like a sandblaster, cleaning out food particles from the discharge holes. Many times you will actually see the dislodged food particles come up out of the entrance to the garbage disposal. This is not bad, it just means they have been broken loose, and the ports are not clear enough to pass all of them yet. It is not a bad idea to do this at some set frequency, like once a month, or whenever you notice the disposal draining slowly.

This does work, and there have been several replies posted, from people that have read my post about this method, and it has worked for them.
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Old 01-11-01, 08:07 PM
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Cool Ingenious!

Hi arkay,

This is a great idea! I have been putting draino down my disposer for a year and it never worked. I have to hook up my ice maker first, but I love this idea!!!

I have never, ever heard of this neat trick! Thanks!

Old 01-12-01, 08:02 AM
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Also if there is a nasty smell coming from the disposal, try putting small pieces of orange or lemon peel and running it. This will remove any unwanted smells.

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